When I was given a jar of Mackays Orange, Lemon and Ginger marmalade and a blank slate to cook whatever I liked with it for #mackaysmarmalademarch my mind went as blank as the aforementioned slate! Being a devoted fan of the orange stuff, I’d already blogged all of my favourite things to do with it so coming up with something new was seriously challenging. Looking back through my old recipes for inspiration I found one involving marmalade that was a particular favourite – sticky marmaladey cocktail sausages – and wondered how I could improve upon those little beauties…
The thing is, sweet marmalade and savoury sausage is a properly delicious combination, the more so when the marmalade has reduced while cooking into a lovely sticky glaze that you can lick off your fingers. So I knew I wanted to stay with some finger-foodie, which led me eventually to these.
Sausage rolls are so easy to make that it really is a sin not to. The secret is good quality sausages and ready rolled puff pastry. Beyond that, anything goes, and half the fun is experimenting with different flavour combinations, like Thai red curry paste, or marmalade! What I love is that the marmalade adds a lovely but subtle sweet note without overwhelming the sausage roll (another reason to get good quality sausages). The black onion seeds add another savoury note as well a bit of texture, but you could use poppy seeds or sesame seeds if you have some of those handy.
The first batch of these taught me 1) not to get carried away with the amount of marmalade you use because it will get too watery and you’ll end up with the dread soggy bottoms, 2) not to glaze until you’re into the last 10 minutes of cooking time because a marmalade caramelises really really quickly, and 3) the combination worked just as well as I hoped it would.
2 tablespoons marmalade (I used Mackays Orange, Lemon and Ginger)
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp milk
Butter or oil for greasing, or waxy baking parchment paper
Black onion seeds (also called Nigella seeds)
Start by preheating the oven to 200C. While it’s heating up, prepare the baking sheet by greasing it or lining it with parchment paper.
Lay the pastry out flat on a lightly floured surface, or more waxy baking parchment, and cut horizontally right down the middle so that you have two long strips. Mix together the egg yolk and milk to make an egg wash, then brush the far border of each strip of pastry with a little of the egg wash.
If using sausages, cut a slit up the length of the sausage skin with scissors or a sharp knife and poke all the sausagemeat out into a mixing bowl. Add one tablespoon of marmalade and then snap on a pair of CSI vinyl gloves and get your hands stuck in, mixing it all up until the marmalade is combined well with the sausagemeat.
Divide the sausage meat mixture in half and shape each piece into a long, thin sausage, along the length of the pastry towards the edge nearest you. Then roll the pastry away from you and up and over to seal in the sausage meat. Roll the whole thing over so the sealed edge is underneath.
(If you’re making these ahead of time they can now be kept in the fridge for 24 hours, lightly covered with cling film, or they can even be frozen for up to 3 months - if cooking from frozen just add another 10 minutes to the cooking time).
Use a sharp knife to cut into thumb-length sausage rolls, discarding the pastry ends. Score a couple of slits in the top of each one before lifting them carefully onto the greased/lined baking sheet. Pop in the oven, middle shelf, and bake for 25 minutes.
Warm up the other tablespoon of marmalade in a small saucepan until it gets a little runny. After the sausage rolls have been in the oven for 25 minutes, remove from the oven and brush them with the runny marmalade before sprinkling all over with black onion seeds. Pop back into the oven for 5-10 minutes, until they are cooked through and golden.
Freeze the sausage rolls individually on the pastry parchment, once they're frozen you can then pop them into a bag and they won't stick together!
Hello September! It appears I’ve been a total blog slacker through August… I blame it entirely on my palette having an Autumnal if not downright Winter bent, and my cooking preferences with it. Which means it’s just about time for me to start cooking up a storm here again 🙂 So for the first time in ages, I spent a whole day in the kitchen happily testing new recipes, much to Hubby (aka The Chief Taster!)’s delight!
To get the blog ball rolling again I’m going to start with the good old sausage roll, but with a twist.
I’m lucky to have the most awesome butcher, Crombies, at the end of my street whose sausages are seriously in a different league to supermarket-bought. And not just the quality of the sausages but the wonderful variety of different flavours, they really do have one to suit every mood 🙂 So when I saw this recipe with its oriental flavouring I knew that no ordinary sausage would do and got myself down to Crombies on Friday morning (before work no less!). Sure enough, they had a batch with ginger and mango that sounded perfect.
Sausage rolls are my buffet downfall, posh or ‘narsty’ they always seem to hit the spot. And Christmas isn’t Christmas without at least one batch of them to snack on while watching Love Actually (don’t judge me!). But Christmas is a little while away still… so when I found this recipe on the Good Food channel’s website the Thai twist gave me a perfect excuse to indulge myself out of ‘season’.
I was not disappointed!
These have a deliciously spicy hit which marries really nicely with the fresh coriander, and the crushed peanuts add a lovely crunchy texture to the otherwise flakey buttery pastry. I can totally see me rustling up a batch of these to serve with drinks the next time I have friends round for an Oriental supper. Or for hubby ‘just because’ if he asks me nicely, which he always does 😉
1-2 tbsp Thai red curry paste, depending on how much spice you like (we found 1.5 tbsp perfect)
1 large handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped
375g ready-rolled puff pastry
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp milk
butter or oil for greasing
chilli dipping sauce, to serve
1 lime, cut into wedges, to serve
Other stuff you’ll need…
waxy baking parchment
food processor, or a ziploc bag and a rolling pin
CSI style vinyl gloves!
Stuff to do first…
Put the oven on to 190C/Gas Mark 5 and grease a baking sheet with a little oil. Put the peanuts in the food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped OR pop in a ziploc bag, zip up, and bash to bits with the rolling pin for a bit of stress relief 😉
Lay the pastry out flat on a lightly floured surface, or waxy baking parchment, and cut horizontally right down the middle so that you have two long strips. Mix together the egg yolk and milk to make an egg wash, then brush the far border of the pastry with a little of the egg wash.
Put about a third of the smashed peanuts in the mixing bowl. Add the Thai red curry paste and coriander to the bowl and then snap on the CSI gloves! Using scissors or a sharp knife, cut a slit up the length of the sausage skin and then poke all the sausagemeat out into the bowl too. Get your hands stuck in and mix it all up until everything is combined.
Divide the sausage meat mixture in half and shape each piece into a long, thin sausage, the length of the pastry. Put one in the middle of each pastry strip, then roll the pastry away from you and up and over to seal in the sausage meat. Roll the whole thing over so the sealed edge is underneath.
(If you’re making these ahead of time they can now be kept in the fridge for 24 hours, lightly covered with cling film, or they can even be frozen for up to 3 months and defrosted before cooking.)
Use a sharp knife to cut into bite-sized sausage rolls, discarding the pastry ends, and score a couple of slits in the top of each one. Lift them carefully onto the greased baking sheet and brush with the remaining egg wash before scattering over the remaining crushed up peanuts.
Pop in the oven, middle shelf, and bake for 20–30 minutes until cooked through and golden.
Serve warm with lime wedges and lashings of chilli dipping sauce, and bask in the adulation of your loved ones!
It’s almost time to put the comfort food aside and enjoy the slide into summer. However, the rain is chucking it down tonight so I’ve gone with an in-between recipe, courtesy of Jamie Oliver, that is just perfect for this time of year as its hearty but without being heavy. What I really love though is how fresh it tastes! The insane amount of cherry tomatoes and the fresh herbs it uses makes this dish taste like summer 🙂 And the minimal amount of prep and of washing up afterwards is just a bonus (other than washing the blood of a million cherry tomatoes off your hands, that is! )
Hubby and I tend to devour this with a good-quality loaf of bread, something soft that you can tear into chunks to mop up the tomato sauce with. Or, if your bread is particularly crusty, pile everything on top of it instead like I did above and let the tomato sauce soak in and soften that crust. Alternatively, Jamie suggests mash, rice or polenta and a green salad. And if there are any leftovers, “if” being the operative word, Jamie says to chop them up and make into a chunky pasta dish, using penne or rigatoni, the next day. I haven’t actually been able to test this yet, but I’m fairly certain Jamie isn’t lying…
Jamie's Sweet Cherry Tomato & Sausage Bake
The insane amount of cherry tomatoes and the fresh herbs this dish uses makes it taste like summer in a bowl.
2kg lovely ripe cherry tomatoes, mixed colours if you can find them
2 sprigs each of fresh thyme, rosemary and bay
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped (or minced)
12 good-quality Cumberland or coarse Italian pork sausages
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Start by preheating the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5.
In the roasting tray that's large enough to take all the tomatoes in one snug fitting layer, put in all of your tomatoes, the herb sprigs, oregano, garlic and sausages. Make sure there are enough tomatoes to pack down without gaps because the sausages want to sit on top of them, not sink into them where they will broil and look kind of peely wally. Or, you can quickly brown the sausages all over in a frying pan first, which definitely makes them look more appetising.
Drizzle well with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Toss together, then make sure the tomatoes are packed tight on the bottom and the sausages are on top.
Pop the tray into the oven for 30 minutes.
After this time, give the tray a good shake and turn the sausages over. Put back into the oven for another 30 minutes.
Once it’s cooked, you want to have an intense, tomatoey sauce. If the tomato sauce is a little too thin, lift out the sausages and place the tray on the hob to cook it down to the consistency you like – I like mine thick and exceedingly mop-uppable! This is also a good time to pick out all the bits of herbs.
I love me some marmalade on toast, so finding out that this week was National Marmalade Week (25 Feburary to 3 March) just gave me excuses I didn’t need to attack the sticky orange stuff! My favourite by far is Tiptree’s Tawny Thick Cut by Wilkin & Sons, which has a delicious abundance of shreds. For the record, shredless is an abomination and will never be tolerated under my roof!
But marmalade is not just for toast! Somewhere, somehow, I found out that marmalade goes insanely well with cocktail sausages… Really! So in honour of Marmalade week may I present to you my exceedingly moreish Sticky Marmaladey Sausages – they’re great for handing round at parties, and even went down really well cold at an office charity buffet lunch type thing.
The recipe below (if you can call it a recipe!) is for party sized quantities, but it’s totally scalable if you happen to have cocktail sausages lying around and fancy a cheeky hot snack 🙂
I used to buy cheap and cheerful marmalade for this, but I do think the better the marmalade the better the glaze, so don’t be afraid to use whatever you have on hand for toast. Your tastebuds will thank you for it!
Sticky Marmaladey Sausages
Gooey, sweet-tart marmalade goes perfectly with the sausages, perfect for parties or a cheeky weekend snack.
While the oven is warming up, melt the marmalade in a saucepan and then pour the gooey loveliness over the sausages in the roasting tin and mix until coated.
Place the lot in the pre-warmed oven for 15/20 minutes, and then take the tin out and give the sausages a good shoogle about. Don’t worry if the marmalade looks a little runny, it will eventually thicken back up again.
Put it all back in the oven for another 15/20 minutes, at which point the marmalade should have become a magical sticky delicious glaze all over the sausages. The sausages will be cooked through after 30/40 minutes so you can take them out at this point, but if you like your sausages a little browner then put them back in the oven until they have reached your preferred shade.
Once out, give them a few minutes to cool down, and then tuck right in!