It is hard to believe that almost nine months have passed since I discovered I was pregnant, yet here I am counting down the days until I welcome my first child to the world. Despite the pregnancy symptoms and constant fatigue, time really has flown by surprisingly quickly.
Part of the reason for that is that I did over commit myself during my pregnancy (first timer mistake). Before I found out I was pregnant, I had applied for an online postgrad university course which I was accepted into and decided to start the first unit in my second trimester. So during my second and most of my third trimester, not only was I working full time while pregnant, I was also studying at home. To say I found it difficult (writing reports all day at work then coming home to uni reading and writing assignments) would be an understatement. But I have finished my first unit (with pretty good grades on all my assessments) and have finally slowed down to prepare for my new life as a mum (besides all the appointments that seem to fill up the week).
Part of my preparation has included filling up the freezer with lots of ready cooked (or ready to be cooked) meals. I think winter is a great time to be in the later stages of pregnancy. Besides not melting in the Australian heat, it is quite mild but also a great time for soups, casseroles and oven baked foods that freeze really well. Some of the recipes I have made have been some old favourites, but I have also tried some new ones so there will be a few new posts to follow with those recipes.
But first here is the recipe for some very tasty sausage rolls that were made for me for my baby shower. They were so good I begged the recipe off my friends and made a batch for last night’s dinner (with half the batch going into the freezer and the rest as leftovers for today). I would have liked trying to freeze half of the batch before cooking, then defrosting and cooking later, however as I was using lamb mince that had already been frozen, I couldn’t do this. I may try this another time and will update the post then.
If you don’t like mint, this isn’t the recipe for you, but mint is one of my favourite herbs and I really like the combination of flavours in this recipe, something a little bit different from your usual sausage roll. However you could try replacing the mint and mint jelly with another herb and chutney or jelly. That is the great thing about recipes, you can experiment and adapt to your own taste.
Lamb, mint and haloumi sausage rolls
Makes 24 mini sausage rolls – Click here for pdf version of recipe to print
- 500g lean lamb mince
- 70g (1 cup) fresh breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup mint jelly (use a little less if you don’t like strong mint flavours)
- ¼ cup fresh mint – finely chopped (again, use a little less if you don’t like strong mint flavours)
- 200g haloumi – grated
- 2 garlic cloves – finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 sheets frozen puff pasty – thawed (my sheets were about 24cm x 24cm)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten (egg wash for the pastry)
- 1 tablespoon nigella seeds or black sesame seeds
- Preheat the oven to 180C fan forced (200C without fan). Line two baking trays with baking paper (this is important as some of the cheese and juices will probably leak out while cooking).
- In a large bowl, combine the lamb, breadcrumbs, mint jelly, chopped mint, haloumi, garlic and Worcestershire sauce along with some salt and pepper. It is easiest to do this with your hands (use gloves if you don’t like the idea of using your bare hands).
- Divide the mixture into six equal portions and set aside while you get the pastry ready.
- Cut each pastry sheet in half. Work with one half of the pastry at a time and put the rest in the fridge so it is easier to work with (it can be very difficult to handle if it gets too warm).
- Roll one of the lamb portions into a long sausage the length of the pastry then place the sausage lengthways in the middle of the halved pastry sheet. Brush the edges of the pastry with a little cold water and then roll the pastry around the sausage, pressing the edges to seal.
- Cut the length into 4 mini sausage rolls (or two larger ones if you want) and place on the baking tray sealed side down. Repeat this process with the rest of the pastry and lamb mix.
- Once all your sausage rolls are prepared, brush the tops with the beaten egg (try not to get the egg over the cut edges of your sausage rolls as this will limit the pastry ‘puffing’ up) and sprinkle with the nigella (or sesame) seeds.
- Bake in the oven for 30 – 35 minutes or until the sausage rolls are golden and puffed (the original recipe stated 30 minutes but I found I needed 35 minutes). In my oven I find it best to only cook a tray at a time, so I kept the second tray in the fridge while the first tray was cooking. If you have a good oven, cook them all at once, swapping the trays around halfway through the cooking time (unless you can fit all the rolls onto one tray).
- These are great as a party snack, or for lunch or dinner with a salad on the side.
Adapted from Love to Cook: 140 Simply Delicious Recipes to Share with Family and Friends by Valli Little (p50)