I'm one of those cooks who make up recipes as I go, especially for main meals, I wouldn't dare do that for anything else such as cakes and desserts as I've had my share of disasters when I haven't followed a tried and true recipe for them. This sausage plait is an example of the way I improvise and I want to share the recipe with you.
Before I decide what I'm going to cook, I check the pantry and fridge to see what ingredients I have that I can make a decent meal from. For this sausage plait I wanted to use up some sundried tomatoes, capsicum strips, and olives that were leftover from Christmas picks - I don't like wasting food so I usually use up what I can. You can use the flavourings I used or your own combination such as herbs, feta cheese, spinach, cooked pumpkin, basically anything you think will go well together.
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
1 cup arborio rice
1 free range egg, beaten
1 white or red onion, finely chopped
flavourings of choice
salt and pepper
Cook the rice, drain and put in a bowl. When cool add the beaten egg, (leave a small amount to brush on the pastry), onion and flavourings, and salt and pepper then mix by hand until well combined. While the rice is cooling defrost the pastry and lay a clean tea towel over it to stop it drying out. Leaving room to put the rice mixture in the middle of the pastry slice the pastry diagonally into 2cm strips. Put the rice mixture in the middle space and, starting with one pastry strip, lay it over the rice mixture. Lift a pastry strip from the opposite side and lay it across the rice mixture so the two strips overlap at the ends. Continue with the remaining strips until the rice mixture is covered then turn in the pastry at each end of the plait. Carefully put the plait onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush the pastry with the remaining beaten egg and cook at 190ºC/375ºF for 30 to 45 minutes until golden.
This vegetarian sausage plait turned out to be delicious and a big hit with the family, and the leftover ingredients that were almost by their use by date weren't tossed out and wasted.