© Debby Segura
A couple of years ago, a kosher sausage shop opened in our neighborhood. For us, this was major. After years of toting Glatt Kosher sarchicha (Syrian sausages) in our suitcases from Brooklyn, sausages had finally come to us -- real sausages -- not hot dogs from the store, not frozen veal sausages from the butcher, but the real thing. We loved it, and the kids loved it.
One week, as I was planning Shabbat dinner, my nine-year old suggested I make a dish for him, sort of a food wish list. I'm formalizing this into a recipe, but this is how it went:
(serves 8-12 as a main course or 18 as part of a buffet)
1 4-pound turkey breast, deboned and butterflied to a uniform thickness of 1" (have your butcher do this for you)
1/4 cup Dijon mustard, or so
3/4 pound sliced pastrami
1-pound spicy sausages (such as South African sausages, measuring about 12" in length)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lay out the turkey breast, skin side down. On the meat side, spread a thick, even coat of mustard. Cover the mustard with a layer of all the pastrami. To serve 8-12 as a main course, make one roll of the entire butterflied breast: The breast itself should measure about 24" by 12". About one third of the way in from one of the 12" edges, arrange the sausages in a little pyramid, on top of the pastrami layer. Pick up this 12" edge and fold it over the pyramid of sausages and continue to roll the breast tightly, jelly-style. Place this roll (seam-side down) in a Pyrex pan just bigger than the roll itself (9" by 12").
For buffet servings, cut the butterflied breast in half so that it measures about 12" by 12". On the meat side of each half of the breast, spread a thick, even coat of mustard. Cover each half with half of the pastrami. In the center of the breast, on top of the pastrami layer, place two sausages. Fold one end of the breast over the sausages and continue to roll the breast tightly, jelly-roll style. Place these two rolls (seam side down) in a Pyrex Pan (10" by 15"), side by side.
Coat the top of the breast(s) with more Dijon mustard and cook in the middle of the pre-heated oven until golden, about 45 minutes. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and continue cooking 30 minutes more. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before carving with an electric knife.
Cut the roll into ½" slices, fanning slightly to show off that jelly-roll cross section when serving. May be reheated or served at room temperature with your favorite mustard.
Needless to say, JED'S INVENTION was a wild success and led to many variations. The best of the second generation of these variations was a cross between a recipe of my friend Freda Small's and the original. This is how it went:
8 chicken breasts, deboned, skinned, cut in half and pounded to a uniform thickness of 1/4"
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
3/4 pound sliced pastrami
8 pepperoni sticks, cut in half
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
1 cup seasoned matzah meal (matzah meal with 1 t. salt, ½ t. each of ground black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil and dried oregano)
Cut each breast half in half again to form a 6" squarish fillet. Spread it with mustard, place the pastrami on top, and then—you guessed it---place the pepperoni stick at the end of the fillet and roll it up, securing the loose end with a tooth pick. Dip each roll in the beaten egg mixture and then dredge in the matzah meal mixture.
In a large, heavy skillet heat ½" of canola oil at medium-low heat. Without crowding the rolls, fry until golden brown on all sides. This is the way we like it. On the other hand, if you'd rather bake these, spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray. Arrange the rolls on the pan without crowding them. Spray them with an olive oil mister or with cooking spray until damp looking. Bake in a 425 degree preheated oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.