Dinner With My Family #34: Sandwich Pockets

Vegetarian Sandwich Pockets

As I’ve mentioned several times, Sarah and I are making a special effort to spread out our trips to the grocery store – and with some real success. Part of this is simply using things that we’ve had in the refrigerator, the cupboard, and the freezer for a while.

One item that’s been in the fridge for a bit are some rolls of prepackaged pizza dough that we got on sale a few months back. We like to make our own pizza crust, but the price was low enough on the prepackaged pizza dough that we simply bought some.

How do we use it, though? Usually, when we make pizza, I just make a crust from scratch.

The solution was obvious: sandwich pockets. We simply take ingredients that we have on hand, fold pieces of the dough around those ingredients, and bake them in the oven.

What You Need

Last night, we made two large batches of these sandwich pockets. One variety (the one I took lots of pictures of) included broccoli, fresh chives, and cheddar cheese. I also made some pockets using bell peppers and ricotta cheese. Both types included a mix of dried herbs (oregano, basil, and so on).

Ingredients

To make four pockets, you need a roll of refrigerated pizza dough (or a small batch of homemade dough), the ingredients you wish to put in the middle, some salt and pepper to taste, and a single egg.

The Night Before (or Early That Day)

If you’re using any fresh vegetables in these pockets, chop them in advance. This always saves time.

Preparing the Meal

The first thing you’ll want to do is mix together your filling ingredients. For me, this means for four pockets, I’ll mix together a cup and a half of broccoli, a cup and a half of shredded cheddar, a dash of salt, a few dashes of ground pepper, three tablespoons of chopped chives, and a few dashes of mixed dried herbs.

Mix

I simply toss all of this stuff together with my hands until it’s reasonably consistent.

After that, I unroll a container of the pizza dough on a surface lightly coated with flour or with canola oil to prevent sticking.

Spread out dough

Cut this pizza dough into four equal pieces. In the center of each piece of dough, put roughly a quarter of the mixture.

Ready to fold

Simply fold over one side on top of the mix, then fold over the opposite side. After that, fold the remaining two sides over the mixture, forming a pocket. Easy as can be!

Wrapped up

Crack an egg into a bowl and beat it with a fork. Then, brush the egg on top of the pockets. This will create a wonderful golden crust on top.

Preheat the oven to 425 F, then place the finished pockets onto a baking sheet that had lightly been coated with canola oil to prevent sticking.

When I had the sandwiches all ready to go into the oven, there was a bit of the mixture left over, so I sprinkled some on top of each of the pockets. Here’s eight of them, ready to go into the oven.

Eight - ready to bake

Bake the sandwiches for fifteen to seventeen minutes, until golden brown on top, then serve. We had some sliced apples along with the sandwiches, making for a great lunch or a light dinner!

Finished pocket

Optional Ingredients

Obviously, you can put pretty much anything you want into these pockets. One thing I like about these is that you don’t have to stick with what you might think of as pizza toppings. It might seem odd to put broccoli on a pizza, for example, but it works perfectly here. Just use roughly three cups of filling for every four you make and let your imagination run wild – meats, vegetables, cheeses, mushrooms, whatever you want.

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  1. Cheryl says:

    I would pre-cook or blanch the broccoli to get rid of some of the moisture.

    How big is a small batch of pizza dough? enough for 1 12 in. crust or less?

  2. Foods like these, plus others like fried rice and stir-fry noodles, are to me the best ways to get kids to eat (and like) vegetables. It’s not hidden like making them drink V8, but there’s a lot of other texture and flavor for them to focus on.

  3. deRuiter says:

    Excellent idea for using odd bits of lefovers. Clever. You can also brush crust with milk if you don’t have an egg. Trent would you please just give us clear, consise directions and not so frequently say, “We simply take ingredients….” I’m trusting you wish to write the recipes (some of which I like very much) and the column in as specific and uncluttered a format as is possible. “We simply this..” and “We simply that…” is getting tiresome. Use you passion for writing to explore different ways of putting your thoughts on paper / e communication. #1 ‘s suggestion of pre blanching the broccoli was a good idea.

  4. saniel says:

    can this be frozen then thawed and cooked later? would like to make these for times I know my son wants a quick snack before dinner.

  5. Pat says:

    There is a container of ricotta cheese in the photo but no mention of it in the recipe. Is it used or not or is it just an option (and how much)?

  6. Alice says:

    Agree with # 3,”simply” being used as a modifier for whatever is being done amounts to clutter and I also find myself getting annoyed with it being repeated frequently.

    Trent, could you put in the preparation for the recipe for the pockets with ricotta (mentioned as an ingredient in the other pockets).

  7. jeff smith says:

    The “story form” of presenting your recipes is cool. BUT, how about put a traditional recipe listing at the end – something more specific. Possibly something we could download/copy.

    I look forward to trying these soon.

    Thanks

  8. eva says:

    How is broccoli an odd topping for pizza? Every pizza shop I’ve ever been to offers it…I think of it as a very ordinary pizza item.

  9. Rockledge says:

    Eva, you must not live in Seabrook, Texas!

  10. Michele says:

    I was wondering the same thing about the bell peppers and ricotta. Looks good! I’m going to make this during the week.

  11. Jennifer says:

    Food.com is a good website to put up recipes, it offers a calorie breakdown for every serving, something I have found to be very valuable.

  12. Emma says:

    Re: the ricotta cheese… According to the article:

    “Last night, we made two large batches of these sandwich pockets. One variety (the one I took lots of pictures of) included broccoli, fresh chives, and cheddar cheese. I also made some pockets using bell peppers and ricotta cheese.”

    So… the broccoli and cheese version was pictured. The ricotta and pepper version isn’t.

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