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Why Buy? DIY! How to Make “Hot Pockets”

Haute Pockets packed in a pizza box for easy transport.

Many of our friends have had babies in the last couple of years. We’re really lucky to have this amazing group of kids to play with and moms and dads to admire. They’ve given me quite a bit of food-related knowledge. For example, if it falls on the floor, it is either totally contaminated (first kid) or fine after you shake off the dog hair (second kid).

I’ve also learned that one of the best things you can give parents of a newborn is food that can be eaten with one hand. Since we really like these “haute” pockets (shmancy, huh?), we figured they’d be an awesome food gift for our friends who just had their second daughter…especially since their first child is only a year old. Heroes!!

This recipe does take a little bit of time, but it makes six good-sized pockets, enough for almost a week of lunches. They’re sturdy enough to toss in your purse (maybe wrapped in one of these cute food cozies) and taste just as good at room temperature as they do warm. I haven’t tried it, but I’m sure you could freeze and reheat them like the real thing (2 minutes in the microwave or 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven).

In my quest to convert you to the DIY version, I tried to look up comparable nutrition information. I gave up. They’re all so meaty and cheesy that it’s not a fair contest. You could fill this dough with whatever you want, though, so if you have a favorite flavor, give it a try!

Greens-Stuffed Haute Pockets

Serves 6

Amount Ingredient Preparation Where we bought it (SWM = Somerville Winter Market)
1 1/2 tsp Active dry yeast
10 ounces All-purpose flour You’ll need some extra for the counter. Wild Hive Farm
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp Sugar
2 large Eggs 1 for the dough, 1 for the filling Red Fire Farm CSA
3 TBsp Olive oil You’ll need a little extra for the bowl the dough will rise in.
About 2 pounds Mixed dark leafy greens About 4 bunches, but don’t worry too much about it Organic (not local, because the timing didn’t work out)
4 cloves Garlic Chopped finely Red Fire Farm CSA
1 tsp Ground cumin
1 tsp Ground coriander
Big pinch Kosher salt
4 or 5 grinds Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. To make the dough, add the yeast to 1/2 cup of room temperature water. This will dissolve the yeast so that it’s ready to work.
  2. Whisk together the flour, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, and sugar. This is sort of a lazy girl’s version of sifting.
  3. Whisk together one egg and the olive oil. Add this and the dissolved yeast to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a shaggy (i.e. dry) dough.
  4. Dust a clean counter with flour and dump out the dough. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes until becomes nice and smooth. It shouldn’t be sticky, so knead in a little more flour if it is.
  5. Pour a drop of olive oil into a clean bowl. Form the dough into a ball, put it in the bowl, and roll it around in the oil. Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rise for an hour or until it has approximately doubled.
  6. While the dough is rising, get a big pot of water boiling. While it’s heating up, prepare your greens by removing the stems/ribs.
  7. Once the water is boiling, blanch the greens. To do this, add a couple of big handfuls of greens to the water and cook for 3 minutes (only 1 minute for spinach). Don’t crowd the pot too much. While the greens are cooking, fill a big bowl with ice water. Once the time is up, shock the greens (stop them from cooking) by transferring them from the pot to the ice water. Use tongs or a spider to let most of the hot water drain off first. Once the greens are cool, drain them well.
  8. Once all the greens are blanched, shocked, and drained, squeeze the pile with your hands to remove most of the water. Then, roll up the greens to a dishtowel that you don’t really care about and wring out some more water. Avoid white towels, because they’ll turn green. The idea is to get rid of as much water as you can so that the pockets aren’t soggy.
  9. After you’ve squeezed and squeezed, you’ll have a loaf of compacted greens. Chop this up into about 1/2 to 1 inch pieces. Set aside until the dough has risen.
  10. Once the dough has risen, put the ball on a lightly floured counter and cut it into six equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball and let them rest on the counter for 15 minutes. This will relax the dough so that it doesn’t spring back when you roll it out.
  11. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  12. While the dough is resting, beat the second egg and add almost all of it to the greens. Save about 2 tablespoons. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper to the greens and mix well. I like to use a fork, because it helps to break up the clumpy greens. Plus, I just used it to beat the egg, so it’s already dirty.
  13. Haute Pockets

  14. After 15 minutes, roll one of the dough balls into a circle approximately 7 inches across (that’s about the size of my hand). If you keep your counter floured and rotate the dough after each roll, you’ll keep it from sticking and get a better circle.
  15. Lightly pack the greens mixture into a 1/2-cup measuring cup and turn them out onto the bottom half of your dough circle. You might need to use a slightly larger or smaller cup, depending on the volume of your greens. Using the reserved egg mixture, brush a little onto the bottom edge of the circle. You could use your finger if you don’t have a brush. Stretch the top of the circle over the greens to meet the bottom edge. Fold and crimp the edges together. The egg will help glue the pocket shut.
  16. Transfer the pocket to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly dusted with cornmeal and repeat with the other five dough balls. Three pockets will fit on each sheet pan. Brush the pockets with the remaining egg for a nice, shiny finish.
  17. Bake for 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through for even browning.

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