Mexican Breakfast Rolls

Hollis Wilder

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound  spicy pork sausage, or turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1 Tablespoon  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Pound  frozen hash browns
  • 1/2 Teaspoon  chili powder
  •  Pinch of  kosher salt
  •  Pinch of  freshly ground black pepper
  • One  15-ounce package ready-made pie dough (2 rounds), at room temperature
  • 1/4 Cup  cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 Cup  refried beans
  • 2/3 Cups  ready-made salsa
  • 1 Cup  grated pepper Jack cheese
  •   Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan

My savory breakfast rolls evolved from a childhood love of making cinnamon rolls. My mother had her own special recipe for sweet rolls, and she almost always included me in the process. She’d let me help roll the yeast dough, then sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar. I never have time to make yeast dough now, but I like how well savory ingredients rolled into dough works with the cupcake pan. At my home, this savory roll recipe is a child-friendly adventure in baking, especially since it calls for several store-bought items. Present the ingredients in individual bowls — or in the wells of an extra cupcake pan — to make layering fun and easy for your children.

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Directions

Cook the sausage in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, using a wooden spoon to break up the sausage, until it is well browned and crumbled, about 15 minutes. Drain the meat in a fine-mesh colander over a bowl, continuing to break up the sausage in the colander to release additional grease. Transfer to a medium bowl. Wipe the skillet out with a paper towel when cool enough to handle. Add the oil to the skillet, then add the hash browns in an even layer. Press down firmly with a heatproof spatula, then let the potatoes cook undisturbed over medium heat until they begin to brown on the bottom, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle the top of the hash browns with the chili powder and salt and pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes longer, using the spatula to occasionally scrape the bottom of the pan and turn over the hash browns, until they are browned on all sides. Transfer to another medium bowl.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-well classic cupcake pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Unroll one of the rounds of pie dough onto a cutting board large enough to fit the entire round. Leaving a ½-inch border, sprinkle the dough with 2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro, or using a table knife, evenly spread the cilantro paste onto the dough. Top with half of each of the following: refried beans, browned sausage, salsa, hash browns, and grated cheese.

Roll the pie dough into a log, starting on one side and rolling tightly to keep all the filling inside. With a serrated knife, gently slice the log into six 2-inch-thick pieces, making sure not to lose any of the filling as you cut.

Arrange the pieces of filled dough, cut sides up, in the wells of the pan and press down gently to fill each hole. Repeat the process with the second round of dough and remaining ingredients.

Bake until cooked through and golden brown around the edges, 35-45 minutes. Let the rolls cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then loosen the sides of each roll with a table knife and pop them out of the pan. These breakfast rolls can be eaten out of hand, plated with a side of guacamole, sour cream, and additional salsa, or served as a brunch alongside your favorite morning eggs and sliced fruit or a yogurt parfait. My children enjoy them as a meal with a side of beans, guacamole, and a salad of fresh corn, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

Store the rolls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat, wrapped in tin foil, for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Notes

These rolls should not be prepared the night before and baked the next day — the liquid in the salsa will prevent the pie dough from baking correctly. They can, however, be baked the night before and reheated, wrapped in tin foil, for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

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