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Sausage Stuffed Puff Pastry

This is awesome stuff.  It makes terrific hors d'oeuvres, and add a salad and fresh, crusty bread for a filling dinner.  I got the idea from the sausage bread served at the Dinosaur Barbecue, in Syracuse, New York (one of my all time favorite barbecue and blues joints). I use Italian sausage and Provolone cheese in mine, but feel free to experiment.  Serves 4 as a meal.

2 sheets puff pastry (freezer case at the market - 2 sheets to a box)
˝ pound hot Italian sausage, chopped up
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 large red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and sliced into ˝" strips
cup chopped green olives
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 slices provolone cheese
1 tablespoon dried basil
˝ cup grated Romano cheese
˝ teaspoon black pepper
pinch of salt
1 large egg
2 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Remove the two puff pastry sheets from the box and allow to thaw for about one half hour prior to using them.  Heat a skillet over medium high heat and brown the sausage while breaking up the clumps into small pieces (you may need to do this in two batches to avoid cooling the pan).  Remove to a colander to drain leaving behind about 2 tablespoons of drippings.

Add the onion to the pan drippings and sauté until the onion is soft, about 7-8 minutes.  Add the garlic and sauté until aromatic, about 1-2 minutes.  Add the peppers, olives, basil, salt, pepper and drained sausage, and cook until heated through, a minute or two.

When the pastry is pliable open one sheet onto a lightly floured surface.  Pinch the seams with your fingers to seal, and gently roll over with a rolling pin dusted with flour.  Transfer the pastry sheet to a lightly greased baking sheet (cooking spray works well).  Mound the sausage mixture evenly on top of the pastry sheet leaving a 1" border around the edges.  Top with the Provolone cheese.

Beat the egg and water together and, using a pastry brush, paint the edges with the egg wash.  Open the remaining pastry sheet onto the floured work surface and pinch and roll it like you did the first sheet.  Paint the edges with the egg wash.  Carefully pick up the pastry sheet and turn over (so that the egg washed edges are facing down) onto the Provolone cheese.

Align the two pastry sheets and seal the edges by pressing them together with the tines of a fork.  Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash and bake in the oven for 30 minutes until golden brown.  

When the pastry is done sprinkle on the Romano cheese, set aside to cool for 5 minutes then cut into serving sizes suitable for finger food, or larger servings for dinner.




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