The perfect spicy appetizer recipe or a satisfying savory snack, these Pimenton & Bell Pepper Hot Pockets are seriously addictive and packed with flavor.
Get ready for some serious flavor. These hot pockets are super good little pastries that are filled with red bell peppers, chili peppers and some tangy, velvety soft crème fraiche to balance the kick of the chilies. And of course some garlic and onions sautéed to buttery perfection. So if you are looking for the perfect spicy appetizer recipe, you may just have found it!
But the real star of this tasty treat is the unique flavor of pimentón, or smoked paprika powder. It gives any dish a wonderful, earthy undertone and is a perfect fit for these little pockets. I used the sweet version here, but feel free to try the hot one if you prefer some more fire to your food. All this goodness is wrapped up in a perfectly tender, flaky dough that is so easy to make.
These pockets are a satisfying snack that is easy to bring along anywhere, and you can vary the fillings as much as you wish, replacing the bell pepper with some other vegetable or adding a bit of cheese or bits of chicken, for instance. To me, the tasty trinity of pimentòn, bell pepper and chilies is somehow just perfect, without adding anything else. Sometimes simplicity is better than trying to pack a recipe full of different ingredients. Just make sure that everything you use is fresh and top-quality.
These empanada-style pockets are also a great choice if you have people coming over or as a savory treat gift to a hostess.
Be sure to adjust the amount of the chili peppers according to how hot a variety you are using. The ones I had on hand were quite mild, so I chopped up two whole ones. This recipe gives you 12 pockets, and they are at their best fresh from the oven.
Spicy Pimenton & Bell Pepper Hot Pockets
1 small red bell pepper
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
2 mild red chili peppers
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
4-8 tablespoons ice cold water
1 egg for eggwash
1. First, make the filling. Chop up the red pepper into very small cubes, along with finely chopping the onion, chilies and garlic. Fry the pepper cubes on a pan in a butter-olive oil mixture a few minutes first, then add the onion, garlic and chilies. Fry until softened, but not browned. Reduce heat and add the crème fraiche, salt, smoked paprika powder and cayenne pepper. Mix to combine everything and fry a minute more, then take off the heat and let cool when you make the dough.
2. Combine flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. With your fingertips, rub the cold butter into the flour until the mixture is crumbly and resembles a coarse meal, with small pea-size crumbs visible.
3. Pour 4 tablespoons of the cold water in the mixture, fluffing the dough with your hand and gradually adding more water if necessary until the dough just starts to come together. You will have added enough water when you take a handful of the mixture in your hand and give it a squeeze and it stays together when you open your hand.
4. Put dough on a floured surface and knead a few times to bring all the ingredients together. Roll out the dough into a 1/6 inch thick disc and using a suitable mold, make rounds roughly 4 or 5 inches in diameter.
5. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the pepper mixture in the center of each round. Wet the edges of the rounds by dipping your finger in egg wash (made by whisking an egg with 2 tablespoons of milk or water), and fold the round over the filling to make a half moon shape. Press down the edges with your fingertips to seal, then crimp the edge with tines of a fork or the tip of your pinky finger.
6. Place pockets on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. If desired, make two little cuts on top of each pastry with a very sharp knife to create steam vents. Brush with eggwash. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pockets are golden brown and puffed. If you have made steam vents, you should see a few bubbles coming out.