Long before juice joints and farm-to-table salad bars made their way to campus dining halls, I found myself in a “heated” romance with my freshman dorm’s battered communal microwave. (Don’t worry, we weren’t exclusive.)
Parked right next to that ticking time bomb was the vending machine of my 18-year-old dreams. It was stocked with every sodium-laden, powdered-cheese junk food you could think of, with plenty of sugary treats to spare. I only had eyes for one thing, though, and that was the Hot Pockets.
When I think of guilty pleasures, the ham and cheese, pepperoni pizza, and broccoli cheddar varieties of Hot Pockets immediately come to mind. Even though I no longer get the urge to microwave a late-night Hot Pocket after a particularly raucous night, that doesn’t mean I don’t still crave them.
Thankfully it’s beyond easy (and so much better!) to make these store-bought favorites at home. I’ve played with different crusts and fillings over the years, and this is definitely my gold standard. It has a silky cheddar sauce laced with salty specks of diced prosciutto that provide a hint of grown-up flair.
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But let’s be real here; I’m not claiming to reinvent the wheel. This recipe may not win any James Beard awards, but that doesn’t mean it won’t give the vending machine version a run for its money.
Nealey Dozier is a writer for TheKitchn.com, a website for food and home cooking.