Friday, January 27, 2012
Kitchen Diary 2012: Pigs in Blankets, an appetizer
Adapted from The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2011
And yes, technically they ought to be called Moo-Cows in Blankets.
These are a cinch to make and the recipe was designed to be frozen (from the freezer, they bake in about 25 minutes). We had to overcome our initial horror working with such a soft dough – after wrestling with bread and crackers, this feels like you’re squishing a baby’s head between your coarse paws. Fear not. We’re still wondering if we should have a backup supply of these in the freezer in case we feel an urgent need for something nasty. Really: they’re so good they’re filthy.
The basic dough called for 1 ½ Cups of cream. If you don’t want the mustard or the horseradish in there, adjust as necessary. The cheese is also optional, but if it’s left out, no other changes need to me made to the recipe. But really: if you’re making a dough with a cup of cream, don’t be a pussy. Add the cheese.
- 2 Cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 tablespoons chilled shortening, cubed
- 1 Cup cream (see above)
- ¼ Cup Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup horseradish sauce
- 1 Cup shredded sharp cheddar
- 6 hot dogs (we used the amusingly-named Hempler’s Bun Busters – hee!)
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
In a food processor:
- Combine all dry ingredients.
- Add shortening and whiz together “until mixture resembles a coarse meal”.
- Decant into a bowl. Stir in cheese.
- Mix in cream/mustard/horseradish and form into a dough
- Turn out onto a slightly floured counter…or…a counter that has been lined with a slab of freezer paper (on the back of it just go ahead and trace out a 15”x10” rectangle with a marker), plastic side up and dusted with flour.
- Knead dough until smooth – about 8-10 turns.
- Roll dough into a rectangle (15”x10”). Brush with egg wash.
- In a shallow bowl, toss hot dogs with ¼ Cup flour. Brush off extra flour.
- Arrange hot dogs on the dough. Stare at this arrangement: imagine wrapping each hot dog with dough. Rearrange as necessary. Marvel at your spacial reasoning skills!
- Cut dough into rectangles around the hot dogs.
- Roll dough around each dog and pinch to seal.
- At this point the dough – soft as a baby’s skull, yes: that soft – was getting a little too soft. We transferred everything to a baking sheet and stuck it in the fridge while we enjoyed a gin and tonic and a cigarette. It is perfectly okay to use this time to engage in some aerobic exercise or light housekeeping.
- Cut the pigs (moo-cows), in their blankets, into quarters. Put these on a small baking sheet (time to use our belov’d quarter-sheet pan again!) and stick in the freezer. If these are just going to chillax overnight, cover with plastic wrap. If you’re saving for later (weekend bender of self-abuse and liquor), transfer them to a freezer bag when they’re firm.
Bake in a 450F oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden. Serve warm. When they’re cool? You will remember what it is to be a fallen creature, avulsed from the bosom of God. EAT THEM WARM.