Monday, August 30, 2010

Eggplant Hot Pockets

Every culture has them - calzones, turnovers, etc. I use store-bought puff pastry dough to make mine and have made so many savory variations. It almost cheating as it's so easy to make an indulgent meal with no dough-making. To start take:

2 medium eggplants
4 hungarian hot wax peppers
1/2 cup pistachios
1/2 cup feta cheese
1 sheet puff pastry dough (I use Pillsbury found in the frozen case next to the pies)

Poke the eggplants and roast for 40 min until it collapses. While it's baking cut the peppers in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and bake for 10 minutes alongside eggplant. Begin poking eggplant around 30 minutes into baking to see if it's gotten soft yet. If it's leaking juices it's ready. Let eggplant cool for 10 minutes, cut in half and scrape out all the tender goodies. Roughly chop peppers and the eggplant, too, if necessary.

Meanwhile, shell 1 1/2 cups of pistachios secretly eating all but 1/2 cup (cook's privilege!) and place in bowl large enough to contain all the ingredients for mixing. In same bowl, crumble feta. When veggies are ready, combine and stir into nuts and cheese.

Lightly dust your work surface and roll out pastry dough very thin. Use bowl and trace line and cut out a circle. Working with one circle at a time, fill with as much ingredient as you feel comfortable with. I use about 1/2 cup per turnover but you might have smaller circles. Gently nudge filling to one side and cover with other side of dough. Pinch overlapped ends with a fork and transfer to a cookie sheet to bake. Repeat for remaining dough. Bake for 15 minutes or until dough is lightly brown.

This one does take practice to get a feel for handling the dough but the effort is well worth it.

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