April 24th is National Pigs In Blankets Day. Some people call the food Pigs In A Blanket, but there’s only one pig per blanket. So, it’s Pig In A Blanket or Pigs In Blankets; and since no one has ever eaten just one, go for the plural.

But across the U.S., what caterers declare to be the most popular hors d’oeuvre is a cocktail frankfurter in a pastry blanket. Don’t forget the mustard.
 
 
THE HISTORY OF PIGS IN BLANKETS

Culinary historians have tracked the first recipes for modern pigs in blankets—small cocktail franks baked in a flaky crust—to 1950. According to FoodTimeline.org, these pastry-wrapped piggies are likely direct descendants of Victorian-era canapés.

The earliest recipe found in cookbooks that’s called “pigs in blankets” was published in the 1930. But there was no frankfurter or other sausage: It comprised oysters wrapped with bacon (strange, but perhaps plump oysters were seen as the “pigs”).

FOOD TRIVIA: Ask for Pigs In Blankets in the U.K., and you’ll get a cocktail sausage wrapped in bacon (a pig in a pig).
 
 
RECIPE: BLUE CHEESE PIGS IN BLANKETS

The recipe was created by Chef David Burke for Samuel Adams, incorporating Samuel Adams Boston Lager in the barbecue sauce,

Chef Burke calls the is recipe Bacon Blue Cheese Dogs, a more sophisticated term, perhaps, then pigs in blankets. He uses Kobe beef cocktail franks, but any high-quality cocktail frank will do.

Chef Burke also opts to trade the mustard for a beer-infused barbecue sauce.
 
Ingredients For Approximately 32 Pieces

  • 1 pound Kobe beef cocktail franks
  • 1 pound sliced bacon
  • 1 cup blue cheese
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry
  • 2 tablespoons jalapeño chiles, minced
  •  
    For The Barbecue Sauce

  • 2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup Samuel Adams Boston Lager (approximately ¾ bottle)
  • 32 ounces ketchup (a little more than two 12 oz. bottles)
  • 12 ounces chili sauce
  • Juice and zest of ½ lemon
  • Juice and zest of ½ orange
  • ½ bunch cilantro
  • 2 eggs for egg wash
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  •  
    Plus

  • Cocktail napkins
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the barbecue sauce. You can do this the day before. In a heavy-bottomed pot, toast all of the dry spices (cumin, coriander seed, celery seed, paprika, chili powder) over medium-low heat. Once the spices are toasted (you’ll begin to smell their aroma), add the honey and brown sugar, and cook until the mixture begins to caramelize. Then add the vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, chili sauce, beer, lemon juice and zest, orange juice and zest.

    REDUCE until the mixture thickens. Season the mixture with salt, pepper and cilantro. Let it stand for two hours, then strain through a fine-mesh, conical sieve. Place in a serving bowl and serve room temperature or warm, as a dipping sauce.

     

    Blue Cheese Pigs In Blankets Recipe
    [1] David Burke’s take on blue cheese pigs in blankets, which he calls Bacon Blue Cheese Dogs. The sauce uses Samuel Adams Boston Lager (photo courtesy Samuel Adams).

    Pigs In Blankets Recipe
    [2] You can get fancy with the pastry, following this variation that limits carbs by putting just a strip of puff pastry around the center of the cocktail frank (photo courtesy Hillshire Farms | Facebook).

    Pigs In Blankets
    [3] Another fancy variation (photo courtesy Pepperidge Farm—try this recipe from Life Is Sweet By Design).

    Samuel Adams Boston Lager
    [4] Samuel Adams Boston Lager (photo courtesy Samuel Adams).

     
    2. COOK the bacon. On a baking tray, cook the bacon at 375°F for about 12 minutes, until slightly brown but still pliable. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

    3. BEAT the eggs for the egg wash, with 2 tablespoons of water (1 tablespoon per egg).

    4. MASH together the blue cheese and minced jalapeños. Crumble onto the puff pastry. Cut the puff pastry into 1½-inch wide strips, wide enough to roll a cocktail frank and leave a ½ inch overlap per frank. Place a piece of cooled bacon on top.

    5. BEGIN rolling the first cocktail frank, leaving enough puff pastry to fold over and seal it. Brush the ends of the puff pastry strip with egg wash to seal over the cocktail frank. Continue rolling the cocktail franks in the puff pastry, cutting and sealing as you go. Repeat until finished.

    6. PLACE the pigs in blankets, seam side down on a parchment-lined sheet tray and brush with the egg wash. Bake at 375°F for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Place on a platter and serve with the sauce and cocktail napkins.

      


    THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food

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