|Pigs in Blankets with Christmas spices|
Intensely savoury and moreish, I find Pigs in Blankets irresistible.
They are insubstantial little nibbles rather than a meal in itself - the perfect party food, not just a small part of the Christmas trimmings. Which is probably why I like them so much - any nibbly food, whether it is tapas, mezze, dim sum or just food on a stick, is the food I was born to eat!
I like to coat the sausages in Christmas spices, before wrapping them in bacon. If you don't have all these spices, replace them with an equal quantity of mixed spice or garam masala. It does the trick just as well.
And remember, Pigs in Blankets are not just for Christmas; they can and should be enjoyed all year round!
Makes: 32 pigs
Skill level: Easy
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground allspice
32 cocktail sausages or chipolatas
16 x rashers smoked streaky bacon
spiced honey dressing
4 tbsp runny honey
2 tbsp booze (I used kirsch, but you could use brandy, rum or whisky)
1-2 tsp Tabasco
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4.
- Mix the spices together and lightly dust the sausages with the spice mix.
- Using the back of a knife or a pair of scissors, carefully stretch each bacon rasher out. (This helps to stop the bacon from shrinking as it cooks).
- Cut each rasher of bacon in half and roll them around each sausage. this will stop them shrinking as they cook. Cut each rasher in half horizontally and roll each piece around a sausage. (If I am making the pigs in blankets to go with a roast, then I tend to put two up on a cocktail stick - it just makes them easier to serve.)
- Place them on a non-stick baking tray (or a lightly greased tray).
- Gently warm the honey in a small saucepan, before adding the booze and Tabasco. Stir well to combine, and then pour over the pigs in blankets. Make sure that they are well coated all over.
- Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, basting occasionally and turning once until lightly browned.
- Best served hot or warm.
- For an alcohol-free version, replace the booze with fresh apple or orange juice, or fizzy drinks such as ginger beer or coke.
- I sometimes give the sausages a quick fry before wrapping them in bacon, for extra flavour.
- These can be grilled rather than baked.
- Best served hot, but perfectly acceptable at room temperature.
- Serve as party nibbles with salsa or spicy sour cream dip or a creamy mustard one.
- Replace the spices with an equal amount of mixed spice or a good curry spice blend such as garam masala.
- Keep things really simple and just bake with spices and without the honey dressing.