For the cocktail party we attended last weekend, I made the deviled crab Rangoon and my husband made mini pigs in blanket. He used cocktail pups (a nitrite free mini sausage) and crescent roll dough from Trader Joe’s. I mentioned it on Facebook and a bunch of friends revealed their longing for the little guilty pleasures. Needless to say, so did the guests at the party, who ate them all up just as fast as the deviled Sriracha crab Rangoon.
We had a leftover package of crescent roll dough and I thought of wrapping the dough around cut pieces of dried Chinese lop cheung sausage for an Asian rendition. It’s not very farfetched because Cantonese bakeries sometimes have hotdogs baked in a pillowy pastry much like that of baked bao dough.
I tried it out as a quick nibble along with champagne. The little Chinese pigs in blanket were savory-sweet, a bit fatty, and just delightful.
Never tried lop cheung before? Make it a New Year’s resolution. Bon Appetit magazine picked the Chinese staple as one of the trending foods for 2012. Lop cheung (lap xuong in Vietnamese) is sold at Chinese and Southeast Asian markets. Out of the package, Chinese sausages look like these:
Chinese Pigs in Blanket
Chinese sausages are intensely flavored so I cut each link into short lengths and halved each lengthwise. When I kept the link as a round, the result was way too large and awkward to eat as a cocktail morsel. If you opt to keep the sausage as rounds, cut the triangles in half so there’s enough dough to cover the pieces well; you’ll yield 16. There is no need to precook them as they'll cook in the oven.
Makes 24 cocktail snacks to serve 6 to 8
4 Chinese dried sausages (lop cheung)
An 8-ounce package of refrigerated crescent rolls, such as Trader Joe's or Pillsbury
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 medium or large egg, beaten well
1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Cut each sausage crosswise into 3 equal lengths. Then halve each short section lengthwise. You’ll have 24 pieces total. Set aside.
3. Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Open the package of rolls and unroll the dough onto your work surface. Cut along the perforated edge to separate each triangle. Then cut each triangle into 3 smaller ones. They do not have to be equal because the dough is very forgiving. Here’s what I did:
4. For each one, simply roll up the sausage in a piece of dough. Put the sausage at the wider end, press it gently down to secure, the roll it up to encase; stretch the dough a bit, if you have to. Place on the baking sheet and repeat to use up all the sausage and dough.
Brush with a bit of egg for shine and deep color. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before serving. These are good hot, warm, or at room temperature.
Aside from lop cheung, my thought is that longaniza may be good as a Filipino pigs in blanket. Thoughts?