Monday, August 23, 2010

Grown Up Hot Pockets

Did you eat Hot Pockets when you were a kid? We always had them in the house, but my brother was the primary consumer. My husband, unsurprisingly, loves convenience food like PopTarts, boxed granola bars, and (of course) Hot Pockets. But to be honest, Hot Pockets kind of gross me out.
[Source - getjustin]
I mean, if this print is to be believed, I do not want those things in my body! I mean, HELLO, imitation mozzarella cheese? Artificial butter flavor? Corn syrup solids?? It gives me the willies.

[Source - ScienceBlogs. This picture comes from a really interesting article about the physics of Hot Pockets, if you're into that sort of thing which, again, my husband totally is]
You know what doesn't give me the willies? Homemade pizza. Even better? Homemade calzones. Even better? Tiny homemade calzones that are basically Hot Pockets! I am a genius. Your husbands will worship the ground you walk on (as if they don't already!). You can thank me later.

Of course, what's great about this is that it's not so much a recipe as a jumping off point. You can put anything in these, including artichoke hearts and mushrooms and olives, which is totally next on my list. These are for my husband to take to work and eat for lunch, so I opted for meat.

Grown Up Hot Pockets
  • 1 batch of thin crust pizza dough (or store bought)
  • 1T olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4" Italian sausage meat (I used turkey)
  • 1 jar pizza or marinara sauce
  • shredded mozzarella 
  • 2-3 basil leaves, torn
  1. Preheat oven and pizza stone (if using) to 400 degrees.
  2. Saute onion, bell pepper, and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add sausage meat and cook until no longer pink. 
  3. Add marinara sauce and let simmer until slightly thickened.
  4. Meanwhile, divide pizza dough into four equal pieces and shape into rounds on one piece of parchment paper (or on a baking sheet)
  5. When sauce is done, place ~1 cup of sauce on each dough round
  6. Top with cheese and a few pieces of basil
  7. Fold pizza dough over on itself so it forms a pocket. Pinch the edges together. Put a tiny slit in the top for ventilation.
  8. Slide parchment paper onto pizza stone/place baking sheet in the oven.
  9. Cook for 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.

They might ooze a little out of the slit you made at the top, depending on how full you stuffed them.

This sauce actually makes about twice as much as you need for the amount of dough, so you could:
  1. Half the sauce recipe  
  2. Make 2 batches of pizza dough (this will make 8 hot pockets, but you could freeze them)
  3. Or, do what I do and freeze the excess sauce for a night that you don't feel like cooking. Either whip up a batch of pizza dough (it seriously takes 10 minutes max), or buy some at TJ's, or just use the sauce on top of pasta! I am all about keeping extra sauces/fillings/etc in the freezer so my husband can't pull the "We don't have anything to eat! Let's get tacos at Taqueria Superior!" card.

This is my favorite jarred marinara, by the way. Check out that ingredient list! No corn syrup solids there!

What is your favorite childhood food (that you probably don't eat anymore)?
I loved Nestle Drumstick Sundae Cones when I was a kid. And Cookies 'n Cream ice cream. Strangely, I seem to have grown out of my sweet tooth now that I'm adult.