Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I have not yet found anyone of any age who does not fancy these vegetarian 'sausage rolls'.

Pastry is of course one of the magic ingredients - we all love it, even if we won't admit it.

But the often-ridiculed TOFU and the charming PECANS are really the stars of the show.

This is a recipe from my mother, Elaine Allely, who is famous in Auckland for her cooking, particularly for these rolls, especially among my friends.

I need a good excuse to make them - being puff pastry and all they're kinda party food - so Australia's General Election on Saturday seemed appropriate. Billie's first sampling was her also her first TV dinner - she did love the rolls but was a bit distracted by a bowl of green olives (not pitted) and her 3.5yr old friend Charlie Moore's plate of tofu pecan rolls.

Seeing as this election is the election that keeps on giving - Australia has a hung parliament while we wait the slow count of postal votes in a couple of marginals - I thought it was appropriate to press repeat on the roll action at home last night.

Back home without the distractions of election commentary, Billie scoffed back roll after roll.

So here's the magic recipe (very easy and healthy actually, it just takes a few words to explain):


1 small onion
1 medium block tofu (pref hard)
1 generous cup pecan nuts
3/4 rolled oats
1/4 cup tamari
2-3 sheets frozen puff pastry
tomato or sweet chilli sauce to serve

You need either a food processor or a stick blender. If you have a large, fast processor just use that. If you have a smaller one like me, do onions and pecans in processor and then tofu in bowl with stick blender

 Preheat oven to 220c. Generously grease a large flat oven tray, or two smaller ones.

If using food processor, chop onion in quarters and then mince in processor. Add nuts, and mince with half of tamari. If you have a stick blender, place tofu in large bowl and use stick to blend. Stir through nut mixture and then oats (don't blend). Taste, and then add rest of tamari. You could use a little less tamari, but not too much less as it's an essential part of the flavor. Avoid soy sauce if you can, especially if includes sugar.

Remove pastry sheets from freezer. Place two sheets flat on bread board and use sharp knife to slice down middle. Each sheet will make two long rolls, which can then be cut into 8 pieces each. Brush edges facing you with milk, including along the cut.

Now use a spoon and your fingers to spread mixture along the edge closest to you and the edge furthest from you. Place the mixture in a long roll, but leave about 1cm before the edge so you can roll it tightly. Brush with milk, cut into halves, then halves again, until you have 16 little rolls from each pastry sheet. You can make them fatter - uses two sheets - of a little smaller - and use three sheets. Depends how much pastry you feel like eating.

Place on oiled trays, evenly spaced, and bake in hot oven for 15 mins or until well browned. If making ahead of time, cook for just ten minutes and then cook for another 10 when ready to serve. Dip them in tomato or sweet chilli sauce. Billie was fine with hers just straight.


  1. Just tried the recipe. Good stuff!

  2. This week the McBrill family have been living off your "party food" recipes.... These vego rolls are currently being devoured by the entire house hold. Very yum.

  3. excellent news. you may find back to work menu useful too...

  4. thanks for the recipe! You describe your mother's cooking as infamous. the word you need is famous. infamous means being famous for something negative.

  5. Looks like perfect party food for Oscar's birthday party next weekend. Reckon I might do a practice run this week. Can they be frozen before cooking? Em

  6. Great. I have never frozen them but I do usually make them the day before. Just undercook them - so pastry cooked but not browned much. Then when you reheat them the pastry can finish browning. Store in airtight container in fridge and they will last for days (although they usually get eaten)

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