The December 2009 Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Simone of Junglefrog Cooking. Simone chose Salmon en Croûte (or alternative recipes for Beef Wellington or Vegetable en Croûte) from Good Food Online. The key to the challenge was to cook with a pastry, and I opted for a thriftier alternative, breakfast en croûte.
Total time: 2 hours, plus 1-24 hour chill time
1/2 pound regular pork sausage
3 large eggs
1-2 large potatoes, quartered (enough to yield 2 cups)
1 Tbsp milk
16 oz pastry dough, cool or chilled, divided
Boil potato pieces for 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Separate sausage into 2 uniform rectangular patties. Cook on medium heat until completely browned on all sides (about 10 minutes). Set aside.
In a small bowl, beat eggs with milk. Lightly grease or butter a large (>= 12 inches) frying pan and heat on medium-low. Spread half the egg mixture in the pan (you may need to tilt the pan to cover the entire area). Cook on medium-low for 2-3 minutes. Cover and continue to cook for 2 more minutes. Gently remove from the pan and onto a plate. Set aside. Repeat with the remaining egg mix. These are your egg wraps.
Grate, shred, slice or mash potatoes.
On a large, clean surface, lay out a sheet of saran wrap or wax paper. Place one cooked egg wrap in the center of the sheet. Spread half of the shredded potatoes evenly across the egg wrap. Press lightly into place.
Place one of your cooked sausage patties on top of the potatoes, as close to the center as possible. Wrap the eggs and potatoes around the sausage patty. Use the saran wrap to press and hold it firmly in place. Chill for one hour (or overnight!).
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Divide pastry dough. Roll the pastry out so you can wrap an egg-wrap in it completely (approx. 2-3 mm thick) and lay it on a buttered or oiled baking sheet (it may hang over the edges). Put an egg-wrap in the middle. If it has a thinner tail end, tuck it under. Now fold the pastry over into a neat parcel (the join will be at the top, so trim the edge neatly), making sure you don’t have any thick lumps of pastry as these won’t cook through properly. Trim off any excess as you need to. Make 3 neat cuts in the pastry to allow steam to escape and make some decorations with the off-cuts to disguise the join if you like. Repeat for the second egg-wrap.
Bake for 30-60 minutes or until the crust turns brown.
The more pastries you put on the cookie sheet, the longer it takes.
Whatever you do, don’t skip the chill phase; it’s really important to chill your filling completely before wrapping it in pastry.
To make a more glamorous pastry, you could brush the top of the pastry with beaten egg before baking.
I originally doubled this recipe and made 3 of these bad boys, but they were huge, and it took forever to bake. The second time I made 4 using a doubled recipe, and it was still a lot of food (and they were still quite large). I think I’ll use this halved recipe next time and only make two for the three of us.