Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Times they are a'changing

The first recipe is a great one for a buffet party, or family 'nibbles', and a way of making sausage rolls with bread instead of pastry. Sliced bread we normally have, and this does save the hassle of either making or buying ready-to-roll pastry - thus saving time and money.
After trimming the crusts from the bread - don't discard, but bag up and store in the freezer to later turn into breadcrumbs). A different hard cheese (or mixture) could be used. These can be prepared earlier in the day, wrapped in foil and kept chilled to be baked when ready to be eaten.
Crispy Sausage Rolls: makes 16
8 slices white bread
4 oz (100g) Red Leicester cheese, grated
2 oz (50g) butter or marg., softened
1 tsp made mustard
pinch salt
8 chipolata sausages
16 cocktail sticks
Remove crusts from bread (see above) and roll the sliced bread out fairly thinly. Mix together the grated cheese, butter, mustard and salt, then spread this over each slice of bread. Place a sausage on each and roll up. Cut each in half and secure with a cocktail stick. Place on a baking sheet, and bake at 200C, 400F, gas 6 for 25 - 30 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Serve hot.

Another party 'nibble', but a smaller amount can be made if you wish, and these will keep fairly crisp after cooling if stored in an airtight tin between layers of kitchen (paper) towel. A tip to keep unfilled puff pastry cases crisp (to use for vol au vents etc) is to put a layer of cooking salt in the bottom of a tin, cover this with kitchen paper, then put the pastry on this - again between layers of the kitchen paper if you need to store a goodly number. After a tight-fitting lid is fitted, the salt will absorb any moisture in the tin, thus keeping the pastry crisp).
Marmite Straws: makes approx 7 dozen
1 oz (25g) butter or marg.
1 rounded teaspoon Marmite
1 pack (approx 200g) puff pastry
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Melt the butter and Marmite together in a small pan. Roll out the pastry and trim to a 12" square, then brush the butter/Marmite mixture over the pastry and sprinkle the cheese on top. Cut in half, then cut each half into quarter inch strips, each 6" long. Without stretching the pastry, twist each strip gently and place on baking sheets that have been brushed with water (this turns to steam as it cooks and helps the pastry to rise).
Bake in a hot oven 230C, 450F, gas 8 for 9 minutes until golden and crisp, then carefully remove (they will be a bit fragile until they cool so best use a fish slice) and leave to get cold on a cake airer.

There have been several recipes for 'crunchie bars' on this site over the past few years, but this recipe is slightly different. As with most bars of this type, we can add dried fruit if we wish, or even use muesli instead of just the oats. Use this as a basic recipes than add what you wish - always making sure there is enough of the ingredients to make sure it all holds together.
Crunchy Bars: makes 12
2 oz (50g) walnut pieces, chopped
3 oz (75g) margarine
2 level tblsp golden syrup
2 level tblsp runny honey
3 oz (75g) soft brown sugar
5 oz (150g) porridge oats
Without boiling, melt the margarine, syrup and honey together. Remove from heat and stir in the oats. Spread this mixture evenly in a greased 7" square tin, then sprinkle the chopped walnuts on top, pressing them lightly into the surface. Bake at 180C, 350F, gas 4 for 25 or so minutes until golden and bubbling. Remove from oven, leaving the mixture in the tin, and after 5 minutes mark into 12 bars. then leave to get quite cold before removing from the tin.