These easy Baked Stuffed Potato Pockets, make the perfect appetizer for any occasion. A tasty potato pastry is filled with ham or prosciutto and your favourite cheese. Baked in 20 minutes it will be the first appetizer to go.
Believe it or not Italians are big on Appetizers/Antipasti especially when eating pizza. From Tomato Bruschetta, Suppli al Telefono to Mozzarella Balls. But these Potato Pockets are perfect anytime and with anything. The tender soft potato pastry would make the perfect crust for your favourite savory filling also.
How to make it
In a large bowl add the mashed potatoes, egg, salt and pepper. Start to combine with a fork. Add the parmesan cheese, flour, baking powder and chopped parsley and mix to almost combined.
You can either mix this dough by hand or with a food processor. When almost combined move to a floured flat surface and knead into a ball. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Cut your choice of cheese and ham or prosciutto into small pieces.
Roll the dough into 1/8 inch thickness and cut out with round or even heart cookie cutters. Make sure you have an even amount of cut outs. Place half the rounds on a prepared cookie sheet. On one of the rounds, place some cut up ham or prosciutto and 3-4 small cubes of your favourite cheese.
Cover with another round, seal shut with your fingers (easier if you dip them in water first) then close again with the tongs of a fork. Bake in the pre-heated oven until golden. Serve immediately.
What do potatoes do in a pastry?
Potatoes in a pastry help to make it soft and tender. Potato pastry was extremely popular during World War 2, because of the rationing of food, potatoes helped to stretch a flour ration when making pastry.
What is the best cheese to use?
I like to use a soft cheese, such as Fontina, firm Mozzarella, Gruyere or even Havarti. Although there is nothing wrong with using a strong cheese if you prefer. Might be best one that melts nicely and has that perfect pull!
Can these be fried?
Actually that is the way Italians make these “Bombe di Patate”, if you wish to fry them be sure to use the correct oil, Peanut oil is considered the best because it has a delicate flavour. I usually use an oil specifically made for frying. Make sure you use enough oil, food should be able to move freely and not stick to the bottom. A good rule is fill the pot to half full or at least 2 – 3 inches of oil.
Be sure to heat your oil before frying, 320-340F / 160-170C. I always use a thermometer. Rather than a thermometer, you could also try by throwing in the hot oil a crouton or a piece of carrot. If it starts to sizzle and forms a lot of bubbles around it, then the oil is ready to start frying.
Although I don’t like this way, because it is hard to tell if your oil gets too hot, then the food fries too quickly, or when the oil is not hot enough, then the food does not cook on the inside. Always fry a few pieces at a time, because too many together can lower the temperature of the oil, which can leave the food less crispy and greasier. Place fried food on a paper towel lined plate to remove excess oil.
If you are frying a lot of food keep the food warm in an oven that has been pre-heated (but has been turned off) and with the door half opened. Do not cover them, or they will become soggy. Fried food is always best eaten immediately.
How to store it
If they are baked they should be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated, they can be re-heated in the oven or microwave. If fried I think it is always best to eat immediately, as fried food tends to get soggy and heavy after sitting.
The dough can be frozen wrapped in plastic then placed in a freezer safe bag, or you can freeze the uncooked pockets. Place them on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer until firm, once firm put them in a freezer safe container or bag.
They will keep for up to 1-2 months in the freezer. The pockets an be baked directly from the freezer, place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake, add a few extra minutes to the baking time.
More Potato Recipes
So if you are looking for a delicious and easy appetizer for game weekend or anytime I hope you give these a try and let me know what you think. Buon Appetito!
Stuffed Potato Pockets
FOR THE PASTRY
- 1 cup mashed potatoes* cooled (lightly packed - about 2 medium potatoes) (250 grams)
- 1 large egg yolk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1-2 dashes pepper
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (50 grams)
- ¾ cup all purpose flour (100 grams)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley minced
*Boil the potatoes in salted water and mash, do not add anything extra.
- 2-4 slices ham/prosciutto/turkey (thin strips or cubes)
- ½ cup cheese small cubes (fontina, gruyere or firm mozzarella - or your choice)
- 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
- In a large bowl add the mashed potatoes, egg, salt and pepper. Start to combine with a fork. Then add the parmesan cheese, flour, baking powder and chopped parsley and mix to almost combine.
- You can either mix this dough by hand or with a food processor. When almost combined move to a floured flat surface and knead into a ball. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Cut your choice of cheese and ham or prosciutto into small pieces.
- Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C). Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- It's easier to work with half the dough at a time, on a floured flat surface, lightly flour the top of the pastry (if you find it sticky) roll the dough into 1/8 inch thickness and cut out with round or even heart cookie cutters (2 ¾ - 3 inches / 7 cm). Make sure you have an even amount of cut outs. Place half the rounds on the prepared cookie sheets.
- On one of the rounds, place some cut up ham or prosciutto and 3-4 small cubes of your favourite cheese. Cover with another round, seal shut with your fingers (easier if you dip them in water first) then close again with the tongs of a fork. Drizzle with olive oil then bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.