Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Petite Pizza Party

Last night, I continued my search for more kid-friendly food and I'm happy to report that this one made the list. The fare of choice was fun to eat,  full of good for you ingredients and they tasted great. The latest kid-approved meal: pizza pockets and pizza balls. They were pretty easy to make, even though I may have gone a little overboard with the toppings. I filled some with chicken, some with spinach, and a couple with veggies. I'm not a fan of pepperoni but my son and my husband love it so I also had to fill a few with the ever-so-popular pizza topping.

This is such a great last minute meal idea because I'll bet you already have most of the ingredients in your pantry or fridge (more on that later). You can fill these little pockets and puffs with anything, too, making it super easy to accommodate everyone's tastes and preferences without feeling like you're a short-order cook. They're also really filling so a little goes a long way.

Pepperoni-Filled Pizza Pockets

Pizza Pockets

Ingredients I used: 
1 chicken breast
1/2 c chopped red pepper
1/2 c chopped onion
1/3 chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 c diced pepperoni
pizza sauce (recipe follows)
shredded mozzarella
2 cans crescent rolls (8 rolls each)
Parmesan Cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375. 
2. Cook onion and pepper in about 1/4 tsp oil until slightly softened. Set aside.
3. Get all other topping/filling ingredients together and put out for assembly.
4. Open cans of crescent rolls and separate into groups of two triangles each.
5. Combine two triangles, from one group, to form one rectangle. Be sure to completely seal the seams together by pinching together.
6. Spread about 1 - 1 1/2 TB of pizza sauce on one short side of the rectangle.
7. Top with about 2 TB of filling.
8. Sprinkle about 2 TB of shredded cheese on top of filling.
9. Fold other half of crescent roll onto filled side and pinch the edges together well. Make sure there aren't any holes in the dough or the filling will burst through.
10. Place each finished crescent pocket onto foil-lined baking sheet with about two inches between each pocket. 
11. Wet your hand and pat each crescent roll to lightly wet it. Sprinkle a little Parmesan Cheese (about 1/4 - 1/2 tsp) on each. (You could also brush a light coating of egg wash instead but I like to use water when I can) 
12. Cook for 7 minutes, rotate pans and cook for another 8 - 10 minutes or until nicely browned.

2 cans of crescent rolls will yield 8 pizza pockets

Pizza Sauce 

1/2 TB butter
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 c tomato sauce (about a 15 oz can)
5 TB tomato paste
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp italian seasoning
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook garlic in butter until soft. 
2. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
3. Cook for about 5 minutes over low heat until heated through and flavors have combined. 
4. Cool slightly before using.

For pizza puffs, instead of combining two triangles together, 
roll the two triangles (or one triangle if wanting a smaller sized puff) 
into a ball. Flatten the ball to about a 3-inch diameter and place 
a little filling in the middle. Pinch the ends together to 
form a ball and place on baking sheet seam side down. 
Cook for the same amount of time as pockets.

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