Recipe shared by Burgundy L. Olivier of Louisiana. aka "The Spinach Lady".
Pistolettes are French Style enriched brown-and-serve rolls. They are hard-crusted, about the size of a fist and are lightly covered with cornmeal. Once filled, they can be baked in the oven, or deep-fried until golden brown, which takes only a minute or two. This is definitely a "must try" recipe.
1 package (10-ounce) frozen chopped spinach, cooked and squeezed dry
1 tablespoon bacon drippings
1/2 small onion, chopped (1/4 cup)
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (or cheese of your choice)
Dash of salt
Dash of white pepper
Dash of cayenne
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup half-and-half (milk may be substituted)
3 slices lean bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
12 Pistolettes (hard-crusted dinner rolls dusted with cornmeal)
Flour and water "paste"
Vegetable oil for deep-frying (optional)
Chop spinach in food processor; set aside.
Heat bacon drippings in heavy skillet and saute onion until tender; add garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add spinach, pine nuts and feta cheese. Season with salt, white pepper and cayenne. Stir well and heat through.
In a separate skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Gradually add flour, stirring constantly. Slowly add half-and-half and continue cooking until bubbly; do not allow mixture to brown. Add spinach mixture, stir and heat until well blended. Add bacon pieces and remove from heat.
To prepare Pistolettes, cut off one end, about 1/2-inch thick, and set aside. Poke a hole in the cut end of the roll using the handle of a wooden spoon. Be careful not to push the handle through the far side, causing a hole in the roll because the filling will fall out. Slowly and gently rotate the handle, pushing the inside walls of the bread toward the outside, forming a hollow shell for the filling. Spoon the spinach mixture into the opening, gently pushing down with the wooden handle. Mix a little flour and water until a soft paste-like consistency forms. Use this "paste" to reattach the end slice to the filled Pistolette.
Stuffed Pistolettes may now be baked at 400*F until golden brown, or dropped into heated cooking oil until browned. Drain fried pistolettes on paper towels; serve hot.