Monday, November 7, 2011

Fried Hobo Pockets: Imagine, If You Will, Perfection

Dear determined cooks with hungry mouths to feed,

This dinner or lunch has a lot going for it - you can stuff it in your pocket and head off to work in the fields and eat it later (if such is your lot in life), you can make a dozen and leave them on the counter for grubby hands while you work on a more intense project; you can fill them with an infinite variety of different things so that you will never run out of options, and you will always have something to go in these delicious pockets. 

Hobo Pockets are a foil-wrapped dinner of various root vegetables and meats, peppers, and whatever else you wish to pack into them.  They are traditionally cooked on a grill or over a fire, but they can be baked in the oven and I have done them both ways.  We always enjoy them - serve some piping hot cornbread alongside, and you are set for a meal! 

This dinner combines the magic of all that, plus the irresistible sparkle of frying.  I was making a thick stew one night for dinner, and a batch of fry bread, when this ideal begged to be tested and proved to be worth my while.  Mr H enjoyed it, it was easy to handle, minimal cleanup afterward - what's not to love?  Since the recipe is an amalgamation of two recipes, Hobo Pockets and Indian Fry Bread, I was at a loss as to what to call them.  Mr H did not approve of my ideas of "Fried Indians," "Indian Hobos," and "Fried Hobos," so we settled on calling them simply Fried Hobo Pockets (but I still end up calling them Fried Hobos for short!).  

I use leftover Campfire Lasagna, stew, or miscellaneous pieces of leftover meat and vegetables to make up the filling.  

Fried Hobo Pockets
This is finger food, so let it cool briefly before serving!   

Use a leftover very thick stew, leftover Campfire Lasagna casserole, or make a thick stew filling with the following suggestions: 

Root vegetables and winter stores (onions, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, turnips, cooked beans, celery, squash, pumpkin, garlic, canned peppers) 
Meat (cooked stew meat, leftover steak, ground beef)
Spices (taco seasoning, Cajun seasoning, BBQ seasoning, a favorite blend, or miscellaneous spices and herbs such as fennel seed, caraway seed, dill weed, thyme, parsley, cilantro, cayenne pepper, salt, seasoned salt, fresh-ground black pepper)

If you are using leftovers, briefly heat them so they are not chilled.  If making the stew, cook until hot and soft. 

Make a batch of fry bread and prepare the rounds and heat frying oil as instructed. 

Fill the rounds with a spoonful of filling, as much as possible without tearing.  It is important that your stew is very thick because if it is too brothy, the breads will tear.  If the stew seems watery, add some flour and cook the stew until thick before filling the breads.  Fill with as much stew as possible so that the pockets are not too doughy once cooked, adding a few cubes of cheese if desired, and pinch the dough closed around the stew.   

Fry in an inch or so of hot oil (olive, peanut, canola, whatever you have).  Rotate about 1 - 2 minutes on each side or until thoroughly browned and crispy. Set on paper towels or a cooling rack and serve hot. 

Suggestions: Serve with sour cream, Hasty Dipping Sauce (most highly recommended by Mr H as the perfect companion for this dish!), or bottled hot sauce. 

Variation: For a breakfast version, try stuffing it with a mixture of cooked sausage or bacon, scrambled eggs, cooked peppers and small pieces of tomato (seeded), and various chopped herbs (parsley, thyme, etc).  

Off to amalgamate more recipes (you may be surprised when you learn just what I accidentally amalgamated next...), 

Mrs H

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