I’ve chronically been thinking about empanadas. But all the recipes for empanada dough all seemed too fussy. Plus, I don’t really like traditional empanada fillings. I don’t like ground beef with olives or ground beef with raisins. What I really wanted was a hot pocket.
7. Roll out the dough: take the dough and cut into 6 pieces. My dough was really sticky, so I had to dust with quite a bit of flour. Roll out one of the six pieces of dough into a generally circular shape. You can do this by hand or use a rolling pin.
8. Fill and fold: take two (maybe three) heaping soup-spoonfuls of the ham and cheese mixture on one half of the dough circle. Fold the other side down and crimp the edges. Move the hot pocket carefully over to a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the rest of the dough and ham and cheese mixture. I happened to have just enough ham and cheese left over to make a really tasty omelet the next morning.
9. Baste and Bake: Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter (I used Smart Balance) and brush the tops of the hot pockets. Bake at 450 for about 12-15 minutes. (you can pierce the tops of the hot pockets to let steam escape. I did for half of them. It didn’t really seem to matter).
Sarah and I ate this with a side salad and side of spaghetti sauce. After I tasted it, I raised my fist in triumph while yelling, “Yessssss! Mmm.” (This is not an unusual occurrence at the dinner table. My wife will reluctantly confirm this fact.) I had been craving empanadas/hot pockets for about a week and a half. And I hit the craving square on the head.
The dough was not as thick as a calzone dough, but more like a mix between a pastry dough and bread that has been through a panini press. But it wasn’t anywhere near as greasy as a panini. It was exactly what I was hoping for. Like a hot pocket dough, but not all dried out like hot pocket dough can get.
The cheeses were nice and savory and melted in a really satisfying way. The broccoli was cooked exactly how I had hoped – soft but not mushy – and also provided a nice complement to the cheese and bechamel.
Sarah and I each had one for dinner and split a third. The other two I put in the fridge – I intend to come home rip-roaring drunk Saturday night, and I am thinking that they will be particularly good then.
The final one, I put in the freezer. If this freezes and reheats well, I think I just may make a whole kitchen-full of them.