Since I started my current job in 2009, I've been working on this project. A project that is rather critical to my company's success. I spend a lot of my time researching, planning and experimenting, and I think overall, my boss is highly satisfied with the end result.
I enjoy what I do. I love that I get to be creative (albeit with a few restrictions) and I love the challenge it presents to come up with something fresh and new, or to recreate something that's familiar and well-loved with limited resources.
There's just one problem: I can't keep up with demand. No matter how much I think I am increasing production, there never seems to be any leftovers. You know, as in, food left over from a meal that can be reheated for lunch the next day, and sometimes, the day after.
Yes I'm talking about cooking. It's my lifelong "project" at "work." My husband's job requires him to be well fed, in both quality and quantity. The quality part is no problem for us. While we certainly slip in the occasional comfort food, overall we eat fairly healthy.
It's the quantity that's the problem. What I consider to be a huge meal, is nothing but a snack to Luis. And while I could live on cereal, peanut butter, fruit, soup and salad, he would wither away without his meat, potatoes and rice.
I just can't seem to match the amount I cook with the amount he eats in order to have some left the next day for lunch. Unless I make a lasagna or a really big casserole, I'm lucky to get two meals out of just about anything I cook.
This means that 1. I am in the kitchen a lot and 2. Poor Luis is left with slim pickings as to what to eat on days when I volunteer.
Enter: tasty little pockets from heaven.
These things are like chicken pot pie, but in a pocket, and they are so, so yummy. And so, so perfect for Luis to heat up for a meal when I'm gone, or when he gets back late after an away game.
The initial making of these is rather easy, and only slightly time consuming. Make 'em on a Saturday and pop 'em in the freezer and you're good to go for those nights when you just don't seem to have any time or energy to get something delicious and nutritious on the table.
Adapted from Shutterbean
For the Pastry:
1 stick of Butter, at room temperature
4 ounces Cream Cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup Whipping Cream
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Flour
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
In a food processor, combine the butter, cream cheese, and cream. Add the flours and salt and process until just combined. Divide the dough in half, wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
For the Filling:
1 cup Shredded Chicken
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves Garlic
1 heaping cup Frozen Mixed Peas, Carrots, and Corn
2 tablespoons Flour
1 1/2 cups Chicken Broth
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
Salt to taste
In a medium hot skillet, melt the butter. Add garlic and saute until golden. Add the peas, carrots, and corn mixture and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the thyme and flour and cook for a minute or so.
Add the broth and simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in the chicken and parmesan. Add salt if desired. Remove from heat and let cool. Note: This can be prepared in advance and refrigerated if you don't have time to assemble right away.
For the Assembly:
Roll out one of the dough balls onto a well floured surface to about 12 inches in diameter. Using an overturned bowl (about 5 inches in diameter), cut out circles and place them on a greased baking sheet.
Gather the scraps into a ball and roll it out to form another circle. Repeat the process with remaining dough.
Measure out 1/4 cup filling and place it on one half of the circle. Fold the dough over to form a pocket. Pinch the edges of the dough together. If you're having trouble making them stick, wet the edges slightly to form a good seal. Crimp the edges with a fork.
Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve for dinner, or, wrap each pocket tightly in plastic wrap, place them all in a Ziploc bag and freeze. Reheat in the microwave for a minute or two for a snack or a quick meal on the go.