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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sausage Rolls! From Plain Biscuits to Delectable Hors d’oeuvres





           Essential for every host or hostess is a never fail, crowd-pleasing hors d’oeuvre recipe. It’s one of those necessary entertainment accoutrements, like an extra bottle of wine, or a genuine Elvis Presley guitar pick.  But wait!  When you hear the words ‘hors d’oeuvres’ don’t grab your credit card and race to the gourmet deli for foie gras, black truffles, or smoked salmon.  Instead, serve easy to make sausage rolls, and you’ll have to fight your guests for the last one. I don’t mean the bland, intestine clearing grease balls from a fast food joint.  These are light, almost delicate, with a piquant taste to savor long after the tray is empty and your last guest is asleep on your couch in your favorite pajamas.
            From a previous post, you already have the basic biscuit recipe:  2 Cups flour, 3 Tablespoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 6 ounces butter, 1 Cup milk.  Mix the dry ingredients, cut in the butter, and mix in the milk.  Simple. Refer to the original post, if you’re a non-decision making ninny.
            A slight transformation from plain biscuit dough to sausage-rolls makes tid-bits as fancy as my Aunt Sally, who used to …well, there’s no sense in opening the family closet, except to say, what she did, she did with only the highest of society and she was always sober whenever she did whatever she did.
            But let’s get on with turning biscuits into suitably sophisticated noshes.  Make the basic biscuit recipe, but instead of cutting the dough into cute little rounds, or neat little squares, flour the surface of a counter and roll the whole mound of dough into roughly a rectangle.  Roll it about as thin as three Quarters or three Euros.  A little thicker is fine. For the criminally anal, see the photo of the rolled out dough with tape measure next to it.
            After the dough’s rolled, dot it with thumb-sized bits of raw sausage, then spread the sausage to cover the dough, leaving an inch or so at the top.  I use a cake server for the spreading, but fingers, toes, and butter knives work just as well. Re: the same photo.
            Roll up the sausage and dough, starting from one of the  long sides.  When you get to the top, moisten it slightly with water to seal. Get the cylinder as tight as you can.  Now pat the ends to make them even.  (See photo) Cover the roll with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator.  If the roll is too long to fit comfortably, cut it in half, or in thirds, making sure everything is covered in plastic wrap, or the dough will dry out.  Let the raw roll (s) sit in the refrigerator for an hour or up to a day.  Refrigeration will set the dough so it’ll be easier to cut with a serrated knife.
            When you’re ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 450ºF, or 230ºC.  Crosscut the dough in rounds, like sawing a log, with each round about as thick as the width of your little finger.  If they’re out of round, nudge them back into shape. Put the rounds on an un-greased baking sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until they’re looking so golden and delicious that saliva drips from your chin.
            Put your platter of sausage biscuits on the buffet; make sure glasses are filled and stand back. Your demure guests will suddenly turn into maniacal carnivores.  When they beg for the recipe, tell them it’s an old family secret, and in memory of Aunt Sally, you can’t give it out to anyone who’s not naked.

3 comments:

  1. Served best with Guinness, which I've heard tell is good for you.

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    Replies
    1. Guinness is a definite YES, but only if it's served cool and without fizz, otherwise it's not Guinness, it's just a black imitation.

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  2. sounds de-lish--and love the idea of measuring the dough with stacked quarters, wayyy easier than thinking inches!

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