Mon, 4 November, 2019
Hasselback chorizo sausage with halloumi chunks stuffed into the slits – is it a dragon? a hedgehog? No, it’s only the most irresistible snack that ever existed.
Everyone has their special, messy, usually very unhealthy dish that only they can prepare correctly, mostly around midnight, post-night out or on a weekend at home on your own. You KNOW what I mean. For some it will be ice cream dolloped with a soup-size spoon into hot chocolate; others will make an odds-and-sods potato salad and eat it with their fingers; it could be a fried egg sandwich with half a tub of ketchup squeezed in; and I know at least one person who’ll cook porridge on double cream with half a bar of chocolate melted on top.
It’s not the same as a craving which can be satisfied by opening a cupboard or fridge and grabbing a biscuit or pickled jalapeños. The thing I’m talking about involves cooking, albeit to a very limited extent. It’s the liberated rootling around the kitchen with the blissful purpose of satisfying our own needs solely, in the way only we can (ahem - FOOD needs). Sometimes it’s a total fail – ‘I thought a tinned tuna soup would be a THING’ – but often it’s what we have made time and time again and the best or only recipe we would ever need if stranded on a desert island with a reasonably equipped larder.
Mine is this: a bog-standard frankfurter sausage (yes – the rubbery no-meat thing that kids love) cut lengthwise with as much cheese stuffed into the slit as possible. Plus a sprinkling of hot paprika over the cheese. Plus some crispy fried onions if I’m lucky. That goes in the oven for as long as it takes to melt the cheese into oozy, lacy, overspilt bubbles while a plate with pickles and a blob of ketchup awaits. Voilà.
Nothing more than a deconstructed hot dog, eh? Fine, whatever. Wait till you try the version of it I’m presenting below, poshed-up and zinged, with noble chorizo taking place of my regular frank and halloumi instead of No-Name Sliced. On top of that it gets hasselbacked to look pretty and hey, there’s a snack your folk will be fighting over, or even a main if it comes with a crunchy cabbage salad and a nest of chips on the side.
hasselback chorizoServings: 2-4, main or snackTime: 30 minutes
- 4 spicy cooking chorizo sausages
- 2 slices halloumi cheese
- 2 tsp apricot or plum preserve
1. Preheat the oven to 210C/425F/gas 7.
2. Use the sausage straight from the fridge or even chill it in the freezer for 15 minutes, to make cutting easier.
3. With a very sharp knife, make incisions almost to the bottom of each sausage but making sure the base is intact, about 2mm apart; placing the sausage on a wooden spoon is a good trick.
4. Cut the halloumi into small sticks, to fit into the slits in the sausage. Push them into each slit, then press the sausage down gently to stop it curling up.
5. Place the sausages on an ovenproof tray (on a piece of parchment if you want to limit the washing up) and roast for 20 minutes. Spoon a little preserve over each sausage and return to the oven for 5 minutes, until the sausage is crisp and the cheese is charred but not burnt. Serve immediately.