Smoked turkey or chicken sausage, a Pantry Special (Recipe: "chicks in blankets" with mustard dip)
Pantry Specials are great ingredients that find their way into my pantry from time to time, but not all the time. Easy Apps Week, Day Three.
A sausage is highly seasoned minced meat, stuffed into a casing, cooked or cured. A smoked turkey or chicken sausage, in addition to being all of the above, has the advantage of being lower in fat and calories than a traditional pork sausage, and because of that it's an occasional visitor in my pantry. Though sausages aren't exactly health food because they often have a high sodium and fat content, a single sausage can add a huge flavor punch to beans, pasta, stuffing or soup. When shopping for turkey or chicken sausages, read labels carefully or know your source, if pork-free is your goal; many non-pork sausages are stuffed into pork casings. Turkey or chicken sausages, cooked or uncooked, can be stored in the freezer for months. This is one Pantry Special that's available in your local supermarket.
Is this Pantry Special new to you?
How to use smoked turkey or chicken sausages:
Baked pasta with chicken sausage
Chicken and sausage gumbo
Calico bean soup with smoked sausage in the slow cooker
Wild rice, mushroom and sausage soup
Shredded Brussels sprouts with winter squash and chicken apple sausage
Lentil and sausage soup with cabbage
Sausage, fennel and pear stuffing
"Chicks in blankets"
I found mini smoked turkey sausages (sometimes called cocktail links) in my local supermarket. If you can't find them, buy regular smoked turkey or chicken sausages, in any flavor you like, and cut them into pieces 1-1/2 inches long. Then cut lengthwise in fourths, to make pieces the size of fat matchsticks. Everything in this recipe comes from the pantry, and proportions aren't important; what is important is to use pre-cooked sausage, or to cook your sausage thoroughly, according to package directions, before starting this recipe.
1 package mini turkey smoked sausages (defrost if frozen; cook if uncooked)
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted according to package directions
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup strong grainy mustard
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a sheet pan with a Silpat (silicone mat) or parchment paper.
Roll out your puff pastry on a lightly floured counter top. Cut into 1-1/2 inch squares. Place one piece of sausage (or one mini sausage) diagonally in the center of the square, and bring both ends of the pastry up around it to form the "blanket", as in the photos above. Place on the sheet pan, and continue until you've made as many as you wish.
Lightly beat the egg with 1 tsp of water, and paint the tops of the pastry. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes or until brown.
Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise and mustard to make a dipping sauce. Place in a serving bowl.
Remove the "chicks in blankets" from the oven, and serve hot with the mustard dipping sauce.