Pigs in blankets with mustard dipping sauce
I am afraid I disgraced myself – or would have if I had any shame – when I came across these at a 4th of July party in the Hamptons given by my friend and agent, Ed Victor, and his wife Carol Ryan. I all but held the waiter hostage, frankly. I ate them throughout the party, and once everyone else had gone home, I settled down on a sofa to finish those that were left.
And then, back home, what pangs I had at not being able to eat any more! So, I badgered the caterer for the recipe, and here it is. I know it may sound not particularly appetizing to wrap frankfurters in puff pastry, but these pigs in blankets (or franks in blanks, as we call them in casa mia) along with their tangy dipping sauce provide an eating experience that is nothing short of rapturous. My gratitude to Jean Mackenzie and her Four Seasons catering company in Southampton, New York, is unbounded, as is my appetite for these little treasures.
Different brands of puff pastry can be rolled out to varying sizes, so what you have to know is that each frankfurter needs a pastry blanket to fit snugly. Each frankfurter will give you 4 little pigs.
1 x approx. 17.3-ounce package ready-rolled puff-pastry sheets (gives 2 sheets, each approx. 10 x 9 ½ inches), thawed if frozen
3 x 12-ounce packages frankfurters or hot dogs (gives 21, but you only need 16) for the mustard dipping sauce:
scant ½ cup wholegrain mustard
scant ½ cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sour cream
• Preheat the oven to 425°F. Roll out one of the rectangular puff-pastry sheets to make it just a little bit thinner, stretching the long side rather than the short side as you roll. Cut the rectangle into quarters, then cut each rectangle in half lengthwise, to give 8 small pastry strips in total. (Stay with me!). You may need to roll each strip of pastry a little more to make sure it wraps snugly around your frankfurter.
• Beat the egg in a small bowl and paint each pastry section with the egg wash. Sit a frankfurter horizontally on the left-hand side of one of the pieces of pastry and roll it up until it just seals. Then do the same with the remaining 7 small pastry strips.
• Cut each rolled frank into 4 small pieces, pressing the pastry back around the sausage if it comes loose. Then place on a parchment paper–lined lipped baking sheet with the sealed bit down to prevent it springing open.
• Paint the franks in blankets with the egg wash, and put them in the oven for 15–20 minutes. The pastry should have puffed up a little and turned golden. You can get on with the other sheet of pastry while the first lot of franks are cooking and repeat the process with the remaining franks.
• Mix together the mustards and sour cream and put in little bowls.
• Put the cooked franks in blanks onto a plate and serve warm with the dipping sauce in the little bowls (for ease of eating and passing) on the side.
MAKE AHEAD NOTE
The frankfurters in their pastry can be assembled 1 day in advance. Put cut-up pigs in blankets on lined lipped baking sheets but do not glaze the outside. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed; store egg wash in a separate, covered container in the refrigerator. Glaze and bake, following directions.
CREDIT: FROM NIGELLA KITCHEN BY NIGELLA LAWSON. COPYRIGHT (C) 2010 NIGELLA LAWSON. PUBLISHED BY HYPERION. AVAILABLE WHEREVER BOOKS ARE SOLD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.