This week while working on some baking for the holidays I had the opportunity to take Pantry Paratus‘ emapanda press out for a test drive.
I had seen these around and had been wanting to try one for some time: a small lightweight press similar to a waffle iron (non electric of course). The press is lined with pastry, add your filling, fold it over, and squeeze the handles together to seal. Pop out the little pocket, then bake, and serve, or freeze for later use.
What has attracted me to them the most, is the idea of having a little meal to go all sealed up in pastry ~ not to mention the option of using it in the summer to make turnovers and little hand pies with fresh fruit.
There is a little bit of a learning curve with this product complicated a bit by the fact that there really weren’t any clear directions included in the packaging. However, this is a hurdle easily overcome and these were a few tips I learned along the way.
1. Use a 6″ circle to fit the mold
I rolled out my dough and used an upside down cereal bowl as a pattern: cutting around the edge with a dinner knife.
2. A nice, elastic dough will work the best
My initial try for the chipotle beef pockets (recipe below) included a crust that was made of masa harina, bacon fat, butter, and water.
I chose the masa harina because, prior to grinding, the corn has been soaked in lime water which releases the Vitamin B3 contained in the corn so it is easier assimilated.
My plans went awry however as the corn meal did not provide enough elasticity to form a pocket and, although I could fudge a bit to get the filling to stay in side, the end result spread all over the cookie sheet when it was in the oven. Scratch that.
In the end, I had to resort to using a recipe that combined both wheat flour and masa harina. While this isn’t as nourishing as I had hoped (the flour isn’t sprouted) it is still delicious and as healthy as I could get it.
3. Don’t overfill your pockets
This will cause the “fold” to break oozing filling and creating a terrible mess. Fill and press lightly. If you need to re seal them with a fork after transferring them to a cookie sheet that is fine. You can even then make the seal decorative if you’d like!
4. Flour the mold before making each pocket
Use a pastry brush or just sprinkle, but be sure to coat the grooves well.
The chipotle beef filling is just one of several options with this fun little gadget. Other fillings I’d like to try would be corned beef, swiss cheese, and saurkraut; shredded chicken, green onions, and cream cheese; or beef and mushrooms.
The pockets could be frozen individually to have on hand for whenever you need something quick.
Smokey Chipotle Beef Pockets
You may have beef filling left over after making your pockets. The leftover amount can be frozen and used for tacos or nachos.
- 1 recipe of beef filling
- 1 recipe of dough
- 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 beaten egg
- Toppings for serving: sour cream, additional cheddar cheese, salsa, jalapeno peppers, green onions, black olives, etc.
Prepare the dough and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight before use. Prepare filling and set aside.
Roll dough out to about a 1/8″ thickness as you would for a pie crust. Cut into 6″ rounds. Working one at a time and using a wide, flat spatula, carefully lift each round into the mold.
Add about 1/3 cup of the beef filling and about 1 T of grated cheese. Fold over and press to seal. Repeat with remaining dough.
Line pockets on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush generously with beaten egg.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until pockets are a golden brown.
Serve with the recommended topping.
Makes about 4 pockets.
- grease or fat of your choice for browning
- 1# of grass fed ground beef
- 1/2 of a yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 T tomato paste
- 1/2 t garlic powder
- 1 t cumin
- 1/2 t oregano
- 1/3 cup of water
- 2 t minced chipotle chilis in adobo sauce
- salt, to taste
In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil and add the onion and garlic. Cook until onion begins to turn translucent. Add the ground beef and cook until brown and cooked through. Drain off excess fat if desired. Add the tomato paste, garlic powder, cumin, and oregano and stir to combine. Add water and cook until water has evaporated. Add the chipotle chilis and and adjust seasoning to taste.
- 1 1/4 c soft white wheat flour
- 1/2 c of masa harina
- 1/4 t of salt
- 8 T of butter, chilled
- 3-4 T of ice cold water
In the bowl of a food processor with the blade attached, pulse the flour, masa harina, and salt until well blended. Add the butter, pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the water, starting with a small amount at a time, and pulse until the dough begins to form a ball. Transfer dough to a sheet of waxed paper and flatten into a 6″ disc. Wrap with the paper and refrigerate for at least one hour before use.