Pizza PotketsStory Recipe
The other night, I came home from a brutal day at the office with a huge hankering for the distressing effects of a dose of a nice indica snack. From the minute I got to the Stoned Soup kitchen, all I could think about was diving into a tasty snack and watching some Hogan's Heroes on Netflix until the buzz kicked in. Of course, nothing ever goes that easily. My phone was blinking, desperately trying to get me to look at email. Too bad, I told the phone, I already put my laptop away. A pile of mail on the counter that shouldn't be in the kitchen anyway had some bills in it that I should really have looked at. I swept the pile up and put it in the I'll-handle-this-tomorrow bin in the front hall. Some kid came to the door wondering if I had heard the Word yet. Sorry kid, I've got all the Words I need.
Once the interruptions were out of the way, I pulled open the fridge and poked around in the left-overs for something easy, tasty and potent. I had a vague memory of some chili from earlier in the week - there was no sign of it. There were no chocolate almond clusters from some dank chocolate experiments I was trying. I turned to the cookie jar, but there were only a few crumbs. This was truly not my day.
All I could come up with was batch of pot oil from last week. It was good pot oil. All I needed was a tablespoon or so and all the tension and stress of the day would evaporate and the world would get back on track. The problem was that getting the THC from the oil into my system required eating the oil. I could dip a bit of bread in the oil, but it would take a loaf of bread to dip up all that oil. I could cook something in the oil, but most frying recipes get the oil too hot for the delicate THC molecules. If I hadn't been so cranky, I'm sure I would have thought of something, but in the state I was in, nothing sounded practical. In the end, I closed my eyes and took a spoonful of the oil straight. Yuck!
An hour later, with a more relaxed mind, I determined that I need to keep some sort of impulse snack on hand in case of future emergency. It couldn't be ready-to-eat like cookies or chocolates - those get scarfed up by the denizens of the Stoned Soup kitchen. It couldn't take too much work to prepare - that would frustrate an already over heated mind.
What I came up with was a staple of munchies quenching food - pizza pockets. With a few special steps, these pockets are the cause and the cure of munchies all rolled into one. I can make a batch of these and stick them in the freeze. When the need hits, I pop one in the microwave and in a few minutes, I have the perfect answer to too much reality.
To make pizza pockets, you need four components - crust, sauce, filling and cheese. You can get each of these things pre-made in the supermarket. Then fold the crust into a pocket, add sauce, filling, cheese and some activated pot, bake until the crust is brown, eat one and freeze the rest. Of course, if you are in the Stoned Soup kitchen and you have a spoonful of pot oil tickling your brain, you want something more involved, more home made.
Here's what I did -
There is a scene in the Godfather where Clemenza teaches Micheal how to make spaghetti sauce, "You never know, you might have to cook for 20 guys someday." Some people think his advice to "Leave the gun, take the cannoli," was the greatest food line in movies, but I like the spaghetti sauce bit. He has a huge pot on the stove where a few tablespoons of olive oil is heating up. I use pot oil here and am careful to keep it from getting too hot. Like Clemenza, I add chopped garlic and let it cook until it smells fantastic. The instant the garlic is ready; add a can of chopped tomatoes and a spoonful of tomato paste. Note that measuring ingredients will earn you a set of cement overshoes. Use approximate amounts, adjusting to add more of what you like and less of what you don't. Let the tomatoes cook until they start to break down into sauce. Clemenza says, "Shove in your meat," at this point. I like to use meat that I have browned first. You don't need much, since the filling will have meat in it.
The finishing touches are to add a bit of sugar and wine. Be sure and taste the sauce as you do this to get the right amount. The sugar is to cut the acid in the tomatoes and the wine is because it tastes good. Let the pot simmer for as long as you can on a low heat. While that is going, turn to the crust.
Bread is simple - flour, yeast, water. That's what they say. What they don't say is that there are different kinds of flour, different kinds of yeast and even different kinds of water. All of these can be mixed and matched to get different kinds of bread. For pizza dough, there is such a thing as pizzeria flour that gives that perfect combination of crunchy outside and chewy inside. If you can't get pizzeria flour, you can mixed equal parts of bread flour and all-purpose flour. For the yeast, get dry active yeast. For water, the purer the better - use filtered water.
First, warm 1/3 of a cup plus 4 tablespoons of water to about 90 degrees and mix the yeast in. Let this sit until you see bubbles forming on the top and it smells awesome. A professional baker or Clemenza's mother would make a mound of a cup of flour with a teaspoon of salt in it on the counter, make a crater in the top, pour the water in and work it into dough. The first few times you try this, you will make a mess - there is nothing you can do about it, it's just physics. Feel free to put the flour in a bowl and mix in the water a bit at a time until dough forms. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. If it is too sticky add SMALL amounts of flour you can make a ball with a smooth surface.
Put the dough in a bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen towel. Leave the bowl in a cozy corner of the counter and let it rise for an hour. It should be about twice the original size when you put it on the counter and punch it down. Knead it for 15 minutes and put it back in the bowl for another 3 hours. Punch it down again and stick it in the fridge for as long as you can. Overnight is good. Don't worry about the sauce, you can take it off the stove and let it mellow while the bread rests.
When the dough is well rested, get it out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter while you get the filling ready. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Notice that I have not told you what filling to use. That's because pizza fillings is a personal choice that we at Stoned Soup would never presume to take away from you. I like mushrooms and pepperoni. Both of these items will give off too much liquid if you cook them inside the dough, so I pre-cook them with some onions - Yumm!
Divide the dough into four chunks and roll each chunk into a flat circle. Plop a dab of sauce in the middle, pile on some filling, top with cheese and spread more sauce on top. Don't use too much filling or the next step will not work. Fold the dough over and pinch the edges all around. Slide the pizza pockets on a sheet pan and cook them for 20 minutes.
I've got a batch of these in the freezer waiting for my next bad day. Sometimes, it pays to think ahead.
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