100 Posts – Time to Celebrate with Sausage Rolls and a Giveaway!
I made it! This is the 100th blog post for Nic Cooks. To be honest I never thought I’d get this far, I thought after the first few months of enthusiasm I would run out of inspiration and Nic Cooks would fade away into the the archives of the internet. But no, here I am, with more enthusiasm and ideas than ever to keep Nic Cooks going for another 100 posts and hopefully I will reach that milestone a little quicker than I did this one.
Really I would’ve liked to celebrate with a party, but the occasion snuck up on me unexpectedly so instead I thought I’d rustle up a special treat for a weekend lunch.
If I think of childhood parties I think of triangular white bread sandwiches and sausage rolls. I was never a huge fan of the sausage rolls though, because I didn’t like the stuff inside that was masquerading as meat. Since I started making my own sausages I re-discovered this childhood party food, as they are a great way of using up the end of the sausage meat that gets stuck in the nozzle. The leftover sausage meat usually amounts to about 150g and although this small amount is enough to make some sausage rolls, it’s just not enough and I’m always left wanting one or two more, so this time I am making sausage meat purely for the purpose of sausage rolls. It also means that for all of you out there that don’t make your own sausages you can still give it a go. I opted for a slightly more grown up version of sausage rolls, flavoured with Port and Stilton. I have to say, they were quite yummy, but as a blue cheese lover, I will put more Stilton in next time, whereas Graham thought they were just fine as they were.
Then I started reminiscing a little further and remembered another party food that were mum’s responsibility. Along with the Jane Asher inspired cake that always looked good, but never really tasted great, mum also made what we fondly referred to as “sweetie cakes”. And you wonder why it took me thirty two years to get baking? Basically “sweetie cakes” are marshmallows dipped in melted chocolate with a Smartie on top. Very tasty when you’re five, and fun to help make too!
And what’s a party without party games and prizes? No games, I’m afraid but I do have my first giveaway for Nic Cooks; this is the first of many I hope to offer my readers over the coming months. I have become a RocketFuel Influencer and partnered with the guys at Rocketman Media to bring you this giveaway. The RocketFuel Infuencer program partners Australian bloggers with brands you want to share with your audience, providing opportunities for sponsored posts, campaigns and giveaways for brands that compliment your blog.
Rocketman Media are offering a $100 David Jones voucher to one lucky winner, and all you have to do to go into the draw is this: register as a RocketFuel Influencer mentioning Nic Cooks, between now and March 21, and the lucky winner will be picked at random after the closing date. The competition is open to not only food bloggers, but any Australian based blogger. To find out if you qualify click here. And don’t forget, when you fill out your application form, to say you heard about the RocketFuel Influencer program from Nic Cooks.
350g good quality pork mince
1/2 tsp salt
cracked black pepper to taste
5g fresh sage leaves, finely chopped (about 12 large leaves)
1/2 tsp mace
35g Stilton Cheese
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten
Sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)
Put the pork mince, port, salt, pepper, chopped sage leaves and mace into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on medium speed for five minutes until the texture of the meat changes to become sticky (like a sausage). Add the Breadcrumbs to the mixture and continue to mix until well combined ( about 2 minutes). Finely chop/crumble the Stilton cheese into the mixture and stir with a spoon to combine.
Divide the mixture into four equal portions (each should weigh about 130g). Lay the sheets of puff pastry out on the work surface with the plastic protective layer face down. Cut each sheet of pastry in half. Shape each portion of sausage meat mixture into a sausage shape the length of the pastry. Place the sausage lengthways along the centre of each sheet of pastry, brush one long side of the pastry with the beaten egg, then tightly roll the pastry over to conceal the sausage. There should be at least 1cm overlap of pastry to seal. Press firmly to seal and lay seam side down on a plate and place in the fridge for half an hour to rest and firm up.
Once the sausage rolls have rested, remove them from the fridge. Diagonally slice each roll into six pieces, brush with the beaten egg and place on a greased baking tray. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and gently score the top of each roll a couple of times so that they don’t split as the pastry rises.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm or leave to cool for later. Personally I like them straight our of the oven dipped in some chutney or ketchup.