We all have a few foods that speak to us of our childhood. They are not necessarily the things we eat today. Your tastes may have changed. You might have given up trying to replicate the magic your Nanna/Nona/Nummy used to create. Or maybe you just can’t bring yourself to eat the crap you used to…
Harsh, but true.
I eat plenty of unhealthy food. You know this already 😉 But it is a calculated risk. When I eat something unhealthy, it has to be really freaking awesomely delicious. There’s no point wasting calorie intake (not that I count those pesky little fellas, but the principle is sound) on something a bit blergh. Those calories could be saved up for ice cream, or peanut butter, or champagne!
For this reason I have pretty much given up on sausage rolls. I love them. They were always one of my favourite things. However, too many chewy pastry casings, powdery sawdust fillings and mouth-coating saturated fat examples mean I just cannot trust them to deliver the Calorie Justification Joy.
There had to be a way.
10 Minute Rough Pastry
The first step is a really good pastry. Only homemade will do. Seriously, before you head to the freezer for the premade stuff you have to give this a go. I promise you, it is so simple and quick.
No rubbing butter into flour and faffing away for ages. You simply cube the butter, toss it in the flour, add the soda/mineral water (which makes the end result extra light and flaky), shape it into big doughy ball and you are ready to roll. Literally.
On a floured board, roll the dough to about 1 cm thick, fold the bottom and top in like an envelope and turn the dough a quarter turn into ‘portrait’ (think MS Word) orientation. Then repeat this process four times, dusting with flour in between. Don’t worry about little chunks of butter in the finished product, they melt away and make it all extra flaky. You really cannot stuff this up.
Right, now you are ready for…
Caramelised Onion and Turkey Sausage Rolls
This recipe has evolved over time but began when I was on a bit of a turkey fix. Turkey mince is lovely and lean so lends itself to being wrapped around cheese and covered in pastry. Practically health food 🙂
Hang on, did I say cheese?
The sausage mince has a lovely burst of sweetness from the caramelised onions but Complete Calorie Justification Joy can be delivered by a core of creamy brie.
Team up a cheesy centre with some tangy balsamic, some savoury rosemary and a some grated carrot for a (very token) veggie hit and you will be in sausage roll heaven.
What were your special childhood foods? Have you ever tried to recreate them?
- 300g plain flour
- 150g cold butter
- About 2/3 cup cold mineral/soda water
- Cut butter into small (1cm) cubes
- In a large bowl toss butter in the flour
- Add about two thirds of the mineral water and stir with a wooden spoon, gradually add the rest of the mineral water (about a tablespoon at a time) until the pastry comes together in a ball.
- Place dough on a floured board and roll into a large flat (about 1/2cm thick) oval
- Fold top and bottom of dough in and give a quarter turn on the board, dusting with flour.
- Repeat the roll, fold and turn four times.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
- 500g turkey mince
- 1 red onion
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 cup grated carrot (about 2 small carrots)
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (I use a richer style)
- 1/3 cup panko crumbs
- salt and pepper - a small sprinkle of each
- 50g brie
- 1 batch of rough pastry or 3-4 puff pastry sheets
- 1 egg, beaten
- sesame seeds (optional)
- Finely chop red onion and place in a small saucepan with olive oil
- Cook onion over low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and caramelised.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes
- In a large bowl mix turkey mince, rosemary, carrot, panko crumbs, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper.
- Add onion to bowl and mix until well combined (I use my hands).
- Cut brie into 'sticks' about 1cm thick and 2-3 cm long
- Preheat oven to 180C
- Roll 1/4 batch of rough pastry or place 1 sheet prepared puff pastry on a board
- To one side of the pastry place a thin layer of turkey mixture in a long strip
- Place brie at intervals along the strip of mince. Mark the pastry in the gaps between cheese so you can cut the sausage rolls later
- Top brie with turkey mince and ensure cheese is well enclosed
- Roll the pastry around the filling to make a roll
- Repeat with the remaining pastry, mince and cheese.
- Carefully cut the rolls where marked so the cheese is completely enclosed by the mince
- Brush rolls with beaten egg, sprinkle with sesame seeds and place on a lined baking tray
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until pastry is lightly brown and flaky
- Depending on the brie you use, you may need to transfer the rolls to a clean tray during cooking. Some cheeses with a very high cream content melt quickly and make the tray quite oily.