February 02, 2011

Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage Kolaches

As of yesterday February's Culinary Smackdown Battle - Hand Held "Pies" was officially launched. Who  better to set the tone than myself? Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage Kolaches.

I first met Mr. Sideline Chef while I was living in the Pacific Northwest in Washington State. I consider the Pacific Northwest my "back home" even though I was raised in Las Vegas, Nevada for the majority of my life. Rainy weather, the Pacific Coast, the rainy weather, and did I mention the rainy weather? I loved it all.

Moving to Texas seemed foreign to me when Mr. Sideline Chef took me South to get me acquainted with where my new home with him would be. Houston, Texas. Ick! The images I had painted in my head were those of men in cowboy hats, horses as the main mode of transportation, and a more "Western" feel. Not in the least bit. This wasn't West Texas. Houston looked like a garbage hole. To this day, 3 1/2 years later, I have not grown to love it here. I'll always love the Oregon/Washington area and Ohio/Pittsburgh (Mr. Sideline Chef is from this area) as my home.
When searching for our first place to live we were touring some apartment buildings and our stomachs began to growl. It was around brunch and didn't really know the area that well. We asked the leasing agent for a recommendation on where to eat. "There's a kolache..." "Bless you!" I interrupt. "...place just right down the road."

Kolaches? Obviously a Southern thing. We blew it off the way that a Texan would probably do to a coffee stand on every corner in the Pacific Northwest. We settled on a hole-in-the-wall donut shop. I don't know why they called it a donut shop when the number of kolaches outnumbered the donuts.

Curiosity tends to get the best of Mr. Sideline Chef and if you tell him "don't do it" he's going to do it. He ordered the infamous Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage Kolache. A sausage flecked with jalapenos and cheddar chunks was nestled between a pillowy bread crust. It was delicious.

To this day we frequent the donut shop. Not for the donuts but for the kolaches. Itty bitty would tell a different tale from the tell tell sign of maple glaze around his mouth and those giveaway sticky fingers. I have never thought to even make my own. That is, until one morning when returning home Mr. Sideline Chef tells me, "I thought you were the Pretend Chef." Heard him loud and clear.

Making kolaches is easier than getting dressed (even on a Sunday morning), loading itty bitty into the car, and driving a mile down the road and walking into a donut shop and picking a few of them up. Okay. That might be a stretch. The donut shop provides convenience but making them provides the quality. The hardest part is patiently waiting for the dough to rise two separate times or maybe it's picking your filling? Make them and find out.

You can even make these ahead, freeze, and reheat in the microwave for a quick grab and go breakfast.

Jalapeno Sausage Kolaches
Makes 12 Servings

Stars of the Show for the Dough:
  • 2 (1/4 oz) packages dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups flour
And Action:

In a small bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm water and set aside.

In a large bowl cream together the butter, shortening, and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Mix in the egg yolks, milk, and salt making sure to combine well.

Stir the dissolved yeast and flour and mix until the ingredients are thoroughly blended into a soft dough.

Place the dough in a large bowl that has been coated with cooking spray making sure to coat the top of the dough. Cover the bowl with a towel and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Grease a baking sheet.

Divide the dough into 12 even pieces and roll into a ball. Flatten each piece into a circle and transfer them to the greased baking sheet. Place about 1 inch apart.

Let them rise again in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Stars of the Show for the Filling:
  • 12 Jalapeno Cheddar Sausages
  • pickled jalapenos (optional)
  • shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
*You can get creative and use whatever other ingredients you would like. Ham and Cheese. Bacon, Egg, and Cheese. The possibilities are endless. Just follow the next steps for filling.

And Action:

Failed first attempt. Be sure not to over stuff the centers!
Place the filling ingredients in the center of the dough circles being careful not to over stuff or else you will tear the dough like my failed first attempt. Lesson learned. Fold one side of the dough over the filling and roll to the other end of the dough. Pinch to seal. Liberally brush the tops with melted butter.
Bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

These are best enjoyed when they are fresh from the oven but cooled down enough to handle.

#17 is now marked off on my "Stir The Pot"  page!

Make these or another hand held meat "pie" and be sure to link your recipe to the Culinary Smackdown Battle - Hand Held "Pies".  I would love to see the flavor combination you come up with! Your entry might win you the prize!


Priyanka said...

This is very innovative....i never had anything like that ever

Pretend Chef said...

Priyanka - They are so delicious! Once you make them and adjust to your taste you'll crave them. I'm hoping you'll create something and link it to the challenge!

The Enchanted Cook said...

I'm originally from the South (Texas) and I love kolaches!! The cheesier and spicier the better! Love hand pies as well - they are so versatile from sweet to savory :-)


Pretend Chef said...

Veronica - Mr. Sideline Chef would agree with that statement about the cheesier and spicier the better. Hopefully you'll be linking up with the Culinary Smackdown Battle.

Carolyn said...

I've never heard of kolaches, but they look amazing! A lot of southern food is pretty amazing. But like you, I prefer other parts of the country to Texas. I lived in Vancouver, BC for four years, loved it, even the rain. It could get a little tiresome at times, but when the sun came out, you couldn't beat the scenery!

Pretend Chef said...

Carolyn - We traveled a lot for work and have seen many parts of the country. It's such a fun experience learning what's "native" to those parts. Did you know even McDonald's menu changes depending on where you are? I was shocked and excited when I saw Biscuits and Gravy in Kentucky!

Isabelle said...

I've never had a kolache before, but they definitely look like my kinda food! Anything that involves a crust stuffed with cheese can't possibly be bad. :)
BTW, love the idea of a meat-pie based throwdown... I'm going to have to put my thinking cap on and see if I can come up with something to submit.

Pretend Chef said...

Isabelle - I've seen the yumminess that comes out of your kitchen and I know whatever it is that you make will be incredible! Looking forward to your link! Best of luck!

Jalapeno Peppers said...

Well good work.I like your post

Alex Staff said...

My cousin stayed in Prague for almost two years, so she learned how to make Kolache. That’s what she baked for us the last time she visited my kids. She also used sausages as a main ingredient. Well, it tasted good. My children asked her to make some more next time. Haha!

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