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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cheesy Spinach Pockets



The original recipe, from God knows where, called for broccoli. Since Noyan would rather eat shoe leather, I substituted spinach. Spinach is his favorite and oddly, Amir likes it as well. Maybe it's a Turkish thing?

Cheesy Spinach Pockets

1 pkg (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach
2 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 jarred roasted red peppers, coarsely chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 pkg (16 oz) frozen bread dough, thawed
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Thaw spinach as directed on package. Cool slightly then squeeze out extra moisture. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add spinach and cook 3 to 5 minutes more. Set aside and let cool slightly.
2. In a bowl, combine mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, red pepper, salt, pepper and oregano. Then add cooked spinach.
3. On a slightly floured surface, divide bread dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each one to a 6" diameter, then fill the middle with spinach mixture. Fold in half, sealing edges by pressing with a fork. Make a couple of holes on the top of each pocket to let steam escape. Bake on a large cookie sheet until golden brown, around 25 minutes.

The Verdict: No fancy ingredients, nothing magical, yet this recipe is surprisingly delicious.

When Noyan bit into his, he asked if it was a borek recipe. Borek is the Turkish version of a small calzone. I was tempted to rename it that, but why? It's a vegetable pocket. He said that it could also be filled with meat like a ground beef or lamb.
Amir initially ate just the edamame on his plate, shaking his head vigorously at the pocket. When we finally convinced him to try it, kind of like Mikey of Life cereal fame, he liked it. He really liked it. He ended up eating the entire pocket, vegetables and all, which was shocking.

The filling is a breeze to put together, but the pockets themselves are a little more time consuming. Set aside a decent chunk of time to cut, roll out, and fold the dough. This is the reason I never put preparation times on recipes. I find it's misleading. (I also never put servings; I never feel like a recipe can accurately tell you how many it will serve.)

Extras would freeze well. This would be a pretty awesome lunch when thawed in the microwave. Ten zillion times better than a factory produced pocket, filled with salt and preservatives.

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