Friday January 25, 2013

Hearty Fairground "Spring" Rolls

With the right amount of heat in your bell pepper dipping "jam," this recipe is sure to be made every Sunday when the game comes on. so be prepared and keep a couple of boxes frozen puff pastries in the freezer. 1/2(17.3 ounce)package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed in refrigerator

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 pound cooked chorizo(or your favorite) sausage

2 ribs celery

1 small onion, peeled and halved

1 teaspoon sage

Salt and pepper to taste

Slice sausage into thin coins and julienne into thin strips; set aside. Cut celery into 1-inch segments and then slice into thin matchsticks; set aside. Lay out either 1 large sheet of film or waxed paper on work surface, leaving 4 inches around entire sheet of pastry. Place a top layer of waxed or film wrap over the top and roll out the dough so that it enlarges by about 2 inches all around. Remove top layer of film or waxed paper and cut into 4-inch square squares. this is easily accomplished with a pizza cutter. Place back into refrigerator until needed. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.

Laying the cut side down on chopping block, slice onions julienne-style. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add the oil and celery. Cook 3 minutes then add chorizo, onion, sage, salt and pepper to taste. Cook, uncovered, until crisp tender, about 3 minutes. Pour into sieve and drain well; set aside.

Remove pastry from refrigerator. Place a tablespoon full, or so, of the filling into the middle of egg pastry square, in one direction and leaving space between the filling and the edges. Roll up tightly and either pinch the ends to seal or fold in the sides as you are rolling. It is far easier to pinch the ends. Repeat until done and place on ungreased baking pan, leaving an inch between each roll. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until slightly browned on top and crisp. Serve with warmed Roasted ‘Sweet and Heat’ Red Pepper Salsa for dipping.

Roasted ‘Sweet and Heat’
Red Pepper Dippin’ Salsa

1 pound sweet red bell peppers

4 medium-sized tart apples, such as Granny Smith

1 hot chili pepper, 1 habenero or Scotch Bonnet pepper, or 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup apple juice

Preheat broiler and set broiler pan 3 inches from heat source. Half and seed bell peppers. Line peppers skin side up a baking sheet. Place under broiler until black and blistered, about 4-5 minutes. Carefully remove peppers and place in a large resealable bag, sealing. Set in refrigerator for 15 minutes or so until cooled enough to handle. Remove and, under cold running water, rub the blackened skin off. It should come off readily. If not, it only adds to the flavor.

In the meantime, peel, core and chop apples; set aside. When bell peppers are cooled, chop and set aside.

Chop hot chili peppers and place in a large skillet with apples, sugar, salt, black pepper, vinegar and apple juice. Heat, over high, until boiling, then reduce to low. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, it will boil down. Add the chopped bell peppers, cook an additional 3 minutes and remove from heat.

The apple should be cooked and broken up at this point, but if not, place mixture(in batches) in blender or food processor and pulse a second or two until finely chopped if desired. many people enjoy it chunky. Taste, and add more heat or sugar if desired. Pour into a bowl, cover and cool. The texture should have some texture.

This makes about 2 cups of jam.

Chef Jim Baley -- The Yankee Chef -- is a noted food columnist, cookbook author and the foremost New England Food Historian. He is a third generation chef and historian and lives in Maine with his wife and four children. He welcomes feedback at theyankeechef@aol.com.