Don’t even think of sneering or rolling your eyes. If you, or anyone in your family, has the internal fortitude to turn up a nose at a platter of darling little hot dogs snuggled into their flaky little dough pashminas, then you are more evolved than anyone in my family. If, however, like most every other mortal on this earth, your heart beats a little faster when you get a glimpse of these happy little morsels, and you lose your ability to concentrate on…oh, look, there’s a butterfly. And here’s a sexist comment, I guess, but I’m willing to own it. Men, in particular, get a euphoric glazed look when pigs in a blanket make an appearance. I’ll leave it to the social anthropologists to determine why this is.
Making pigs in a blanket is not rocket science, nor innovative cuisine, nor health food. (Watch out for those nitrites and sulfites and sodium.) If you want to gild the lily a bit, shove a few slivers of cheese into a slit made down the middle of each hot dog (being careful not to cut all the way through) before rolling them up in the puff pastry. Make more than you think you’ll need and serve these babies with spicy brown mustard and ketchup. Maybe honey mustard. Save the Dijon for another day.–Katie Workman
LC This Little Piggy Note
This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed at home, this little piggy had…hot dogs wrapped in puff pastry? This rendition of the classic swaps puff pastry for a slice of Wonder Bread, lending the piggies a little pomp. And why not? Lil’ smokies also work well if you can’t quite bring yourself to do the hot dog thing. We’ve also considered slicing an artisanal salume, such as cacciatorini, and swapping it for hot doggies, just to lend the last-minute crowd-pleaser a little, uh, respectability. Whatever your preference, embrace it. What’s most critical here is that you make peace with whichever rendition moves you to squeal in happiness rather than have none.
Pigs in a Blanket Recipe
Hands-On Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 40 minutes, not including chilling or cooling | Makes about 30
- About 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, for rolling out the pastry
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half a 17-ounce or so package), thawed
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons cold water
- 1 pound (about 30) mini hot dogs or little smoked sausage links
- Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, or finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)
- Spicy brown mustard
- 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- 2. Lightly flour the work surface and place the thawed puff pastry on the flour. (Most puff pastry sheets come folded in thirds, which can be very helpful as you want to cut it along the seams or, if there are no seams, cut the sheet crosswise into 3 equal strips.) Using a rolling pin, roll each piece of pastry until it is a little thinner, trying to maintain the squared off lines of the rectangle. Cut each piece of puff pastry into strips about 1 inch by 3 inches.
- 3. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl.
- 4. Place a wee hot dog or sausage on the narrow end of 1 puff pastry strip. Roll it up, pressing on the puff pastry so that it seals itself. Place the pig in a blanket on the prepared baking sheet, seam-side down. Repeat with the remaining hot dogs and puff pastry strips, arranging the pigs in blankets on the baking sheet at least 1 inch apart.
- 5. Brush the top of the pigs in blankets with the egg wash and, if desired, sprinkle with the seeds or cheese. At this point it is helpful (but not necessary) to place the baking sheet in the fridge for 15 to 30 minutes so that the pastry will puff up more when it bakes.
- 6. Bake the pigs in blankets until they’re puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool briefly before serving with mustard and ketchup.
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Pigs in a Blanket Recipe © 2012 Katie Workman. Photo © 2012 Todd Coleman. All rights reserved.