The second of two appetizer dishes I made for Thanksgiving this year (TGV 2016), 1-5: Pigs in a Blanket aren’t a surprise to many who grew up with these being served at various parties & gatherings. I’ve been looking for an event like this to make this recipe for, and I finally found it–it doesn’t get more traditional American than Thanksgiving.
This was the sixth of seven dishes I cooked for this year’s feast, and I made these the day of Thanksgiving (Thursday 11/24) while I waited for the whole wheat kernels I needed for 17-5: Hot Seedy Rolls to finish soaking. I waited until the day of to make these because they really taste best as fresh as you can make them.
Since this is technically being posted after Thanksgiving, these work well for Christmas, parties, or really even just a Saturday night Netflix marathon. The stains and wrinkling of the card (I scanned these over two years ago at this point) tell me someone else may have whipped up some of these sometime in the past, although no other clues exist pointing to whom or when. The tagline at the bottom is right though–most everyone can get on board with these “pigs”.
They give directions to make your own dough (although the inclusion of cottage cheese is a mystery to me), but I’m going to stick with frozen puff pastry–the refrigerated pop-can kind of croissant dough that you find near the cookie dough and Jell-O works as well, and is usually pre-cut/scored.
Ingredients. I took the suggestion from the Tips box to make some of them vegetarian by using black olives instead of the mini-sausages–my mom isn’t a big meat eater, so I knew she’d appreciate a chance to still feel included in trying the dish.
Each box of puff pastry dough comes with two sheets each folded in thirds. I unfolded both sheets and cut them each into 24 triangles, each roughly about the same size. Their pictures show strips, but I much prefer constructing them with triangle-shaped pieces. #firstworldanarchists
Now that I have a large pile of triangle-dough, I need to make these bigger to accommodate the fillings.
I flattened each piece with a rolling pin, and stuffed/rolled them with either a mini-sausage or two black olives. With both, I started with the filling at the larger/wider end, and rolled towards the bottom, tucking the bottom flaps in like a burrito with the first roll (tucking closed works better with the olives than with the sausages). Either way (tucked or untucked), this should eliminate the need for toothpicks, since the rolled dough will hold itself together once it bakes.
Here’s all the sausage ones, wrapped up like little burritos. Not all of them were able to close, but I’m okay with that. I used my Silpat for this, since it tends to do a nice job when using puff pastry. I’m down to only one half-sheet pan-sized mat right now, so I had to bake the black olive set in another round after letting this one cool down.
I egg-washed all the pieces, and a good bit of the mat too apparently.
After baking. I didn’t get these quite as dark as I would have liked, but this time it was on purpose–I planned to pop these back in the oven a few minutes before serving them to my guests, but that was going to be several hours later.
I parbaked them during the early morning (pre-turkey) to just about ready, and then planned to hold them on a loosely plastic-wrapped sheet pan during the afternoon until after the turkey was done. Once we were ready for appetizers, the oven would still be warm, and it would be easy to heat these up in just a few minutes (like pre-done/frozen ones) and have them ready for eating in no time.
Finishing their cooling on a rack while the olive batch bakes on the Silpat pan.
Olive batch–each one has two olives inside. Some are peeking out (like the sausages), but most of them stayed closed and came out pretty nicely.
Sheet pan of cooled olive and sausage “pigs”, ready to be plastic wrapped. Don’t wrap them warm, or the built-up condensation will make them soggy. Even if they do get a bit “droopy” during the hold time, they’ll crisp back up a bit when you pop them back in a warm oven for a few minutes before serving. They’ll hold well for a few hours, but not much longer than that–the longer you hold them, the less fresh they’ll taste.
Same picture as I used for 1-10: Seafood Cocktail Louisiana (the other Thanksgiving appetizer I made from Simply Delicious this year), but it shows these as well as the other appetizers (don’t forget the hummus/crudité!).
I made a mustard sauce for my “pigs” rather than spread mustard on the inside of the dough (in case you were wondering if I skipped/forgot that step), which was a blend of a few different types of mustard and some other tastes like Worcestershire sauce, dill, and horseradish. I do like to get creative with my sauces, and I wasn’t sure if everyone was going to want that on their “pigs”, especially the olive ones.
Overall, it was a nice version of the classic dish, and I’d definitely do them again.
Interested in the full list of Simply Delicious dishes I made for 2016’s Thanksgiving feast?
- 4-27: Mushroom-Parsnip Au Gratin
- 16-52: Apple Nut Saucepan Torte
- 15-49: Chocolate Pudding Deluxe
- 1-10: Seafood Cocktail Louisiana
- 17-5: Hot Seedy Rolls
- 1-5: Pigs in a Blanket
- 6-29: Stuffed Turkey (includes gravy & stuffing)