Obviously, I love home cooking. More than that, I love cooking from scratch. Not only is it satisfying to make something with your own hands, it's this pride of doing something without taking advantage of the convince-ready world we live in. Of course there's a time and place, right? You don't always have time to put together a homemade pie crust and those pilsbury ones are tasty! Homemade pizzas are to die for but I'll eat a Tony's anyday. Bread, Mac& Cheese, cake mix... So many examples. But if you have the time, it's always so much better from scratch.
Anyway, I've been having fun lately really spending the time to create things fully from scratch. Behold, a perfect example from start to finish!
This recipie just warms my heart for a few reasons. One, I finally made my own puff pastry! I LOVE puff pastry, but have always bought the pre-made stuff from the freezer aisle. That stuff is good, don't get me wrong, but the homemade stuff is SPECTACULAR. I mean, wow. I'll never go back [until I am inevitably in a time crunch and/or too lazy to make my own].
The second reason I loved this dinner was that the sausage used was made by my future brother in law. This man comes from a family of farmers, he hunts, and also purchases animals from farms for their meat. I've always wanted to do that, purchase a pig or a lamb or something like that. It's a great feeling to support local farmers directly... and also the quality of meat and the price so right.
So anyhow, Mike took the venison he hunted and pork that he purchased and created all kinds of sausages. And out of this sausage fest came Mountain Man Breakfast Sausage. An amazing take on breakfast sausage, spiced perfectly, and just tasting so much better knowing that it was made by a family member.
I used this Food Network recipe for the puff pastry. Unfortunately you're on your own for the sausage though I suggest you buy that $30 ish attachment for the kitchen aid and give homemade sausage a whirl:) Italian sausage will do just fine. I'd probably go with the hot!
Sausage en Croute
1. 5 lb of your favorite ground sausage
1 green zucchini
1 yellow zucchini
15 yellow pearl onions
1/3 cup Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 recipie of puff pastry (see above)
Preheat the oven to 400F. Clean the pearl onions, toss in olive oil and season with salt. Roast for 10 - 15 minutes, tossing halfway through.
In a skillet, pat the sausage down into a rectangular patty as best you can, about 3in by 12in. Brown on both sides; it's better if it's not all the way cooked because it will finish in the oven.
Remove the sausage and set aside. Add the zucchini to the pan, scraping up the downed bits at the bottom. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add the pepper flakes, ground mustard, oregano, garlic, and sauté a minute until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper and stir in cheese and roasted onions. These will cook more in the pastry so don't over cook them at this point!
Roll out your puff pastry into a giant rectangle, about 2 ft by 18 inches. Lay the sausage down the center. Top with vegetables. Cut slits in the puff pastry along the longer edges of the rectangle. You'll use these to fold over the cente to create a nice pattern. Be careful on the cut the slit too close to the base of the Croute.
Fold up on end (the shorter side) and work your way down the pastry, folding one slit at a time over the pastry. Once you have reached the end and folded the end up, place the whole thing onto a greased cookie sheet. Push the side together andr make sure it's sealed nicely. Brush with a milk wash (you need about a 1/4 cup milk or half and half) and put in the oven for 30-40 minutes.