Sunday, November 1, 2009
Day one: Pigs in Blankets - a taste test.
Did you know that MB does not have his own pigs-in-a-blanket recipe? neither does Ruth Reichl or Deborah Madison - although there may be a very good reason for both of them not to spend too much time reinventing this particular classic. The Silver Palate cookbook, nada (shocking considering it was all about the party menus), Moosewood - obviously not. Saveur Athentic American - zilch. The Splendid Table: Recipes from Emilia Romagna, the heartland of Northern Italian Food - just kidding, I didn't even bother looking in that one. The Joy of Cooking? You guessed it , it says to use store-bought frozen crescent dough.
But the domestic goddess came through! Nigella Lawson has the simplest scone dough recipe, to which she adds some grated cheddar. Wrap that around some lil' smokies and the results is a heaping amount of of pigs in blankets for children, adults and a couple of vampires at a really fun Halloween party at S' house. Nigella is always good for crowd pleasing easy recipes. She's good for that and a plunging neckline. (Btw, I just saw she's going to be on NPR's Morning Edition tomorrow!)
I made the Joy of Cooking pigs with Pillsbury Crescent dough, just for fun and because they make it so very easy. It literally takes 2 seconds to roll out the dough from it's cardboard tube.
The verdict: Nigella wins, hands down fershure. It does not take a discerning palate to tell the difference between flour+milk+ egg vs something that comes out of a cardboard tube and has "butter flavoring". The store bought stuff doesn't develop a crunch and the dough is, for want of a better word, weak. Nigella's dough is scrumptious and so easy (does that sound vaguely naughty?) and her pigs were good even eaten cold.
To the cheese haters (I am looking at you Dad): the cheddar is not necessary, but it does add the slightest hint of sharpness to the dough. If I didn't tell anyone there was cheese in the dough, they wouldn't know. I guess a dash of cayenne would work just as well and save some calories, but come on, it's sausages and dough. Pork+dough - cheddar = still a lot of calories per bite. Life is short, indulge.
To those of you tempted to go the Joy of Cooking road: don't. That would be a waste of calories.