Thursday, March 18, 2010

Stuff My Pockets

Each week Ladd and I plan our menu up through Thursday night.  Lately we've taken turns, playfully calling our weeks "his week" and "her week."  Part of this is because it's a bit arduous to carefully plan out a menu days in advance.  Who knows on Sunday what we are going to want on Thursday night?  The other reason we've started alternating our plans is due to style.  Ladd is a comfort guy and often settles into cuisine that's traditional and satisfying.  While it may sound cliche, he is a true meat and potato lover.  I tend to want things like lettuce wraps and vegetarian cuisine.  I am often met with questions like, "what else will we have?" or "where's the meat?"  Additionally, we're both trying to be more mindful of purchasing seasonal ingredients that we can secure from our local farmers, which throws another hurdle into our planning.  Not to mention the pressure that we give each other through the process.  My new ideas can be met with some skepticism- and rightfully so; I've put in some real crazy ideas in the past that have not been celebrated with moans of delight after the first bite.  In all honesty, it's just as important for Ladd to have that "this is delicious" reaction as it is for me to hear the "this is delicious" reaction.  In the past, not hearing such validation has sent me to the bathroom in tears (just ask my sister and her husband).

This week was mine to plan and I was desperate to create meals that satisfied Ladd's need for each of the food groups wrapped up in a "comfort food" bow and my desire for unique meals that didn't fatten me up.  I didn't quite succeed.  On average, Ladd and I are culinary weekend warriors- we enjoy going all out Friday night through Sunday.  Weeknights are reserved for a healthier approach (and, dare I say it, we even curtail the wine and beer).  But something about this week forced me into total food hysteria.  Tuesday night led me into an erratic detour from the regular expectation of a weeknight.  But I swear I recently heard that Tuesday was the new Friday (or maybe that was my personal dream).  When I planned Tuesday night I was suffering from a bizarre craving for a frozen boxed treat.  Sadly I can't even say this craving was a childhood treat- I didn't even try these things until adulthood.  I wanted a Hot Pocket.  But had I actually bought those little suckers, microwaved them, and served them on a plate to my husband no matter how nicely I garnished it, Ladd may have gotten up and left me (forever).  Let's be honest, though- those things aren't half bad.  The idea of meat, cheese and veggies wrapped up in dough is a delightful idea.  The Hot Pocket company just figured out how to make this idea convenient for the lazy American.  I fell for it.  But no longer!  (I'm stepping up to my soap box). We stray from preservatives and convenience items.  We have banished the microwave as a cooking source for our food.  We avoid the middle aisles at our local Harris Teeter and stick to the fresh aisles.  We frequent farmers markets and talk with the people that grow our food and we're reducing our carbon footprint.

All that didn't keep me from wanting a damn HotPocket (sigh).

Of course, when Ladd read on our menu the words, something like a hot pocket, he raised one eye brow and began querying for the deets.  I had to talk him down a little, vehemently insisting that this was going to be a knock out meal.  All the while my internal voice was telling me that I was crazy and simply trying to fulfill something that could easily be done by purchasing the actual item for $2.50 and eating them for lunch.  Since my husband is a stellar guy, though, he let me carry on and made sure that I saw him pull the take out menu from our drawer to let me know he was already planning for backups.  Talk about pressure. 

Now let me toot my own horn... my little pocket turned out even better than I anticipated.  It may have taken the better part of two hours to put together, but it totally satisfied my craving for hand held food and Ladd's passion for comfort.  (Note to self: must stop drinking and talking incessantly while cooking.  May get dinner completed faster if I did).  Since I went all out on the crust and dangerously strayed from our healthy path, I even decided to wash my pocket down with a Sam Adams Noble Pils.  I told you- it was food hysteria. 

Recipe: makes 4-6 pockets (mine got bigger and bigger as I went along so this is a rough estimate)

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, cut into small cubes
1 cup sour cream

Add the flour and salt to a food processor.  Toss in the butter cubes and pulse until the butter begins to incorporate.  It will look crumbly.  Add the sour cream and pulse again until dough forms into a ball all on its own.  Pat it into a smooth ball and put in the fridge until your ready to fill.

This is the creative part.  I used a mixture of ground turkey, drained diced tomatoes, olives, cheese and onion.  You can use anything your little heart (or stomach) desires. 

Cut the dough in half to make it easier to work with.  Spread some flour onto your cutting board and roll it out to about 1/4 inch thickness.  If you want them to be symmetrical, use a bowl or large cookie cutter to cut out a sections for your pockets.  If you are little more rustic, just cut a section of dough the size you want it.  Place a large spoonful of filling on one side of the dough.  Fold over the top half and crimp the edges to seal. Repeat until you've used all the dough. I crimped each one differently because I couldn't figure out which way I liked best.  Place them on a non-stick baking sheet and put them in a 400 degree oven until golden brown; It took about 35 minutes to be ready.  Serve with a side salad- it will make you feel better about the butter and sour cream dough. 

Since we are lovers of hot sauce, I put out three flavors of Tabasco to add a little punch.  I highly recommend the Chipotle Tabasco if you make the same version I did.  It was a fantastic complement. 


Erin at The Healthy Apron said...

great post!! We are so similar! I love your style of writing and it's so relatable! I will be following and perhaps trying future recipes! :)

Mrs. G said...

You are my idol, Holly. Everything you make looks delicious!

Holly Keegan said...

Great to have you reading! I looked at your blog recently, too and I loved it!

You rock. Thanks for the compliment!!

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