“I’ve never eaten a Hot Pocket and then afterwards, been, ‘I’m glad I ate that.'”
He loves comedian Jim Gaffigan
“I was looking at a box of Hot Pockets. They have a warning on the side!”
“You never see Hot Pockets on the menu when you go out to dinner. Diner: ‘I’ll have the Caesar salad and, oh, the Hot pocket. I think. Well, is it cold inside?’ Waiter: ‘It’s frozen. But we can serve it boiling lava hot.’ Diner: ‘Will it burn your mouth?’ Waiter: ‘It will destroy your mouth. Everything will taste like rubber for a month.’ ”
…followed by another 5 minutes of perfectly recited spot-on comments about the popular school lunch item (or quickie meal) that requires a patented foil wrapper to spark it into a nice microwave golden glow.
But what if it were possible to take the brilliant convenience idea behind this eating disaster and make something just as fun without the food dyes, food preservatives, trans fats, and artificial flavorings and colors? What if it could be on the positive side of the “I just gave my body something good” equation?
Done. I bring you (named by the same son) Mom Pockets. Oh, he loves them!
For the Crust
2 cups Bob’s Red Mill chickpea flour
4 tablespoon Bob’s Red Mill golden flax meal
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons coconut oil (room temperature, in small shavings or pieces)
10 tablespoons coconut milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon or basil (optional)
For the Filling
1 pound Mulay’s hot Italian Sausage (New Sagaya’s in Anchorage—really appreciate this company for being smart enough to promote no sugar, no soy, no gluten, no junk in their sausage mixes. And they taste great!)
1 medium onion, diced
6 oz can tomato paste
10 oz bag frozen cut spinach
8 oz bag Daiya non-dairy mozzarella shreds
Prepare the dough:
1. Mix the dry ingredients together well.
2. Using a dinner fork, cut the coconut oil into the dry ingredients until the oil is evenly distributed, no big chunks remain, and the texture is finer than rice. This is done by pressing the chunks of oil through the tines of the fork and is much easier if you have allowed the coconut oil to come to room temperature. It will still be solid. Use a sharp knife to shave and break small chunks out of the jar, watch your measures. Too much oil and the dough becomes brittle and sticky.
3. Add the coconut milk a very small amount at a time until the dough is the right smoothness. You will use about the amount stated, not more, unless your flour measure was off a little.
4. Knead the dough enough to form into six nice smooth balls about the same size.
5. Place the dough in a covered dish and then in the refrigerator to cool.
Prepare the filling, assemble and bake:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Sauté the sausage and onion together until thoroughly cooked.
3. Mix in the tomato paste.
4. Press the extra water out of the spinach and mix it in; stir well
5. Take the chilled dough out and place one ball between two pieces of wax paper.
6. Roll the dough to an oblong shape about 8 inches long and 4 inches wide, about 1/8-1/4” thick. Too thick and the lunch becomes all dough but the next step can be unwieldy if it is too thin.
7. Remove the top piece of wax paper.
8. Place several tablespoons of sausage filling on one end of the rolled dough.
9. Sprinkle a tablespoon of un-cheese shreds over the filling.
10. Here’s the big step: Using the wax paper, fold the end of the dough that is to become the cover over the end that just received the filling. Now peel back the wax paper.
11. Gently press the dough edges together with your fingers, then seal them by pressing them with the tines of a dinner fork.
12. Trim any extra dough from around the sides and transfer the dough to a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
13. Repeat steps 4-11 with the remaining 5 balls of dough, you may have trimmed enough off to make a 7th Mom Pocket and in my hands there usually is leftover filling.
14. Bake the “pockets” for about 15 minutes until the dough is cooked and the edges are just turning golden.