Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Homemade Hot Pockets

Okay, so this was just for fun...  commercially available hot pockets are a great idea, but probably not the best thing for you.  This afternoon, we played around with making our own.
Ham and Cheddar Hot Pockets
So many filling combinations come to mind _ chicken, artichokes, alfredo and spinach; meatballs and mozzarella; mexican chicken/cheese, corn, black beans; I could go on and on.  But this one was about a 2 and 3 year old, so we kept is really easy.

I think you could make this out of a plethora of bread options, depending on how elaborate or time consuming you want to go with it:  Homemade bread, pizza crust, crescent rolls, etc.  For today's experiment, we used were doing Ham and Cheddar Hot Pockets using puff pastry. 

We started by cutting the ham into ribbons while the pastry thawed and the oven preheated.
 You definitely want to flour the surface.. and perhaps flour a toddler.
 Roll out the "creases"of the puff pastry.
Cut the pastry into strips with a pizza cutter, draw an imaginary line in the middle.  I used my fingernail to make a smaller "box" in the dough on one side, leaving a margin so he would know the boundaries of our filling.
 Fill the square.  My recommendation for next time is to add lots more filling. 
 Sprinkle whatever seasoning you want.  Canon is adding a bit of oregano to the filling.
 Prepare an egg wash:  1 egg yolk, some water.  Mix.
"Paint" the edges of the pastry with the egg wash so they will stick together.  I didn't get to paint that much.  That job was swiftly claimed by my son.
Fold the pastry over and seal.  I crimped them with a fork to ensure a seal.  This is pretty critical to avoid the pastry opening up and all the filling spilling out.
Optional - Paint the top with an egg wash.  This will give it a glossy shine, but will also cause it to brown faster.  So choose a side on this one.
We added some herbs, some grated Parmesan and a bit of black pepper to the top.
And this was the result....
As you can see, the pastry puffs and the filling cooks down, so although they were really yummy, next time... you should use LOTS of filling!
Next, we made some sweet Apple Pie Hot Pockets. We used apple pie filling (so much hard work went into this step).

Canon added apple pie spice (lots of it) to the apples.  We had to have a discussion about his seasoning....  but learning is part of this.
 Fill the pastry as before..
 Seal after the egg wash... I also crimped the edges to make it a little prettier.
 Again, the egg wash, then some cinnamon sugar on top.
   
 I made a 40 second quick icing glaze:  powdered sugar, heavy cream, a little vanilla.
Plus a little caramel sauce for dipping...
 Yummm!!!

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Written Method

Ham and Cheddar Hot Pockets
So many filling combinations come to mind _ chicken, artichokes, alfredo and spinach; meatballs and mozzarella; mexican chicken/cheese, corn, black beans; I could go on and on.  But this one was about a 2 and 3 year old, so we kept is really easy.

I think you could make this out of a plethora of bread options, depending on how elaborate or time consuming you want to go with it:  Homemade bread, pizza crust, crescent rolls, etc.  For today's experiment, we used were doing Ham and Cheddar Hot Pockets using puff pastry. 

We started by cutting the ham into ribbons while the pastry thawed and the oven preheated.

 You definitely want to flour the surface.. and perhaps flour a toddler.

 Roll out the "creases"of the puff pastry.

Cut the pastry into strips with a pizza cutter, draw an imaginary line in the middle.  I used my fingernail to make a smaller "box" in the dough on one side, leaving a margin so he would know the boundaries of our filling.

 Fill the square.  My recommendation for next time is to add lots more filling. 

 Sprinkle whatever seasoning you want.  Canon is adding a bit of oregano to the filling.

 Prepare an egg wash:  1 egg yolk, some water.  Mix.

"Paint" the edges of the pastry with the egg wash so they will stick together.  I didn't get to paint that much.  That job was swiftly claimed by my son.

Fold the pastry over and seal.  I crimped them with a fork to ensure a seal.  This is pretty critical to avoid the pastry opening up and all the filling spilling out.

Optional - Paint the top with an egg wash.  This will give it a glossy shine, but will also cause it to brown faster.  So choose a side on this one.

We added some herbs, some grated Parmesan and a bit of black pepper to the top.
And this was the result....

As you can see, the pastry puffs and the filling cooks down, so although they were really yummy, next time... you should use LOTS of filling!

Next, we made some sweet Apple Pie Hot Pockets. We used apple pie filling (so much hard work went into this step).

Canon added apple pie spice (lots of it) to the apples.  We had to have a discussion about his seasoning....  but learning is part of this.

 Fill the pastry as before..

 Seal after the egg wash... I also crimped the edges to make it a little prettier.

 Again, the egg wash, then some cinnamon sugar on top.
   
 I made a 40 second quick icing glaze:  powdered sugar, heavy cream, a little vanilla.

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