Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Sausage & Cheese Roll-ups

This morning I was in the mood for puff pastry, so for a nice, leisurely, mid-morning breakfast I decided on simple sausage & cheese roll-ups. 

I don't mess with making my own puff pastry, although it isn't that difficult to make.  I use Pepperidge Farm brand.  It's so flaky and delicious, and well, EASY.... why not, right?

To prepare, allow the puff pastry (1 sheet will make 11 roll-ups) to thaw per package directions.
While that's happening, brown about two thirds of a small size tube of your favorite ground breakfast sausage and drain on paper towels.  This recipe is for one sheet only.  Just double the ingredients if you are using both sheets, which will give you 22 roll-ups.

Combine 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard in a small bowl and mix well.  I used Mrs. Butterworth's syrup and Gulden's mustard, but any syrup / mustard combo you wish to use will work.  You can use honey instead of the syrup if you want.

You will also need about 3/4 cup of grated cheese (any kind you like), 1 egg yolk beaten together with a tablespoon of water, some flour, salt and pepper, and a rolling pin.

Once the pastry sheet is thawed, unfold it.  Rub flour onto your rolling pin, then on a well floured surface, roll the pastry sheet out in both directions to thin the pastry and press the fold lines together well. 

Using a pastry brush, brush the syrup and mustard mixture onto the surface of the pastry, avoiding about a 1/2 inch space all the way around the edge.  Sprinkle a thin layer of grated cheese over the brushed area only, then add a layer of the crumbled sausage over the cheese.  Top the sausage with another thin layer of cheese.  Add salt and pepper at this point if you so choose.

Gently roll the pastry up into a log, being careful not to roll it too tightly.  Cut the ends off the roll and discard ( about a half inch on each end should be cut away).  Place the roll-up on a baking sheet seam side down.  To make cutting it into slices easier, chill in the fridge for about 15 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Remove from the fridge and, using a sharp serrated knife, slice the log into 11 equal roll-ups and place each one on a baking sheet lightly sprayed with butter flavored non-stick spray.   With a pastry brush, brush the egg wash over the tops and onto the sides of each roll-up all the way around.  Use all of the egg wash.  Just go back over the tops again until you run out if you had some left over.

Bake until the roll-ups are nicely browned, about 15 to 18 minutes, but baking time will vary depending on your oven.  The interior pastry should not be doughy, so look at the tops of the roll-ups to make sure the center portions of the dough are slightly puffed and flaked in appearance. 

Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

My roll-ups are just under 3 inches in diameter.  Two of them with a cup of coffee made me happy, but I won't tell you how many my husband devoured!  He likes them.....

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Easy Key SubLIME Squares

This recipe is easy and results in a light and flavorful lime-based dessert square that's easy to cut and serve.  I was actually developing a recipe for a Lucky Leaf contest and realized after I finished that the particular product I used (Lucky Leaf Key Lime Pie Filling) didn't qualify.  The contest specifically requires a "fruit pie filling & topping" product, so I have another similar idea in mind with one of the qualifying products.  Since I was so happy with this one, I thought I would share it.

First, the ingredients:

For the crust:
 2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1 stick of melted butter

For the filling:
1 (21 oz.) can Lucky Leaf Key Lime pie filling
1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 oz.) brick of softened cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons lime juice
Optional:  3 drops green food coloring

To make the crust, combine all the crust ingredients into a medium bowl and stir well with a fork until all crumbs are moistened.  Lightly spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with butter flavored non-stick cooking spray.  Pour the crumb mixture into the center of the dish and press into the bottom and halfway up the sides.  Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese and sugar and beat until smooth using a hand or stand mixer on high speed.  Add the pie filling, Eagle Brand milk, and lime juice and beat again just until smooth.  Add the eggs, beating again until smooth.  If using food coloring, add it and beat again.  Scrape sides and bottom of bowl and beat for another minute.

Remove baking dish from the fridge and pour the filling into the center.  Spread evenly.  Bake in a 350 degree oven on center rack for 30 minutes.

  The color should not change during baking.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely at room temperature, then refrigerate at least 4 to 6 hours.

Cut into squares and sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar.  Store in refrigerator. 

If you like these and want to up the pucker power, next time you make them, just add another tablespoon of lime juice and that should do the trick!  They cut beautifully.  I used a cookie spatula to remove the cut squares from the baking dish. 

Now, back to the kitchen to develop that contest recipe using a qualifying ingredient......