It is likely that you could find yourself with some impromptu guests this Memorial Day weekend or heck, at any point this summer. You know how it goes. You start off with an afternoon cocktail at a nearby bar or restaurant and the next thing you know you have a group of hungry people at your house, discussing your next move. Well, have no fear. You can keep this little guys in your freezer and pop them out any time you might need a quick appetizer.
This recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen. Around the time of the holidays, I bought this magazine (you know, one of those seasonal things) called “Make Ahead Appetizers”. Everything that I have made from it rocks. Plus, there are helpful little tips on the best brands to buy and that kind of thing.
I first made these little piggies when we had people over for New Years. The dough puffs up into a soft and airy blanket that envelops the little hot dog. Its a great treat and also filling ~ the perfect thing to serve when you have a lot of hungry people in your house. Don’t be afraid of the little pinch of cayenne pepper here ~ it gives the dough just a little hint of heat. I also used Hebrew National hot dogs because they are all beef and to be honest, they freak me out a little less than normal hot dogs. And you could also use butter instead of shortening in the dough if you prefer. I know I’m usually all about the healthy stuff, but hey, we had a kale salad earlier this week. Its all about balance, right?
Pigs in a Blanket (from America’s Test Kitchen)
What You’ll Need:
2 and 1/4 cups (11 and 1/4 ounces) all purpose flour
4 tbsp. vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled (or you could use butter if you aren’t into the shortening thing)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 and 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 large egg, lightly beaten
6 hot dogs (I used Hebrew National)
What You’ll Do:
1. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut up the shortening or butter and stick it in the refrigerator for a bit to make sure it is extra cold when you start this whole process. Make sure this baking sheet is big enough to fit in your freezer. In your food processor, pulse 2 cups of flour, the shortening, baking powder, salt and cayenne together until it starts to form small crumbs. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and pour in the cream. Stir until just combined. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured counter and knead a few times to smooth out the dough.
2. Take out your ruler (No, seriously). Roll out the dough into a 15 by 10 inch rectangle. You may have some excess dough ~ just cut off the edges and reserve the extra in case you need it. Brush the dough with the egg lightly and cut the dough into six 5-inch squares. Spread the remaining flour onto a small dish. Dry the hot dogs with a paper towel and lightly cover each hot dog with a little bit of the flour. Roll each hot dog up in one square of the dough, pressing the ends of the dough together to “wrap the blanket”, so to speak. Cut each hot dog up into 4 pieces and put them on your prepared baking sheet. Wrap the sheet in plastic wrap and freeze. When the pigs in a blanket have frozen, transfer to a plastic bag. They can be stored in the freezer for up to a month.
3. When your party guests are on their way (or it is just you and you have a craving- which is totally cool too), heat your oven to 425 degrees. Line the rimmed sheet with parchment paper. Place the pigs in a blanket, seam side down, on the prepared sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before you eat.
My husband jokingly asked me whether I was going to make homemade ketchup too. Not today, but if you were so inclined, here’s a recipe by Lark and Linen, via Cup of Jo, that sounds great. If you do give these a try, you might want to make extra, because they will go quickly. 🙂 I’ll be sharing my favorite links of this week later this weekend. Have a great Memorial Day weekend!!