Friday, December 18, 2009

Realistic Resolutions - and Sausage Rolls

Our theme for the January issue of is Realistic Resolutions and I thought I'd get a head start by keeping the holidays simple this year. For the first time in many years it's just going to be family up at the cabin - four adults, two kids and six dogs! one dog apiece per bed. Will be interesting, especially as Samantha the Warrior Woman cat who used to keep the dogs in line is no longer with us.

Rumour has it that we do have snow up there. Music to my ears because the small boys love to be out playing and come in exhausted, hungry and happy. Big kids will go skiing/snowboarding at the nearby resort and I'll pull out the well-worn snow shoes and do my own trudging around on home turf.

My birthday falls just before the holiday and our family tradition is to put the tree up that night and have a celebratory dinner cooked by the younger generation. We'll cut the tree that day and I know with a fire blazing, music playing and good vibes and smells from the kitchen it will be a joyful experience. Lisa, my daughter, is a baker par excellence - she's known to comment that if she gives up law she'll open a pastry shop. When we re did the kitchen up there we made it open plan so anyone who wants to cook can find a place around the counters or big stainless steel table we have in the center. There are few things that give me the warm fuzzies like cooking with friends and family. In our house it's raucous, experimental and anything goes. I have bred a family of fearless cooks and we take our occasional disasters in stride! I'm not immune to failure. I was humbled big time the year I ruined the Yorkshire puds. I used a "designer" fancy flour and it was a total flop - literally. Still living that one down.

I taken responsibility of actual Christmas dinner this year - Roast Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding - have to decide on the veggies etc. this afternoon. I'm making a Bouche Noel for dessert. I guess it's repetiton that makes something a tradition - one of ours is a batch of piping hot sausage rolls Christmas morning. Another is a New Mexico dinner Christmas eve but since the son who started that tradition and does the cooking is out of the country I've left that menu up for grabs.

Sausage Rolls

Makes 4 dozen mini ones

  • 2 packs frozen puff pastry (Sarah Lee)
  • 2 packs Jenno O turkey sausage
  • 1 egg beaten with a soon of cold water for brushing pastry
  • dried sage
Defrost pastry. Separate and unfold the sheets. Wet your finger with a little water to seal any cracks in the pastry. Roll each sheet so that it is ~ 12" wide. Cut each sheet into three lengthwise strips each ~ 4" wide.

Place a row of sausages down the middle of each strip. Moisten the edges of the pastry with water. Roll over to form a roll and seal and crimp the seal. Continue until you've used all sausages and pastry. Place your rolls on a parchment lined baking tray and refrigerate at least 20 minutes. Rolls can be flash frozen - that is frozen unwrapped and then wrapped and kept frozen for several weeks. If working with frozen rolls do NOT defrost - put immediately into the hot oven and bake at 450F for 15 minutes and then an additional 15 minutes at 400F.

Pre-heat oven to 450F. Immediately before putting the rolls in the oven, brush the tops with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sage. Bake 10 minutes at 450F then turn heat down to 400F for an additional 15 minutes.
Let cool slightly on a rack then slice on a slight diagonal into 1 1/2 inch long rolls. Serve with mustard - that's an option - personally I dislike mustard!

Happy Holidays.

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