Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cheddar & Banana Pockets


Just because I'm doing the low-carb thing doesn't mean you all have to. I have to cook for my kids after all! These cheesy pockets {really, they're empanadas} are a Bozo favorite. Seriously, I can't see a kid not liking these. They are simple. Nothing gourmet here. The dough is super basic & definitely goes over well with a kids finicky palate. If you'd like a richer, more buttery dough, I recommend you try the empanada dough used here.
The filling is the perfect balance of salty & sweet. Bananas & cheddar cheese may not be a combo you've ever thought to combine. But, believe me, it's good!
My intention was to make these for lunch on Sunday & then have some leftover for school lunch this week. But, they never made it that far. I would imagine they'd be good with all sorts of fillings too. You could get creative here...I was thinking up next I would try bananas & nutella. Yum.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees & line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Begin by whisking 2 cups of flour & 1 teaspoon of kosher salt together in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center & pour in a 1/2 cup of water. Combine until a dough begins to come together. If it's too dry, add a bit more water.

Dump the dough out onto a floured work surface & knead until smooth {about 5 minutes}.
Note: Alternatively, you could use a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment here. It would save time & elbow grease.

Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces & roll each piece into a ball. Cover the dough with plastic wrap & set aside while you prepare the filling.

For the filling, slice approximately a 1/4 pound of mild cheddar cheese into matchsticks.

Peel & slice one banana into small rectangles. In a small bowl, whisk together one egg white with a splash of water. Melt a few tablespoons of butter for brushing the tops of the pockets.

To fill, roll each ball out into a 5" circle. Place a few pieces of the cheddar down in the center of the circle, followed by a few pieces of banana.

Brush the bottom rim of the circle with the beaten egg white/water mixture. Fold the top down over the filling & press the edges together. Use a knife, or the tines of a fork to seal the pockets securely.

Arrange the pockets on the prepared baking sheet & brush all the tops with melted butter. Bake for 15 minutes,

or, until beginning to turn brown on the edges. Serve hot.
Note: Mine didn't get all that brown because I used melted butter. For a more golden brown appearance, you can substitute some beaten egg for the butter. But, the butter tastes oh so good!

Cheddar & Banana Pockets

Adapted from Mollie Katzen, Still Life with Menu Cookbook
Makes 8

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2-3/4 cup water
1 ripe banana
1/4 pound mild cheddar cheese
1 egg white {beaten with a splash of water}
melted butter for baking

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees & line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk the flour & salt together in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center & pour in a 1/2 cup of the water. Combine until a dough begins to come together. If it's too dry, add a bit more water. Dump the dough out onto a floured work surface & knead until smooth {about 5 minutes}. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces & roll each piece into a ball. Cover the dough with plastic wrap & set aside while you prepare the filling.
For the filling, peel & slice the banana into small rectangles. Slice the cheese into matchsticks.
To fill, roll each ball out into a 5" circle. Place a few pieces of the cheddar down in the center of the circle, followed by a few pieces of banana. Brush the bottom rim of the circle with the beaten egg white/water mixture. Fold the top down over the filling & press the edges together. Use a knife, or the tines of a fork to seal the pockets securely.
Arrange the pockets on the prepared baking sheet & brush all the tops with melted butter. Bake for 15 minutes, or until beginning to turn brown on the edges. Serve hot.
Note: For a more golden brown appearance, you can substitute beaten egg for the melted butter.
Click here for the printable recipe.

7 comments:

Blog is the New Black said...

Great combo- never would have thought of this!

Unknown said...

Interesting! I have never thought of combining bananas with cheese. I bet it's good...I'll have to try it!

Joanne said...

I actually LOVE that these are mostly butter free! And I've come to believe that cheese is good with everything...even the most unlikely of ingredients.

Choosy Beggar Tina said...

I used to work in a bar with a South African fellow who would bring his own bananas to make grilled cheese w/ banana on the griddle after hours. At first we were all horrified, then intrigued, and then, eventually, hooked. Who would have thought that banana and sharp cheese would be such a fabulous match??!

Anonymous said...

I'm really curious to try this.

Candace Karu said...

This recipe is going to be a hit with our Cabot cheddar-loving fans! What a great idea.

Claudie said...

Too bad I'm on a low-carb too :D otherwise I'd make those right away. What a wonderful idea this recipe is! I'm definitely trying it out once I start running again :)

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