Upscale Pigs in the Blanket (Chicken Sausage-Cranberry Pigs-in-Blankets)

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I found this recipe in a mini appetizer book.  It is an upscale mini hot dog with a nice blend of sweet and tangy flavors.  It is always well received.  Kids can help make them in the kitchen.  This recipe can easily be doubled and leftovers can be frozen.  If I know I will be freezing portions to be reheated later I slightly undercook.   Often I need to make this recipe without the nuts because of nut allergies.  I personally think the recipe is more tasty with the almond slivers but it is certainly still good without nuts.  Exact measurements are not required.  Prep time for a double recipe is about 20 minutes using a Cuisinart.  Cleanup is very easy especially if you throw your Cuisinart pieces in the dishwasher.  Cooking time is 20 minutes.  Make sure you allow 30-40 to thaw your dough.  Do not prematurely pull out the dough from the freezer.  If the dough gets too soft, making the hot dogs will become difficult.

Ingredients for 1 batch:  Yields 25-30 mini dogs

1/3rd cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves – do not substitute dry

1/4 cup slivered almonds

1/4 cup grated Gruyere Cheese

1 teaspoon whole-grain or creamy dijon mustard (if I am doubling the recipe I use one heaping teaspoon of each)

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

2-3 links PRE-COOKED apple flavored (or other) chicken sausage.  The package I show requires just two links given the thickness of the links.

 

Directions:

Defrost Pastry Dough (allow 30-40 minutes).  Open box.  Set on counter.  Do not try to unroll dough until fully defrosted.

Combine cranberries, parsley, almonds, cheese, and mustard in a food processor fired with a metal blade and process to coarse paste.  It takes about 30-60 seconds.

Place pastry dough on work surface (cutting board works well).   Cut into 3 long strips (10 inches) and then 8-10 approximately 1 inch cuts across.

Cut sausage links in half lengthwise and then cut each link 5-7 slices the other direction depending on the brand.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Prepare a small bowl of warm water and set aside.

Press about a half teaspoon cranberry mixture onto center of each pastry strip, leaving the sides empty of paste.

Top each with piece of sausage.

Slightly wet the sides of each strip (using your water bowl).

Bring the ends together up and over the sausage.  Press firmly to seal and place on a non-stick baking sheet (I usually lay some parchment down or spray some cooking spray but neither step is necessary).

Do not crowd dogs and bake for 20 minutes if serving right away or 18 minutes if freezing for later cooking.  The pastry at either time should be baked through but at 20 minutes the dough will be a slightly darker color.

Serve piping hot with additional mustard.

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Sausage – notice words at bottom fully cooked.  I did remove the small amount of casing.  Not not all precooked sausage has a casing film.

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Parsley, Cheese, Cranberry Paste

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Prepping Pastry

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Prepping Dogs

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Preparing the Dogs

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Precooked

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Cooked cooling on a baking rack

 

Tasty Honey Mango Grilled Salmon Recipe

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TIME:  At least 2 1/2 Hours if using  wood planks.  However prep time is no more than 10 minutes plus watching the grill.  This is an easy recipe and the planks will add great flavor and texture on the bottom.  If not using the planks, you will at least need one hour of marinating time plus cooking time.

This recipe came from a friend’s wife and it is outstanding.

If using wood planks start soaking them now for at least 2 hours.  Less is a problem according to the fish mongers at Whole Foods.  My research on line and at looking at the planks toss them when done.  Trying to reuse is unlikely going to result in the same type of taste you are looking for from this recipe. 

The better the cut of salmon, obviously the better the outcome.  I will try to post the recipes for the corn soufflé (made by my brother-in-law if he will share it) and the steak by my husband.

Ingredients:

One 3.5 to 5.0 pound salmon fillet

4 generous tablespoons of honey

3 generous tablespoons of dijon mustard

1 tablespoon of course grain mustard

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (@ 1 1/2 lemons) plus additional whole lemon for slices when grilling.

3-4 tablespoons of fresh herbs of preference – recommend at least some dill and parsley.  Tarragon will work great too and/or try to buy a bundle of fresh herbs used for poultry roasting.  Remove all stems and chop fine.

1 fresh mango optional for bonus flavor – use about a half of mango cut into small chunks.

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients in the bowl until well blended and use half of it to brush over the salmon.

Marinate in the fridge at lest one hour (or longer).  The longer the better.

if using cedar planks but some lemon on the top of planks (that have soaked for at least 2 hours!) under the salmon.  Add additional lemon slices on top of fish if you want more lemon flavor.

Continue to use the marinade via brush method when grilling the salmon.

We grilled for about 20-25 minutes on a 350-375 temperature on the grill.  Doneness is a preference.  At 20-25 minutes your fish should be more on the done side.  Smaller cuts will likely take less time.

If there is any mustard sauce left over, you can heat on stove until bubbly an use to top the fish.