Thursday, December 30, 2010
Doughy, Naughty, Cheesy Pigs in Blankets - Happy New Year Loves!
I am writing this as my last post for the year. Dear God - where did it all go? As I write I'm having a little bout of overwhelm-ment (that's a word, right?) and gratitude with all kinds of sappy, retrospective goo filling my brain. But this year was truly special to me for reasons I haven't been able to share on the blog. Maybe one day soon (and no my dears, it's not a baby.) Anyway, I feel beyond, beyond blessed with everything that's happened to me in the past 365 days.
I hope I can share this and much, much more with you in the new year. It's about dang time. I feel like all of you - my darling readers and anyone who happens to stop by this often silent and neglected blog - deserve it. But in the meantime, I want to say that I treasure each and everyone of you - particularly the peeps I have a semi regular dialogue with but also even the most random stranger who leaves a comment and never appears again. Because as is now a cliche thanks to the movie Julie and Julia, blogging can be a very lonely business (if only we all had as many readers as Julia! We'd be sittin' pretty, wouldn't we?)
Alright. Cue the violin music... I am so happy you read me. Be it once or once in a while or regularly. Thank you, thank you, thank you. The funny thing is, as a quasi professional writer by trade, I am blown away by how many amazing writers there are out there. You guys are funny. And witty. And original. So keep it up y'all. Okay, I'm done with my rant. And now - onto the star of the M&PF New Year's Show...
Pigs in Blankets! With cheese! Because clearly I'm on a mission to constipate everyone for the first week of the New Year! ;)
Unlike yeast doughs, you can whip this up and have it the oven in half an hour. The only hitch is you need self rising flour on hand and you have to be willing to play with the dough a little. For example, I can't tell you why but sometimes I need exactly the amount of flour called for and other times a WHOLE lot more... The good news is it is very resilient. Just keep adding spoonful by spoonful until it gets to a constisency you can roll and work with. If it sticks to your hands when you try to pick it up, keep adding...
Doughy, Naughty, Cheesy Pigs in Blankets
* If you're really naughty you can sprinkle some additional cheese over the pastry strips before you add the sausage and roll them up. As they say - you can never be too rich, too thin, or too cheesy.
2 1/2 cups self-rising flour, sifted or spooned into the measuring cups with a light hand, plus extra just in case and for flouring board an rolling pin
1 heaping teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
1/3 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup whole milk, lightly warmed for 20 seconds in the microwave, JUST until not cold
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
55-60 cocktail sausages
Preheat the oven to 425.
Add the flour, salt, sugar, mustard and cheese to a large bowl. Stir with a whisk or fork to make friends. In a separate bowl (or even a measuring glass the milk was poured into) take the 1 cup of milk and add in the egg and oil whisking briefly to combine. Set the milk/egg/oil mixture aside while you make a 'hole' in the center of the dry ingredients, then add the milk combination gradually to the dry mixture, stirring or forking as you do just until it's combined.
Do a finger check for the consistency of the dough after mixing. If it sticks to your fingers and therefore won't roll out, add a bit more flour and mix again. Keep doing so until it cooperates with you but be patient because if you dump a boatload of flour in we've just wasted a good chunk of time on a cheese brick.
Once happy with the dough, flour your rolling surface and rolling pin , LIGHTLY, and roll the dough out until it's slightly thicker than 1/4 inch thickness, or just roll until the dough stops stretching/giving outwards, being careful not to go too thin.
From there, use a sharp knife dipped into flour to cut it into 3" long by 1" thick strips. To each strip, lay a mini sausage on one end, then roll up pinching the seemed bottom and placing onto an aluminum or parchment-lined, oil sprayed baking sheet, seam-side down.
Once all assembled (you can put them on 2-3 large disposable pie tins or on 2-3 baking sheets) bake for 12-15 minutes until the tops are JUST light golden brown. Remove and let cool slightly before serving.
I like them with mustard but have ketchup or whatever you fancy on hand to dip.