Monday, January 20, 2014

Pizza Pockets

Today I got to be home alone from 7:30 to 3:30.  That happens, oh, I don't know, once a year?  On MLK Day, which my husband doesn't have as a holiday and I do.  Normally I'd keep my daughter home from daycare to save the money and spend some time together, but I haven't had a day to myself in a long time so I decided I'd just stick with her regular Monday schedule.

I had a great day!  Watched whatever I wanted on TV, caught up on the laundry folding, and had time to make something special for dinner (Mondays are swimming lessons so we're usually eating hot dogs or frozen lasagna or something else that literally takes less than 15 minutes to put together.  I was thinking about making pasta from scratch, but my kitchen's a bit of a disaster at the moment.  Then I thought about making a chili and cornbread casserole, but wasn't really in the mood for chili.  I went out to the freezer to see what inspired me, and I noticed the bag of frozen roll dough that I bought a long, long time ago.  I wonder what I was going to do with that, anyway???

I grabbed the bread dough and a package of chicken Italian sausage and knew exactly what I was going to make.  And it was GOOD!!!!  The best part?  It made enough for dinner tonight and to freeze for another meal.  Yay!

The filling for these is as variable as pizza itself. I just used what I had on hand, and normally I would use fresh mushrooms and garlic.  Remember you don't want the filling to be too juicy or they will leak everywhere.

Pizza Pockets
makes 24

24 frozen bread roll balls
1 pound Italian sausage
1/4 medium onion, diced small
1 2.25-ounce can sliced olives, drained and roughly chopped
1 4-ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained and roughly chopped
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
6 slices provolone cheese, quartered

Place frozen roll dough on two greased or parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets. Cut two sheets of plastic wrap long enough to cover the pans.  Spray plastic wrap with cooking spray and cover the dough balls.  Let thaw two hours or until pliable, but not fully risen.

In a large skillet, brown Italian sausage and onion (if you're using chicken or other lowfat sausage, you may need to add a bit of oil).  Break up the sausage into small pieces (a potato masher works well for this!).  Add remaining ingredients except cheese.  Cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes.

When dough is thawed, press each out into a 4-inch circle (I prefer to do this one at a time).  Place a piece of cheese and approx. two tablespoons of the meat filling into the center of each circle.  Bring up all the edges, pressing to seal, forming a ball.  Place on the baking sheet, seam side down.  When finished, cover again with plastic wrap.  Let rise 30 minutes, or put in the fridge for several hours.

If you choose to put them in the fridge, remove them about 45 minutes before baking so they come back to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Remove plastic wrap and bake, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.


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