Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Quiche Pockets

I'm sure you've seen advertised - Hot Pockets, which are pastries filled with meats, cheese, etc.  So, I'm always looking at ways to create my own version of these popular pre-packaged items that will be healthier for my family.  I've come up with Quiche Pockets, which could be for breakfast or add a salad and you have a really quick dinner.  Mine are vegetarian, but you could also had sausage, ham, or ground meat if you desire.  The best thing is that these "pockets" can be frozen so when you're in a hurry, you can reheat one in the microwave (about 40 seconds) or in a toaster oven and have a satisfying, healthy meal.

Quiche Pockets
Pie dough
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 3/4 cup Crisco butter-flavored shortening
1/2 cup cold water
1 egg
1 tsp. cider vinegar

In the KitchenAid, mix all the dry ingredients.  Add the shortening, cut into pieces, while the mixer is running.  The dough will be crumbly.  Whisk the egg, water and vinegar together.  Turn the mixer on and add all at once to the dough.  Mix just until combined.   Turn dough out on your board and knead slightly.  Divide into 4 pieces and form into round disks.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.  At this point, you can put the wrapped disks into a freezer bag and freeze up to 6 months.

3 cups fresh spinach, rough chopped
8-10 mushrooms (I used button, but you could use crimini, shitaki, etc) sliced
2 cups approximate, Cheese (I used Colby/Jack and a Smoked Cheddar)
1-2 shallots, minced
1-2 scallions, cut
6 eggs
1/3 cup light whipping cream
salt & pepper
1 egg (beaten with 1 T milk for sealing pastry and brushing tops)
In a saute pan, on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive olive and saute shallot, then add spinach.  Cook until spinach has wilted.  Remove to a bowl.  In the same pan, on medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter to melt.  Add the button mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms release their liquid.  Brown slightly, then remove to a bowl.  Chop scallions and parsley.  Grate cheeses.

Whisk eggs and cream.  Heat saute pan on medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.  When melted, add the egg mixture.  Use a spatula to bring the edges towards the center as the egg cooks.  Important - You just want to set the eggs, not cook them to a "scramble".

Preheat oven 400F-degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator and roll out to a little more than 1/8-inch thick.  Cut out 8-inch rounds (I used a small plate as a template).  Brush the edges with the beaten egg/milk mixture.
Add a couple of tablespoons of egg, then choose the spinach/shallot or mushroom mixture and place on top of the egg.  Sprinkle with cheese and add parsley, chives, or scallions (any or all).  Fold the half over and press with your finger tips to seal.  Alternatively, you could press with the tines of a fork, but I like the look of my finger tips.
 I combined:  egg - spinach/shallot - Colby Jack cheese - scallions - parsley
                      egg - mushroom - Smoked cheddar - chives - parsley

Make 3 slits in the top with a sharp paring knife.  Brush with additional egg wash and sprinkle freshly ground pepper on top.  Repeat with remaining dough and filling.  I was able to get eight, 8-inch pastries.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. (If you want to freeze these pastries, bake for 15 minutes to under cook slightly.  Then, if you want to heat them in the oven later, bake frozen pastries for 10 minutes.)
 Remove to a rack to cool while you bake the remaining pastries.  Feel free to experiment with other filling ingredients.  Just make sure all fillings ingredients are cooked first because these pockets only bake a short time.

I prepared a couple of slices of vegetarian bacon to go with my Quiche Pocket and guarantee these pastries will be a hit.  Enjoy!

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