March 28, 2013

Pizza Pockets

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I have a husband who loves pizza.  I have kids who love pizza.  I love pizza too, but I don’t always have the time each night to make pizza from scratch like I do most Saturday nights.  When we have a taste for pizza on a weeknight, I’ll grab a few of these pizza pockets out of the freezer and throw ‘em in the oven. 

I love having homemade convenience food in the freezer.  It makes my life so much easier.  These pizza pockets are easy to throw together, and they are even easier to heat up.  Most of the time, I can throw these in the oven (I sometimes use the toaster oven if I’m just making a couple), and they are done in the time it takes me to make a salad and get everyone’s cups together.  These also allow me to get some extra vegetables in my kids.  For some reason, I can get them to eat more veggies if they are in pizza form.  Who knew?
Now, you can do one of three things when it comes to the crust of these pizza pockets.  You can use refrigerated pie crust and just cut circles with a cookie cutter.  You can use frozen bread or pizza dough from the freezer section, defrost it, let it rise, and roll out circles of dough.  Or, you can make your own bread dough.  I prefer to make my own dough, but I will admit that I have frozen pie crust and bread dough in my freezer occasionally.
Long story short, just use whatever bread/crust your family likes.  There is really no way to go wrong.  It is pizza, after all. :)
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So, as far as filling goes, you can add anything you like.  My only suggestion is to not over fill these guys.  I can attest that they WILL explode if they are overly full. 
It wasn’t pretty.
I’ve put all sorts of things in these.  One thing I can almost always sneak in is spinach.  I just mix some cooked spinach into my pizza sauce and BAM!  My kids are eating spinach.
I have always been a fan of Emeril and his BAM!  I do it in my own kitchen sometimes!  Gosh, I miss Emeril Live.
Anyway…
Some of our favorite fillings are pepperoni, ham, bacon, olives, mushrooms, and my husband likes jalapeño peppers.  The kids like ham and cheese the best.  I can sometimes get them to eat black olives by calling them car tires.  Actually, my two year old will eat any of those things.  He is not at all picky.  It’s my five year old that keeps me on my toes where his diet is concerned.
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So, have fun with these.  Just remember the rules:
1.  Don’t over fill. 
2.  Don’t undercook- they will be soggy.
3.  Be sure to seal them really well. They will open up on you if you don’t.
Ingredients:
  • Uncooked bread or pizza dough of your choice
  • Pizza Sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Fillings of your choice
Instructions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  1. Divide your dough.  The best way to do this is to divide it in two, then subsequently divide those pieces in two, until you get dough balls in the size that you want your pizza pockets to be. 
  2. Roll out your dough into circles.  I have found that a 7 or 8 inch circle works best.
  3. Spoon a tablespoon of pizza sauce onto each circle, careful to avoid the edges.
  4. Add your fillings and cheese.
  5. Fold the dough in half, making a half-moon shape.  With a fork dipped in flour, seal the edges of your pizza pockets very well.  I often seal them twice. 
  6. At this point, if you want to keep these in your freezer, place them on a sheet pan and put them in the freezer for an hour.  After they have frozen, place them in a storage bag and place back into the freezer.
  7. When you are ready to bake, place your pizza pockets on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes or until they are golden brown. 

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