Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Puff Pastry Appetizers with Bratwurst and Andouille Sausages

My husband and I don't collaborate often in matters culinary, mostly because my menu making and grocery shopping and dinner starting are all usually done while he's busy at work.  But when we do get together, it's often amazing.

We were tasked with bringing a dish to a family Thanksgiving gathering, and rather than my usual dessert category, I wanted to make an interesting savory appetizer.  With Dear Husband's help, it was decided that I'd start with a puff pastry base and make two incarnations, both laden with sausage: one with bratwurst, and one with andouille (Cajun smoked sausage). 

The bratwurst variation used a special seasonal sausage made with Spaten beer by our local German deli and restaurant, Siegi's.  We used Siegi's for the Cajun version, also.  While choosing our sausages, we tasted a few kinds of cheese available at the deli to determine the best pairings.  Jarlsberg (like Swiss) was chosen for the bratwurst and smoked cheddar was chosen for the andouille.

A test run of cooking helped me decide what other toppings would pair well.  Sauerkraut and onions were a no-brainer for the brats.  The andouille was a little tricker.  Thinking back to my favorite Cajun dishes, bell pepper repeatedly popped up as an ingredient.  I used both green and yellow bells.  I also tried and really liked diced sun-dried tomato- it added richness.

The veggies were sauteed in butter before the diced sausage was added and heated through.  Then the mess was spread onto a sheet of puff pastry and sprinkled with cheese before baking according to the puff pastry package directions.  With the heavy load of toppings, baking times were a little longer than expected, but still worthwhile.

While the puff pastry was a little limp underneath, the overall effect was achieved and the appetizers garnered rave reviews.  Next time, I might put squares of pastry into mini muffin tins and make little pouches instead of a big pizza style sheet.

Spaten beer bratwurst.  Achtung!

Smoked andouille sausage.  Ha eee, I gah-ron-tee!

Andouille with yellow and green bell pepper.

Diced sun-dried tomatoes.

Bratwurst with red onions.

Puff pastry on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bratwurst, drained sauerkraut, red onion, and Jarlsberg cheese.

Andouille, bell pepper, sun-dried tomato, and smoked cheddar cheese.

No comments: