Pig Newtons and Peppadew Cheese Fatties
I've had this idea rolling around my head for a few months now: fatties (sausages) stuffed with figs. The name? Pig Newtons. The original concept was to use either fig jam or fig paste or cooked figs, and flatten the fatty a little after rolling so that the cross section when cut would resemble the familiar Fig Newton cookie.
Not only did I like the name, but I like the combination of figs and pork. I've had several grilled double cut pork chops at nicer restaurants that featured some sort of fig reduction as an accompaniment. The flavors work really well together.
This weekend I gave it a first try (there will be more), and I saw two obstacles from the outset. First, in order to approximate the classic Fig Newton profile, I'd have to use a higher ratio of filling to sausage than normal. This translates to a thinner wrap, so I knew the seams might not hold up during cooking. Second, the fig jam I located was runnier than I planned, which made general handling a challenge. So I made three versions: one using one package of sausage, one using two packages, and a third with actual Fig Newtons instead of the fig jam. Even though they separated at the seams, I liked the flavor of the jam-filled fatties best.
So was it a success? Sort of. I'll work on the shape, using less filling next time, but the flavor is a winner. I also made some peppadew and cheese stuffed fatties, along with some chicken
Ingredients for peppadew cheese fatties. I also used a homemade rub.
Ingredients for pig newton fatties. This was for the third batch, with actual Fig Newtons stuffed inside. The first two batches used fig jam.
Laying the fig jam out on the flattened Jimmy Dean sausage.
I tried rolling them like I normally do a fatty, but the filling was too wet, so I used the "sandwich method."
Here's the sage sausage with a row of Fig Newtons. I knew the cookie part would get mushy like in a deep froed Oreo, but that was OK.
I made two fatties with jalapeno, peppadew and cheddar cheese.
The first pig newton fatty separated, but it was the best tasting by far, with the runny fig jam a perfect mate for the sausage.
Here's a bigger one. I also used the sandwich method, but with two packages of Jimmy Dean.
Here's the one with the actual Fig Newtons, which are harder to make out after a few hours in the smoker.
The cheese and peppadew fatties looked much more appetizing. I cooked these on a Weber kettle, with the charcoal and wood off to one side.
A cheese and peppadew fatty after a cut.
Here's a view of the cross section. The peppadew peppers added some nice color, but the flavor I love in fresh peppadew faded when cooked.
So many fatties, so little time.
I also cooked some wings to mix things up.