Kosher Pigs-in-a-Blanket…Oy vey!

It’s been raining a lot lately here with the remnants of the season’s first two tropical storms blowing by the coast, and all of this rain has reminded me of the things my mother would make us on rainy days as a kid.  One of our favourite things was pigs-in-a-blanket with mustard.  They were so simple and delicious – true comfort food.  I’m not sure if it was just a recipe she picked up from some American cookbook or on a package of crescent rolls or if she somehow came to them by way of her Czech grandmother and their obvious relationship to kolachy, but we gobbled them up.  Needless to say, the ones I had as a kid were decidedly not kosher.  Store-bought crescent rolls, hot dogs made from who-knows-what, and sometimes she even wrapped cheese up inside too.  Well, I’ve adapted the recipe to make it a bit more kashrut and I hope you’ll give them a try.  This recipe is also easily adaptable for vegans.

The basics: (makes 12 ‘pigs’-in-a-blanket)

1 sheet puff pastry (Pepperidge Farms® puff pastry is vegan and will work here, but it’s got a lot of additives and is expensive so I recommend using the puff pastry recipe provided below.)

12 kosher hot dogs/sausages or vegan dogs (I just use plain old Hebrew Nationals®)

Spicy mustard

Preheat oven to 400 degrees if using the pastry recipe below (or follow the directions on the package if using store-bought).  Take the rolled out squares of puff pastry and then fold into a triangle being sure to lightly pinch shut the corner where the two halves meet.  Lay the hot dog on the long side of the triangle and roll up like a crescent roll.  Place on baking sheet with adequate space for ‘puffing.’  You could at this point melt some vegan margarine and brush the tops to get a shiny crust, but it’s not necessary.  Bake in the oven until golden brown or for approximately 18 minutes.  Serve with spicy mustard for dipping.  (These also go well with homemade tater tots.)

Vegan Puff Pastry Recipe (from Végétalion):

1 cup all-purpose flour (plus a bit for flouring the workspace)

10tbsp vegan margarine, very cold (use sticks for easy measuring)

3tbsp ice water

Put the flour and about 2tbsp of the very cold margarine into a food processor.  Pulse about 10 times to incorporate. Add the rest of the chunks of margarine, then pulse again, but only 3-5 times.  Add the ice water. Pulse for 10-20 seconds, until it starts to form a ball of dough.  Put the dough on a large sheet of parchment paper, form into a rough rectangle. Put another sheet of parchment paper on top.  With a rolling pin, roll it out long and flat; 6 by 9 inches. Remove the top layer of parchment paper, turn the dough over onto a well-floured surface, then pull off the other layer.  Fold the sides over the middle, so it’s now about 2 inches in width.  Roll it up length-wise.  Squash it into a square, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge until firm for at least an hour (preferably longer).  Take the dough out of the fridge.  Again, put the dough between two large sheets of parchment paper.  Roll to a 10- by 15-inch rectangle, then cut into 12 pieces.  Fold each piece over itself twice and roll out thinly again before proceeding with the recipe above.

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