At first this was completely unintentional. Growing up in Australia, a kids' birthday party is not complete without fairy bread! But the first time I put out a platter of white bread covered in butter and sprinkles at a party here the guests were confused. And I was confused that they were confused! Ha! Isn't it funny how something can seem so completely normal to you but completely foreign to everyone else around you? I guess that's what happens when you're a foreigner!
Anyway, as time has gone by I've learned a little more about foods that are and aren't common here in America (or at least, California) and I've been trying to introduce a little more classic Australian party food to my repertoire.
At Ava's recent birthday party (which you can see here) I served up a few of my favorite Aussie classics. Along with the fairy bread I made cream horns (a must have at all of my family's parties) and sausage rolls.
I never really know how to describe sausage rolls to my American friends. Describing them as "sausage meat wrapped in puff pastry" is usually met with "Oh, you mean like Pigs in a Blanket?". Ok, so I had to look up what Pigs in a Blanket are, and no, they are not the same. For my Australian friends, Pigs in a Blanket are mini frankfurters wrapped in puff pastry. Anyway, I've found that the best way to explain a sausage roll to friends who aren't familiar with them is to just make some for them to try. Sure, it's a little more work than than just pointing people to Google, but you really can't appreciate a sausage roll just by looking at a picture on the internet. Seriously, as you'll see in my pictures, they aren't the most attractive of foods! But they sure are delicious! You'll just have to trust me on that and give them a try with the recipe below.
What you'll need:
1 Pound Sausage Meat (I used Jimmy Dean Regular Premium Pork Sausage)
3/4 Cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
1 Onion (finely chopped)
2 Medium Potatoes (finely grated)
Salt and Pepper (to season)
Bread Crumbs (use enough to bind wet ingredients)
2 Sheets Puff Pastry (defrosted)
1 Extra Egg, beaten and mixed with a little milk (to seal and glaze the pastry)
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
In a large bowl, mix together the sausage meat, eggs, cheese, grated potato, onion, salt and pepper.
Add in the bread crumbs, a little at a time to help bind the wet ingredients. I used close to a cup all up. Mix through. Note: I didn't have regular bread crumbs at home when I made these for Ava's birthday party, so instead I toasted two slices of bread and processed them in the blender when cool. This worked perfectly fine.
Set the sausage mix aside while you prepare the puff pastry sheets. Roll the pastry sheets out on a sheet of baking paper or a floured surface.Cut each in half lengthwise.
Using a spoon, or your hands if you prefer, place the sausage meat mix down the middle of each sheet of pastry. You'll need to make sure that there is enough pastry on either side to wrap over the top so try not to add too much of the sausage mix.
Using a pastry brush, apply the egg and milk wash along one edge of the pastry. Wrap the other edge of the pastry over the top of the sausage mix. Roll the sausage roll over so that the top edge of the pastry ends up on top of the glazed pastry. This will hold it all together.
With a pastry brush, apply the egg and milk wash on the top of the sausage rolls.
Cut each sausage roll into 1.5" wide pieces or as desired. Transfer to a lined baking sheet.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
Serve hot with ketchup - or tomato sauce as we call it in Australia!
- Sausage rolls are perfect as party food as they can be made a day or two in advance and be kept in the refrigerator before reheating them in a warm oven. They can also be frozen.
- Larger sausage rolls (about 6" long) are also popular for school lunches in Australia. You can easily modify this recipe to make larger sausage rolls. You may need to adjust the cooking time slightly.
- Veggies can easily be hidden in sausage rolls! Just add grated vegetables such as carrot in with the meat mix.
- You could also add bacon if you feel so inclined. If you do add bacon, skip the salt. I personally can't stand the taste of bacon so I never add it. I know, I know... I seem to be the only person out there who hates bacon!
I'd love to hear about party food that is popular where you live.What sort of food is considered a must have at parties in your part of the world?