A spoof on 'Pigs in Blankets', this variation uses slices of sausages wrapped in little pillows of corn dough and fried - a favourite with kids and easy for them to help make. (Skip to recipe.)
Cooking with Meredith
Kids love eating 'Pigs in Blankets' - those little sausages rolled in biscuit dough - so Meredith and I came up with an easy version of squat little sausage slices wrapped up in pillows of soft tortilla dough fried until crispy on the outsides. So simple and satisfyingly crunchy.
Tortilla dough is very easy to make - just mix warm water with masa corn flour until you have a soft dough - kind of like the consistency of playdough. Then form it around a slice of sausage and shallow-fry it in oil in a skillet until crispy and golden.
Masa flour/masa harina is actually corn flour that has been nixtamalized - a process where the corn is soaked in calcium hydroxide (simply the dust that results from scraping limestone rock) or wood ash, which not only removes the tough outer hull of the corn kernel, but unlocks many nutrients in the corn - increasing protein quality, increasing calcium, zinc, potassium, and magnesium, making B vitamins, especially niacin/B3, more available, and reducing phytic acid and mycotoxins. (Don't worry - the corn is rinsed after soaking.)
In addition to the health benefits, the nixtamalization process makes the corn flour malleable and sticky so it holds together beautifully as a dough for making tortillas and other kinds of Mexican foods (like tamales, sopes, empanadas, and gorditas.) I have loved using masa flour for tortillas and all types of doughy delicious dishes since my last trip to Mexico.
Meredith and I played around with making our own dipping sauces. We mixed up a honey mustard sauce by stirring prepared yellow mustard, dijon mustard, and honey into mayonnaise to taste. Yum.
We mixed barbecue sauce with applesauce for a mild sweet BBQ sauce. Yum.
We tried stirring barbecue sauce into mayonnaise - unappetizing brown colour, but tasted good.
A New Kind of Pigs in Blankets - These Ones are Cozy in their Pillows!
These new kinds of pigs in blankets are pillowy and soft, with just the right amount of comfort and crunch.
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Pigs in Pillows
- a 4 to 6 inch (10-15cm) piece of your favourite smoked sausage (like kielbasa, smokies, garlic sausage, etc.), gluten-free if necessary
- 2 cups masa corn flour (masa harina or maseca)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup + 2 or 3 tablespoons (270-285ml) warm water
- oil for frying, like grapeseed oil, rice bran oil, coconut oil, or vegetable oil
Cut the sausage into twelve ⅓ inch (8mm) thick slices.
Place the masa corn flour and salt into a bowl. Pour in 1 cup warm water. Mix until moistened. If the dough is dry, add 2 to 3 more tablespoons water, one tablespoon at a time, until you have a soft, pliable dough.
Pinch off a golf-ball sized ball of dough. Roll it into a smooth ball, flatten it slightly, then press one of the sausage slices into the top.
With your fingers, pinch up the dough all around the edges and bring it over the top of the sausage and pinch it to totally enclose the sausage slice. Pat it into a smooth rounded disk, making sure the sausage doesn't poke out anywhere.
Continue until all 12 pieces of sausage are covered.
Place a skillet on a burner. Pour in oil to ¼ to ½ inch (6-12 mm) deep, so it comes about halfway up the sides of the 'pillows'. Heat the oil until hot over medium-high heat. Gently place six of the corn flour disks into the oil. Fry until golden, then turn over carefully with tongs or two forks and fry the other side until golden. Lay on a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Repeat with the remaining sausage pillows.
Serve warm with your favourite dipping sauce*.
Makes 12 Pigs in Pillows.
Curry: ¼ cup (60ml) ketchup, ¼ cup (60ml) applesauce, ½ teaspoon curry powder
Honey-Mustard: ¼ cup (60ml) mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon mustard, 1 tablespoon honey
Creamy BBQ: Mix mayonnaise and your favourite barbecue sauce to taste
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For more fun cooking projects to make with kids, see the ‘Cooking With Kids’ series here.
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