Calgary

Wrap carrots, sausages in bacon for fresh 'pigs in a blanket': Julie Van Rosendaal's recipe

No longer must this family-favourite dish feature only hotdogs or cocktail wieners. Julie Van Rosendaal offers two takes on pigs in a blanket.

No longer must this family-favourite dish feature only hotdogs or cocktail wieners

Carrots are tasty roasted but even most delicious when wrapped in bacon. (Julie Van Rosendaal/CBC)

Pigs in blankets as we know them entered the North American culinary scene in the late 1950s.

They were hotdogs or small cocktail weenies wrapped in Pillsbury crescent dough and baked until the pastry was puffed and golden.

There are variations of sausage wrapped in dough made around the world, some cocktail party-sized, others more substantial.

Really, so long as you have a hotdog/weenie/sausage/cured meat stick and some form of dough, you can call it a pig in a blanket.

Curiously, the British version of pigs in blankets are sausages wrapped in bacon, so that's a double whammy of pig.

If you want to break out of the usual cocktail weenie and crescent roll mould, here are a couple variations to try.​

Carrots roasted in bacon blankets

Because roasted carrots are delicious, as is anything wrapped in bacon, roasting the two together is a very good idea. The bacon shrink-wraps each carrot as it cooks. It's not necessarily authentic but definitely delicious.

Choose long, skinny carrots over plump ones. (Julie Van Rosendaal/CBC)

Choose long, thin carrots rather than the enormous ones that come by the bag in most grocery stores.

If they happen to still have their tops, trim them off, leaving a bit of the green stem intact. To really fancy them up, top the roasted bacon-wrapped carrots with pesto made from the leafy carrot tops.

Trim extra bits of bacon and save them as flavour for a stew. (Julie Van Rosendaal/CBC)

Ingredients

1 bundle of carrots.

1 package of regular or thinly sliced bacon.

Freshly ground black pepper.

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 204 C (400 F) while you wash the carrots.

Trim any green ends and wrap each one in a piece of bacon.

Lay the carrots seem down on the pan. (Julie Van Rosendaal/CBC)

Place them seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Trim any ends of bacon that might be longer than the carrot. Keep these for starting a soup or stew.

Keep short green tops on the carrots to add a bit of colour. (Julie Van Rosendaal/CBC)

Roast for 20 to 25 minutes. Brush once or twice with the fat as it renders from the bacon. Keep in the oven until the bacon is crisp and the carrots are tender and golden on the ends.

Serving: As many as you like.

Chicken sausages in biscuit blankets

Chicken sausages wrapped in biscuits make a tasty breakfast or brunch dish.

They would even work as a party snack if you went with small breakfast-sized sausages cut in half and dabbed them with grainy mustard.

Try adding a handful of grated cheese to the biscuit mixture, or roasted garlic or fresh herbs. Serve the warm chicken sausage biscuits with grainy mustard or maple syrup.

Wrap sausage in biscuits to spruce up the dish. (Julie Van Rosendaal/CBC)

Ingredients

3 to 4 large chicken apple sausages.

For biscuits:

2 cups of all-purpose flour (or half all-purpose, half whole wheat).

1 tablespoon of baking powder.

¼ teaspoon of salt.

1/3 cup of butter, coarsely grated or cut into bits.

¾ cup of milk or cream, plus extra for brushing.

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 204 C (400 F).

Cook the sausages in a large skillet on the stovetop or in the oven just until cooked through.

Cool and cut crosswise into three pieces.

To make the biscuit dough, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Blend in the butter and then add the milk, stirring just until the dough comes together.

Pat out about 1.3 centimetres thick and cut into strips.

Brush the biscuits with milk before baking. (Julie Van Rosendaal/CBC)

Wrap a strip around each piece of sausage. This can work different ways. It could be a square or rectangle. The pieces don't have to wrap around perfectly. It's fine if they overlap. The dough pieces can be pinched together if need be.

Place either on their sides or upright on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Brush with a little extra milk or cream.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden.

Serving: Makes nine to 12 chicken sausage biscuits.


With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.

About the Author

Julie Van Rosendaal

Calgary Eyeopener's food guide

Julie Van Rosendaal talks about food trends, recipes and cooking tips on the Calgary Eyeopener every Tuesday at 8:20 a.m. MT. The best-selling cookbook author is a contributing food editor for the Globe and Mail, and writes for other publications across Canada.