Anyone in Australia watching the current series of Masterchef last Friday night (about 1.5 million of us according to www.mumbrella.com.au) might have seen Gary whip up a ‘healthy’ kid’s sausage roll.
Looked gorgeous and apparently tasted ok but I wasn’t impressed. Calling it healthy’ was a bit of a stretch.
True. There were carrots in it. But to get them there, they were grated, slowly sauted, mashed, mixed with the meat and then baked. It’s a pretty popular way to smuggle vegetables into kids and one that I can’t quite get my head around.
According to this method, at some stage during the day when I’m not doing the washing, cleaning, school runs, freelance work, buying the new undies because the old one were pooed in, unstacking the dishwasher, watering the plants that are gasping their last breaths and helping build the lego bird for ‘b’ homework, I’m supposed to cook vegetables to death and mash them.
Some helpful books such as Jessica Seinfield’s ‘Deceptively Delicious’ recommend doing mashed vegies in large batches and freezing them in small portions ready to drop into tasty treats.
So to successfully smuggle vegies I’m supposed to boil, mash, freeze, thaw and cook again. And will there be any ounce of nutrition left at the end of all that? Maybe you’re a nutritionist or food scientist and can let me know, but I’m suspecting not much.
In the mean time, I can’t be bothered with all that. Here’s my sausage roll recipe complete with four vegies and lentils…
CHICKEN SAUSAGE ROLLS
5 sheets frozen puff pastry
500g chicken mince
1 carrot, peeled, grated
1 zucchini, grated
1 onion, grated (or you can whizz these 3 ingredients to save time, but avoid pulping out all the texture)
3 medium mushrooms, finely diced
125g can brown lentils, rinsed, drained
2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (basil and chives are good)
Salt & black pepper
1 egg, whisked, for glazing
Preheat oven to 200C. Lay out your pastry sheets on a bench. Cut each in half to make 2 rectangles.
Mix together all the remaining ingredients until combined.
Spread the mixture lengthwise along the middle of the rectangles. Ease pastry over from one edge, brush egg along top side then roll other edge over to seal.
If cooking immediately, cut each stick into 4 pieces, place on an oven tray lined with baking paper, brush with egg and cook in middle of the oven for 25 minutes until golden and cooked through.
MAKES 10 STICKS (40 PIECES)
FREEZING & DEFROSTING INSTRUCTIONS
Prepare these quickly. Wrap uncooked sticks of sausage rolls in plastic wrap. Freeze immediately on oven trays to maintain their shape before transferring to plastic bags for an extra layer of protection. Defrost in the fridge (still wrapped in plastic) for 24 hours before cooking. Ensure they are completely thawed before cooking. Cut into four, brush with egg and cook for 25 minutes until steaming hot in the centre.