I love using up leftover foods in unique ways. There is something so satisfying in taking some random bits of this and that and turning it into something completely new that my kids will be happy to eat without hearing the whole whining about "leftovers *again* Mom?!" I hate to ever throw away food. I try not to make Army sized portions of things I know we will get tired eating, but sometimes I end up with leftovers that are too much to toss but not enough to make freezing them worth it. This was one of those times. I'd made a double batch of my Quick Asian Style Beef and froze half of it right away for another meal. After having it for dinner that night, I still had about 1/3 of it left. After some brainstorming, I came up with the idea of making some kind dough to fill with the left over meat and a few other things I found in the fridge. The kids loved them, I loved them and have actually made them on purpose since this first time. These would also make a great snack or appetizer if made smaller. They also freeze and reheat well. I had a couple leftover and popped them from the freezer into the microwave for just a couple minutes on high and they were wonderful! I did wrap them in a paper towel to microwave to help keep them from drying out and it worked well.
First you'll want to make the Asian style beef and set it aside to cool completely while you make the dough in the recipe that follows. For the purpose of these hot pockets, I have halved the original recipe and added a few things to make it even more delicious. Feel free to add whatever vegetables your family would like to the meat. I just happened to have spinach, shredded carrot and some onion that needed using up.
*This dish has a good bit of garlic, red pepper and ginger... feel free to lower the amounts to suit your tastes.
*Use the Asian pear puree OR the brown sugar, not both.
*Try the lower amount of brown sugar first and taste before adding the entire amount. Again, adjust to your preference.
*The sesame oil really is only for flavor, it can be omitted if you would prefer.
*This recipe is also delicious made with ground chicken or turkey.
*Please do use low sodium soy sauce, because it calls for a lot, using regular might yield a dish that is too salty.
Asian Style Beef Hot Pockets
1 tablespoon veg oil
1 cup shredded carrot
3 cups chopped raw spinach1/2 of a chopped onion
1 pound ground round (or the very leanest ground beef you can find)
1 Tablespoon sesame oil (more for the flavor than anything, feel free to omit if you like)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1/2Tablespoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 peeled and pureed Asian pear (or 1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar, see notes above)
1: In a skillet saute onion and shredded carrot in veg oil until barely tender.
2: Once barely tender add chopped raw spinach to onion and carrot and saute until wilted. Set aside.
3: Brown ground round in a skillet, drain and return to skillet.
4: In a food processor, puree 2 peeled, cored and chopped Asian pears until smooth.
5: To the skillet with the cooked beef, add sesame oil, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, red pepper flakes and Asian pear puree along with the cooked onion, carrot and spinach (or the brown sugar, if you opted to use that instead).
6: Combine well, cover and simmer on low 15-20 minutes. Stirring occasionally to make sure it’s not sticking.
7: Take off heat, and set aside uncovered to cool completely while readying the dough in recipe #2.
I used a crescent roll recipe that I found online, since I didn't want to use canned refrigerated crescent rolls but you certainly could if you want something quick and easy. If you are going to use canned crescent roll dough, I would suggest having 3 of the large cans on hand.
The recipe I used was from "Barbara Bakes" and it yielded wonderful results. The link to her crescent roll recipe can be found here: http://www.barbarabakes.com/2013/11/refrigerator-crescent-rolls/
Once you have the filling and crescent dough ready you will roll the dough into a flat and cut it into squares about the size of your hand. Place about 1/2 a cup of the cooled filling on to one side of each square and fold over the dough to cover the filling. Pinch the openings closed, place on a parchment covered baking sheet and bake for about 10-12 minutes in a preheated 400*F oven until the dough is lightly browned and the filling is heated thoroughly.
This recipe made enough for 16 large hot pockets.