Christmas Sausage Appetizer Recipe
The edible Christmas tree!
Any Christmas deserves a beautiful Christmas tree so here it is: the edible Christmas tree that you can share with family and friends!
The spinach gives the dough its vibrant green colour and sneaks more vegetables into our diets without overpowering the buttery flavour of the dough. The variety of appetizers will please everybody and it’s all Halal! It’s a tradition to serve turkey at Christmas so why not turkey sausages.
They are delicious and go great with the flaky pastry and the cheeses. Pigs in blankets are now more festive and this platter will definitely steal the show this holiday season. We wish you a Merry Christmas with good food and good company!
Makes: 1 tree (6 servings)
2 Halal Turkey Hot Dogs from The Sausage Man™
100 g cherry tomatoes
200 g mozzarella
3 slices of bell peppers
2 tbsp tomato paste
100 g mushrooms
1 brown onion
Grated cheddar cheese
Grated red Leicester cheese
For the dough:
500 g butter
500 g strong plain flour
2 tsp salt
250 g spinach
150 ml cold water
5 drops green food colouring
- Cut the butter in pieces and let it warm up to room temperature.
- In a large pot, add the spinach leaves and about a cup of water. Boil them for 5 minutes, then drain and cool. In a food processor or using a knife, very finely chop the spinach leaves until they become a paste. Add 150 ml water to it and set it aside in the fridge.
- Sift the flour and the salt in a large bowl. Add the chunks of butter and mix them together with your hands to combine them. There should still be some chunks or streaks of butter in the dough so don’t overwork the two ingredients. Form a well in the middle of the flour and add the spinach and water. Knead to form a smooth, marbled dough and roll it into a square.
- If you need, add a bit more cold water to it. The dough should be smooth and not very sticky. You can add a few drops of gel food colouring if you want a bolder colour.
- Chill the square dough in the fridge for 10 minutes. Then, on a floured surface, roll it out in one direction until triple its length. We added 1 thin slice of butter on two of the thirds of dough. Fold one third of the dough (top) over the middle, then the other third (bottom) on top. Turn the dough once to the left or right and roll it again to triple its length. Repeat the folding and place it back in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Repeat the rolling, folding and turning 3 more times, with 20 minute breaks in between. Once you are done, let the dough chill in the fridge until ready to roll it out.
- Defrost the Halal Turkey Sausages in a bowl of lukewarm water.
- Peel and chop the onion finely. Slice the mushrooms and add them both to a pan.
- Cut 3 slices of bell pepper and cut them into cubes. Add them to the onions and mushrooms.
- Drizzle a bit of olive oil and cook until the onions become translucent. Add the tomato paste and a pinch of pepper and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Set the cooked vegetables aside.
- Preheat the oven at 180°C on fan. Cut the sausages into bite size pieces or about the same size as the cherry tomatoes. If you have 1 big piece of mozzarella, cut it too into pieces as well.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it into a square about 0.5 cm thick. Cut a strip about the same width as a cherry tomato. Place one cherry tomato on it and roll it in dough. Cut the strip to the needed length and press lightly on the ends of it to wrap the tomato completely. Try to squeeze on the dough as little as possible to allow it to puff up in the oven.
- Line an oven tray with baking paper and place the dough-wrapped tomato on it.
- Roll the sausages, cheese pieces and tomatoes in dough and place them on the tray to form the shape of a Christmas tree. Make sure to leave about 1 cm in between them as the dough will expand as it bakes.
- Cut another strip, a bit wider than the previous ones, and make a square. Place it at the bottom of the tree and fill it with cooked vegetables.
- With the scraps of dough left from the edges or strips that were left very short, you can mould a star for the top of the tree or a mini present. These will not really rise as the layers of puff pastry were squeezed together. You can cut out a star using a cookie cutter too.
- There should be about half of the dough still left. The remaining dough can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 weeks or you can make various decorations (stars, gingerbread men, squares to resemble gifts, or any other shape you want).
- Whisk an egg and, if you want to, add a drop of gel food colouring to it too. Brush it on the pastries.
- Place the oven tray in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes, turning the tray around after 10-15 minutes.
- Remove it from the oven and decorate the tree with grated cheeses as tinsel. Serve hot along with dips or extra cooked vegetables. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!