Friday, December 17, 2010

Fall En Croute

En Croute means "in a crust" so your options are limitless when making anything "en croute."
When making tonight's dinner, I wanted to combine hearty seasonal fall flavors with a new twist and some lighter ingredients. Using traditionally sweet foods like apples and cranberries in savory food is one of my favorite things to do.

Savory sausage, stuffing made with carrots, onions, celery and green pepper with broth-soaked croutons, apple-rosemary and cranberry compote and fresh kale wrapped up in a crispy puff pastry shell.

2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, small dice
1 carrot, small dice
1 celery stalk, small dice
1/2 green pepper, small dice
salt and pepper
1 1/4 cup medium diced pieces of bread (from dinner rolls)
1/2 cup vegetable broth

1 tbl earth balance vegan butter
1 fuji apple, halved, cored and sliced thinly
1 tbl fresh rosemary, minced
2 cups water
1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 tbl extra virgin olive oil
2 tofurkey italian sausages, halved vertically
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
3 leaves of red chard, stems removed
3 tbl water mixed with 2 tsp maple syrup

In a large saute pan, assemble the stuffing. Heat the oil and sweat the onions for 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the carrots, celery, green pepper, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and continue to saute over medium high heat for 10 more minutes. Add the bread cubes and cook until they are golden brown and toasted. Add the vegetable broth over the bread cubes and vegetable mixture and finish cooking over medium heat until the broth has reduced completely. Transfer the stuffing mixture to a plate.

In the same pan, make the compote. First bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add the dried cranberries to reconstitute them. Let sit off heat for at least 5 minutes.
Melt the butter in the pan and add the apple slices, rosemary and a pinch of salt.
Saute the apples for 5 minutes or so over medium heat to soften the apples but not loose their crunchy texture entirely. Drain the cranberries and add to the apples off of the heat. Transfer conpote mixture to a plate.

In the same pan, add the remaining 1 tbl of oil and brown the 4 sausage halves, flat side down. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.
Lay the puff pastry sheet down vertically and roll it out at least 3 more inches in length.
Lay the chard leaves down, covering the entire bottom of the pastry, but do not overlap the leaves.
Lay the stuffing mix on top of the chard, covering the entire piece and gently pressing it all down to compact.
Add 2 pieces of sausage down in the middle, longwise, flat side up. Put the remaining 2 pieces on top of the sausage, flat side down.
Cover the top of everything with the apple-rosemary compote.
From right to left, roll up the pastry as tight as possible and transfer to the baking sheet, seam side down.
Brush with the maple syrup mixture and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Let side for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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