If you are anything like me, you have a taste imprinted on your tongue from childhood that associates parties with piggies in a blanket. Whether it was Hebrew National kosher-approved piggies in a blanket at bar mitzvahs and weddings, or non-kosher piggies at the local country club, those piggies were there, and they were yummy. For years I thought about re-creating them organically and longed for them, but there weren’t any baby organic piggies to start with, and there certainly wasn’t any organic substitute for the Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry available in the freezer section of the supermarket.
About a year ago, I even went so far as to cut up Applegate Farms organic hot dogs and make my own dough, after searching long and hard on the Internet for a dough recipe. But the dough was dry and tough (it didn’t have that multilayered puffy crunch that’s all part of the delight.) And those oddly shaped dog bits just looked wrong.
And then…and then…I was in my local Fresh Market store and came across a new item in the hotdog section: “The Greatest Little Organic Smokey Pork Uncured Cocktail Franks,” from Applegate Farms. OK, so they are not kosher. But I am not Jewish, either. They are a little bit different than the simple taste of an all-beef mini dog—perhaps a little more spicy and garlicky—but they do the job and they do it well.
I tried this recipe twice to get it right. The secret is to cook the little dogs on top of the stove (or grill!) first to get them really crunchy and golden, and then wrap them in the puff pastry (still no organic substitute for puff pastry—or do any of you know of one?) and bake. They are delicious.
I haven’t made them for a party yet, but next time I will. I did make them for the Country Music Awards and we had a little party, just the girls and me. And then, I packed a few leftovers in my daughter’s school lunch the next day. They got eaten!
Almost Organic Piggies in a Blanket
- 1 package Organic Cocktail Franks
- 1 package Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry
- Cook the piggies on top of the stove until they are crispy and browned.
- Thaw out the puff pastry, unfold it, and cut it into squares. Make sure the squares are large enough to really wrap those piggies up well because as the pastry cooks and puffs, it will pull apart.
- Wrap each piggie in its blanket. Kids love to help for this part, and in fact, my 5-year-old was better at it than I was.
- Bake for about 15 minutes in a 350-degree oven until the pastry is all puffy and golden.
Serve with mustard if you want, but it certainly isn’t necessary.