Friday, 5 October 2012

Savoury Snacks

Yes you read that correctly - savoury! Since starting the first version of this blog over 18 months ago I had yet to attempt a savoury bake. I'm usually too fixated on sugary sweet creations to pay any attention to the less glamourous pies and pasties, but we've just returned from a week in Cornwall and needed something to make our packed lunch for the drive down a little more interesting. As I've mentioned before, pastry has always been my baking achilles heel but I'm slowly overcoming my fear of it and wanted to make some classic picnic snacks - sausage rolls and cheese straws.

The sausage rolls were based on recipe from the always reliable Delia Smith, the only addition was some finely chopped onion mixed into the sausagemeat to give it a bit more flavour. I bought the sausagemeat from Sainsbury's, but you could also buy some nice sausages and take the meat out of the skins and it would do the same job. The pastry was surprisingly easy to make, grating the semi-frozen butter was a great way to get small pieces that can be rubbed into the flour without melting too much. Strictly speaking it's not a puff pastry, but it was much quicker than all that rolling and folding and rolling and folding... As always it's best not to overwork the pastry and when I was rolling it out you could clearly see long strips of butter - that's good because it means you'll get a nice flaky crust. I cut the sausage rolls quite small so they would be almost bite size, but they would also be tasty if they were made a little bigger as a more substantial snack.

I didn't use a recipe for the cheese straws, but they're so simple that you don't really need one. It's just the same pastry as the sausage rolls, but made cheesy with the addition of some grated cheddar. I rolled out the pastry, sprinkled it with the cheese, and then folded it and rolled again so that the cheese is trapped inside. Then cut into strips and lay on a baking tray - I twisted them slightly so they're more of a cheese twist than a cheese straw, but either way would work. As I was frantically trying to pack a week's worth of supplies for a six month old baby at the time I didn't have time to take proper photos, so I'm afraid you'll have to settle for an Instagram shot!

The general consensus was that these were absolutely delicious, but then anything you wrap in that much pastry tends to taste good really doesn't it?! The cheese did try to escape from the twists a bit, I'm not sure if I used too much cheese (is that even possible?) or if that's just what happens, but it didn't detract from the deliciousness. I'm definitely converted to the savoury side of baking now, and after a week of eating proper Cornish pasties I'm feeling inspired to attempt those in the near future - watch this space!

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