This one’s for Lou!
I was discussing the life-altering matter of Hot Pockets with my dear friend Lou last weekend. Personally, I haven’t had a Hot Pocket since I was 10 and I probably haven’t thought about them since that age either, but Lou had strong opinions on Hot Pockets, particularly regarding optimal temperature and preferred fillings.
He thought I should make homemade Hot Pockets for the blog. I said, No Way. He said, But wouldn’t they be good? You can use puff pastry. [Any man who knows what puff pastry is has a special place in my heart.] And you can fill them with ham and cheese and cauliflower.
Stop right there, I said. Cauliflower? No Way.
And so here I am, making homemade Hot Pockets, stuffed with ham and cheese and cauliflower (and broccoli and the garrrlic).
This is A Big Deal. I don’t make Hot Pockets in early December when I should be making Christmas cookies and Christmas Lamb and edible Christmas ornaments. It must mean I like him.
[I do like him… but then he had to up and move to Philadelphia and so now I like him just a teensy bit less. And I know what all you loyal blog friends are thinking, so I’ll just say it — Yes, in 2015, I am 2/2 in dating men who become geographically unavailable in order to move their professional lives forward. Either I have a type or I am a type — perhaps I am the type that runs men out of town? …That was rhetorical.]
Now, how awesome are these Homemade Hot Pockets? Awesome enough that the next boy will stay in town? YES. Flaky, buttery, light puff pastry — I’m talking perfect puff pastry — filled with the good fillings, the belly warming, comfort fooding fillings. Yes, Lou, even the cauliflower is good.
Too bad Hot Pockets don’t ship well or else I would be luring that Philadelphia boy back to the Carolinas with packages of Homemade Ham & Cheese (and cauliflower) Hot Pockets.
Homemade Ham & Cheese Hot Pockets
- 2 sheets frozen puff pastry 1 package, thawed
- 1 cup roughly chopped broccoli florets
- 1 cup roughly chopped cauliflower florets
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
- 10 slices sharp cheddar cheese I used Sargento Ultra Thin
- 10 slices deli ham
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Flour your work surface and roll out each sheet of puff pastry to form a 10x15-inch rectangle. Cut each rectangle into 2 5x15-inch rectangles, then cut each of those rectangles into 5 3x5-inch rectangles. You should have 20 rectangles. Transfer to the baking sheets and place in the refrigerator until well-chilled.
While the puff pastry is chilling, steam broccoli and cauliflower until slightly tender. Remove from heat, stir in garlic, and set aside.
Remove the puff pasty from the refrigerator. Top 10 rectangles with 1/2 slice of cheese. Then layer on 1 slice of ham. Divide the vegetable mixture evenly between the 10 rectangles, leaving a border. Top the vegetables with another 1/2 slice of cheese.
Mix the egg and water together to make an egg wash. Brush the egg wash along the borders of the rectangles. Close your Hot Pockets by placing a plain rectangle of puff pastry on top of a filled rectangle, sealing the edges with a fork. Refrigerate your 10 Hot Pockets for about 20 minutes before baking.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the Hot Pockets from the refrigerator and brush the tops with the remaining egg wash. Cut 3 vents, about 1/2-inch long, in the top of each Hot Pocket.
Bake, rotating once, until the tops are golden brown and the filling is bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let cool before serving.