Chicken Rissoles

Like many savory pies of the world, rissoles have made their way all over the map, from Ireland to Indonesia. Rissoles can be sweet or savory and have many different names. In Portugal they are called rissóis and are often filled with shrimp or fish and béchamel sauce. The version below is encased in pastry and rolled in bread crumbs. They can be baked at 350F, but I like them fried.

These are definitely a weekend project. The pastry is easy, but puff pastry can be substituted if you would like to skip a step. While delicious fried, the puff pastry will be more delicate and you must keep it cool while working it. Also you could make the filling the day before.

They make great bar snacks and taste even better cold.

Makes 30

Filling:
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
6 cups salty chicken stock
1 bay leaf
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Chicken Pumpkin Quinoa

This is an easy healthy weeknight meal I’ve adapted from Fitness Magazine.  I’ve modified a few details to make it more flavorful but it is still low calorie.  If you wanted to be all foodie you could roast your own pumpkin instead of using canned.  I used hot Italian chicken sausages but use whatever suits your fancy.

Chicken Pumpkin Quinoa

serves 2

1/2 cup quinoa

1 cup chicken stock

2 chicken sausages, removed from casings and crumbled

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The Best Breakfast in the World?

The best breakfast in the world?  Now there is a challenge!  For me it used to be a full english but I find that heavy and, unless it’s made with the best possible ingredients, not so good.  Migas was a favourite – not any old migas but migas from the original 59 diner.  With Hugo’ salsa of death.  But then a friend called Buddy took me to the French Press in Lafayette and frankly my life changed.  There I had Cajun Eggs Benedict and what an incredible breakfast it is…

It is rich  – so rich the term filthy rich doesn’t do it justice.  If it were a car it would be a Bugatti Veyron with baby armadillo leather trim and a case of Krug 1988 Brut in the passenger seat and with Ursula Andress in that Bikini opening the door for you.

I might be digressing.

But with this depth of richness it needs to be a special occasion meal.  You know the sort – a hangover might be involved.  So what is it? Well start with thick buttered toast, topped with boudin and a beautifully poached egg sitting as a crown of yolky(!) goodness.  All covered in Gumbo roux style gravy with smoked sausage. Its hard to describe just how well the flavours and textures blend to be the perfect mix. I had to try and recreate this……

Donald Link’s Real Cajun is full of great recipes.  In there is his recipe for Boudin.  You should really buy the book but just for the boudin look here.  I used this for my boudin. Continue reading “The Best Breakfast in the World?”

Sausage Rolls

You miss the strangest things when you live overseas. Often it’s stuff that you never gave a second thought to, in this case it’s sausage rolls. The Dutch make great sausage rolls – the bakers use a very rich, flaky and most importantly, buttery filo pastry, wrapped around nicely spiced sausage meat.

We’ve made quite a few sausage rolls over the years, they make great finger food at parties and serve as great snacks too. Here’s a recipe that we like, oddly enough it’s for Australian sausage rolls. It really is best to find a brand of frozen puff pastry that you like – it’s one of those things that actually making yourself requires so much effort that you’ll do it only once, and frozen puff pastries are usually pretty good.

Ingredients
* 1-1/4 pounds bulk pork sausage
* 1 medium onion, finely chopped
* 2 teaspoons minced chives
* 2 teaspoons minced fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 teaspoon paprika, divided
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper
* 1 package (17.3 ounces) frozen puff pastry, thawed

Instructions
* In a large bowl, combine the sausage, onion, chives, basil, garlic, 3/4 teaspoon paprika, salt and pepper. Unfold pastry onto a lightly floured surface. Roll each pastry sheet into an 11-in. x 10-1/2-in. rectangle. Cut widthwise into 3-1/2-in. strips.

* Spread 1/2 cup of sausage mixture down the center of each strip. Fold pastry over and press edges together to seal. Cut each roll into six pieces.

* Place seam side down on a rack in a shallow baking pan. Sprinkle with remaining paprika. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 3 dozen.