3 April 2012

Some recipes succeed - these, unfortunately, didn't.

I've been quite fortunate, lately, in having had a phase of successful recipes.  However, in the last week or so, two have let me down quite severely.  One of them even made poor old hubby gag!

So, first of all, let's talk about the Sausage Croissants.  The idea was great - take an unbaked Croissant and form it around a part-baked sausage and some chutney, then finish the baking in the oven.  Hey presto - a variation on a sausage roll.

Except it didn't really happen like that.

I used the JusRol Croissant dough, which I've never used before and it's quite possible that it might not be the best on the market for this job.  The dough didn't puff up like you'd expect a Croissant to puff, it was more bread than a cross between bread and puff pastry, as it should be.  The outside of the Croissant was dull and looked like it could have done with egg washing - although that wasn't part of the preparation on the packet.

As for the sausage, well, see my previous post for what I think of sausages nowadays.  I used the very same sausages (Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Pork & Fresh Herb) but they were grim.  In fact, the whole thing was grim - the only bright spot being the use of the chutney, which gave a welcome sweetness, spice and tang to the proceedings.

Just recently I've seen quite a number of recipes that make use of Croissant dough in various guises.  Some as pastry, some as "cobbler" type topping for casseroles and some as an integral part of a casserole, which I don't understand as surely it'd just be slush by then?  Bizarre.  Terribly disappointing - and I won't be trialling this one again!

The one that made poor hubby gag, was Maunika Gowardhan's Tandoori Gobi Masala - which I'd extended somewhat by making some Turkey and Mango Chutney meatballs to go with it.

The plan was sound, I thought.  We'd have the Tandoori Gobi Masala (Cauliflower, marinated in and baked in Tandoori spice mix, yoghurt & gram flour), which would be served on a bed of stir fried green pepper and red onion, along with the Turkey & Mango Chutney meatballs - all served with Chapatis with which to pick the pieces up and a Raita to provide the moisture and cooling element.  Sounds like it would work, doesn't it?

Well, neither son & heir nor I disliked it quite as fundamentally as hubby did.  But then, he's always been sensitive to cauliflower.  I thought we might be onto a winner here, as the cauliflower would be coated and marinated in the Tandoori curry spices - and he's always said that the only way cauliflower is edible, is in a curry.  However, we now have to amend that to "in a gravy-style curry, preferably 5 miles away".

It is a shame, from the Turkey meatballs point of view, that the cauliflower really detracted from the overall dish so intensely.  As a stand-alone little meatball, I felt that the Mango Chutney made an interesting flavour combination with the Turkey mince and rolling the meatball in the Tandoori spice mix before baking them, upped the interesting factor to "really very tasty".  However, I think hubby's rejection button had been firmly pushed by the cauliflower and he said he felt the meatballs tasted "old", as though the turkey mince had been past its best.  Neither son & heir or I agreed with that view, so I think we have to give the meatballs the benefit of the doubt.

I will agree, however, that the Cauliflower dish really didn't work at all.  The Tandoori spice was too intense at 1.5 tbsp per head of cauliflower and even being tempered by 75ml of greek yoghurt couldn't calm it down.  The cauliflower flavour came through with no problem (which was what threw hubby for a loop, but I enjoyed it as I like cauliflower), but the Patak's Tandoori Paste made for, I felt, an overpoweringly citrus-like flavour and what hubby felt was a raw tomato paste flavour.  Either way, it wasn't good.

I even had problems finding a photograph of the dish that looked half way decent.

I'm really not sure what went wrong with this one as I followed the recipe to the letter, even down to the basting of each piece in melted butter, as per the recipe, to achieve the "lovely charred edge", which also didn't really happen.  The end result resembled the photograph on the recipe, so all I can think is that this combination of flavours just isn't a great one for us - even putting aside hubby's cauliflower thing!

So I have to save this tale of woe, by telling you all about a little dinner that I put together out of "this and that - and some pork steaks", which worked beautifully.

I had a jar of Hoisin sauce left over from last week, in the cupboard.  I also had a real yearning for a pork chop.  So I put the two together, in that I trimmed up some pork steaks for the lads, trimmed up a pork chop for me (the chaps don't like tangling with a bone!) and coated them all in Hoisin sauce.  Into the oven they went - along with some sweet potatoes in their jackets - and 45 minutes later, we had a yummy dinner.   I'd made some greek yoghurt with lime zest, lime juice, finely chopped red chilli, fresh coriander and salt & pepper, which is just sublime with baked sweet potatoes and we also had a little salad with some of the Peppadew piquant mini peppers.  Gorgeous!



  1. Your sausage bread reminds me of something similar I ate in Amsterdam a few years back, and sort of recreated here using bread dough. Was mostly successful, so shame your idea of using the croisant dough didn't pass muster :(

    The spicing for the cauliflower sounds overwhelming, I think sometimes less is more!

    Though I do really like the sound of your Turkey and Mango Chutney meatballs, might have to steal your idea soon!

    1. Hello Anne - yes, I must admit that the Croissant dough that I used really wasn't anything like a Croissant that one would buy in the shops, so I might have a bit of a taste test on Croissant doughs to find the best one, before I try again on something similar!

      Feel free to take the idea for the Turkey & Mango Chutney meatballs, although if you're not going to roll them in spices, I'd definitely include some cumin and ground coriander at least, just to up the spice quota!

  2. Stumbled across your site form UKFBA - Lovely fusion food with the pork steaks! That's a really one pan recipe too, thanks for sharing.

    Also - I see a lot of sausages in croissants in Europe and now in China too, some sort of sweet bread with the saltiness of the sausage really works. Sorry to hear your try didn't go so well, maybe next time! :-)

    1. Hello Xinmei and welcome! :) Yes, the Hoisin pork was gorgeous and something I'll be repeating very soon, I think. The baked sweet potatoes with the lime & chilli yoghurt really is a totally delicious combination.

  3. Here in my part of Texas, we have a Czechoslovakian sausage pastry called a Klobasnek (also mistakenly called Kolaches) that use a sweet dough wrapped around sausages and cheese (sometimes with jalapeno peppers as well.) They're a wonderful breakfast meal. So Sorry that yours didn't turn out as well as you'd hoped.

    Great comeback on the pork, though! there's no better combination than pork and hoisin!

    1. Hello Jerry and welcome to you, too! I'll have to investigate these Klobasnek further, as they sound intriguing. Anything that involves cheese and peppers immediately gets my attention. lol

  4. So sad on your first two dish. I really liked the last one. Got me drooling and might not get satisfied only staring at the picture. Delicious pork chops! =)

    1. Aha, Raquel - I detect another Pork chop fan in the house! LOL The picture is of the pork steaks, whereas the pork chop that I had was (honestly) enormous and completely gorgeous in that the bone was fairly small and neat, so easy to negotiate!


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