Tuesday, November 22, 2011

autumn to winter

autumn to winter

autumn to winter by whiskeyinyrshoes featuring cotton socks

How much do I love brown and grey together? Must be a result of growing up in a city where winter lasts half the year.

Friday, November 18, 2011

sausage rolls and currywurst sauce

I spent a rather unwise amount of money in New York this past weekend, so I'm behaving myself and using up the food that's stashed in my freezer. Most of this, it turns out, is frozen fruit and vegetables, but I'm also apparently in possession of a large quantity of meat that I'd more or less forgotten about. I'm not all that experienced with cooking fancy meats, but I'm pretty good at making peasant food with a lot of carbs. And so, behold... sausage rolls and currywurst sauce, combining my nostalgia for England with my love of weird German stuff and general fondness for food that's terrible for me.

The sausage roll recipe is pretty much the one from Sew, Cook, Create, and the currywurst sauce is loosely based on one from Saveur.

Sausage Rolls

1 pound ground meat (I used Italian sausage because I had some... use whatever you like)
1/2 small yellow onion, minced or grated
1 carrot, grated
1 egg
1 tablespoon dried basil or rosemary
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 sheets puff pastry, 2/3 thawed
1 tablespoon milk or cream to brush the pastry with

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Mix everything but the pastry and milk together in a large bowl. Using your hands is the easiest way to get everything even, and who doesn't enjoy squishing raw meat between their fingers?

Cut the sheets of puff pastry in half, and arrange the meat mixture in long cylinders along one edge of each piece. Roll up the pastry around the meat, tucking the edges under, and cut each roll into four to six pieces.

Brush the tops with milk and bake on parchment paper for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops have browned. I ended up with about 30 rolls. You can store them in the refrigerator for a day or two, or freeze wrapped in foil and sealed in a freezer bag. Reheat in the oven or microwave.

Currywurst Sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 yellow onion, minced
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 cup peeled whole canned tomatoes with juice 
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
sriracha sauce to taste (by which I mean lots of sriracha)

Cook the onion in the canola oil over medium-high heat until it softens. Add the curry powder and paprika and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes and juice and crush them with your spoon. Add the sugar, vinegar, salt, and hot sauce and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the sauce reduces a bit. Puree with an immersion blender or food processor. Serve on everything.

Sausage rolls are usually eaten as snacks and currywurst sauce is put on actual sausages (much better than chili on hotdogs, in my opinion), but obviously they go fabulously together. This would be a fantastic appetizer for a party, but you can always eat if for dinner like I did tonight. Just make sure you cook some broccoli or something with this meal so you don't die of scurvy. Not to mention broccoli = more things to dip in the sauce.

Bonus dessert: I ended up with an extra strip of puff pastry, so I sprinkled it with sugar, ginger, and cinnamon, rolled it up and cut it into little slices. Baked and served with some freshly-whipped cream (another thing I found languishing in the fridge). I'm not big on dessert but I adore real whipped cream and these little rolls are basically an even simpler version of those palmiers I fell in love with earlier this year. Lovely all around.