Posts Tagged ‘puff pastry’

Pork Wellington

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

And pork week continues…

The so-called “Pork Week” actually began on Sunday afternoon, watching an episode of Alton Brown’s Good Eats called Tender is the Pork. Part of the reason we bought the giant pork loin at Costco later that afternoon was that this recipe had caught my eye while watching the show. Pork Wellington is a new spin on Beef Wellington, which is made with rich beef tenderloin and mushroom paste wrapped in flaky puff pastry. I’ve never had Beef Wellington before, because anywhere that would serve it doesn’t care at all how “well done” I’d like my beef tenderloin–it’s always going to come out relatively rare. Pork tenderloin, however, is a whole different story.

This recipe incorporates apples and mustard, two classic pork companions, along with fresh herbs to create a whole new kind of “Wellington,” with tasty, juicy pork wrapped in delicate, flaky pastry.

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Alton Brown’s Pork Wellington
Adapted from Good Eats

  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1-ounce dried apple rings
  • 1 whole pork tenderloin, approximately 1 pound
  • 4 1/2 ounces thinly slice prosciutto ham
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed completely
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

1. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat to 400 degrees F.

2. Whisk the egg and water in a small bowl and set aside. Place the apple rings into the bowl of a mini food processor and process for 30 to 45 seconds or until they are the size of a medium dice. Set aside.

3. Trim the pork tenderloin of any excess fat and silver skin. Slice the tenderloin down the middle lengthwise, creating 2 separate pieces. Lay the tenderloin pieces next to each other head to tail, so when laid back together they are the same size at the ends.

4. Lay out a 12 by 16-inch piece of parchment paper on the counter and arrange the pieces of prosciutto in the center, overlapping them enough to create solid layer that is as long as the tenderloin. Top with a second piece of parchment, and using a rolling pin, roll over the prosciutto to help adhere the pieces to each other. Remove the parchment paper and sprinkle the prosciutto with the salt, pepper, and thyme. Set the tenderloin down the middle of the prosciutto. Spread the dried apples in between the 2 pieces of tenderloin and push back together so the apples are held between them. Using the parchment paper to assist, wrap the prosciutto around the tenderloin to completely enclose in a package.

5. Sprinkle the counter with flour and roll out the pastry to 12 by 14 inches. Spread the mustard thinly in the center of pastry and lay the prosciutto wrapped tenderloin in the center of the pastry on the mustard. Fold the puff pastry up and over the top of the tenderloin, then roll to completely enclose, brushing the edges of the pastry with the egg wash in order to seal. Turn the tenderloin over so the side of the tenderloin with the double thickness of pastry is underneath. Pinch the ends of the pastry to seal.

6. Brush the entire pastry with the egg wash. Place the tenderloin on a parchment lined half sheet pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of at least 140 degrees F.

7. Remove the tenderloin from the oven, transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Note: One of the greatest things about this recipe was how SIMPLE it was. It looks complicated. It looks fancy. In reality, it took 10-15 minutes to prep, and just 30 minutes in the oven. I’d recommend it for entertaining too, as it can be prepped ahead and just cooked quickly right before dinner. Of course, with such little fuss, it’s awesome for a weeknight dinner, too.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1-ounce dried apple rings
  • 1 whole pork tenderloin, approximately 1 pound
  • 4 1/2 ounces thinly slice prosciutto ham
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed completely
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

Directions

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat to 400 degrees F.

Whisk the egg and water in a small bowl and set aside. Place the apple rings into the bowl of a mini food processor and process for 30 to 45 seconds or until they are the size of a medium dice. Set aside.

Trim the pork tenderloin of any excess fat and silver skin. Slice the tenderloin down the middle lengthwise, creating 2 separate pieces. Lay the tenderloin pieces next to each other head to tail, so when laid back together they are the same size at the ends.

Lay out a 12 by 16-inch piece of parchment paper on the counter and arrange the pieces of prosciutto in the center, overlapping them enough to create solid layer that is as long as the tenderloin. Top with a second piece of parchment, and using a rolling pin, roll over the prosciutto to help adhere the pieces to each other. Remove the parchment paper and sprinkle the prosciutto with the salt, pepper, and thyme. Set the tenderloin down the middle of the prosciutto. Spread the dried apples in between the 2 pieces of tenderloin and push back together so the apples are held between them. Using the parchment paper to assist, wrap the prosciutto around the tenderloin to completely enclose in a package.

Sprinkle the counter with flour and roll out the pastry to 12 by 14 inches. Spread the mustard thinly in the center of pastry and lay the prosciutto wrapped tenderloin in the center of the pastry on the mustard. Fold the puff pastry up and over the top of the tenderloin, then roll to completely enclose, brushing the edges of the pastry with the egg wash in order to seal. Turn the tenderloin over so the side of the tenderloin with the double thickness of pastry is underneath. Pinch the ends of the pastry to seal.

Brush the entire pastry with the egg wash. Place the tenderloin on a parchment lined half sheet pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of at least 140 degrees F.

Remove the tenderloin from the oven, transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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Pepperoni and Parmesan Pinweels

Monday, January 19th, 2009

While my friends were in town, we had a rather elaborate dinner on Saturday night. As is usually our way, by the time I started making dinner, everyone was already starving–and these quick & easy little appetizers were the perfect stop-gap. They were simple, tasty, and kept everyone happy while I made dinner. Exactly what you want from an appetizer!

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Pepperoni and Parmesan Pinwheels
Adapted from The Bon Appetit Cookbook.

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
  • 2 tablespoons honey-Dijon mustard
  • 2 ounces packaged sliced pepperoni (about twenty-four 1 1/2-inch-diameter slices)
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

1. Mix first 4 ingredients in medium bowl. Cut puff pastry crosswise in half to form 2 rectangles. Spread 1 tablespoon mustard over 1 puff pastry rectangle, leaving 1-inch plain border at 1 long edge. Place half of pepperoni in single layer atop mustard. Top pepperoni with half of cheese mixture. Brush plain border with egg.

2. Starting at side opposite plain border, roll up pastry, sealing at egg-coated edge. Transfer pastry roll, seam side down, to medium baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pastry rectangle, mustard, pepperoni, cheese mixture, and egg. Chill rolls until firm, about 30 minutes, or wrap and chill up to 1 day.

3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with foil. Lightly spray with vegetable oil spray. Cut each pastry roll into about thirty 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Transfer pinwheels to prepared sheets. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer to platter; serve.

Note: These were delicious, and as I’ve already said, very simple. I did not have any honey Dijon mustard on hand, so I mixed 2 tablespoons of the American Dijon mustard we had with a tablespoon of honey. The original recipe called for Asiago cheese, but Parmesan is what we had on hand, and it worked perfectly. Next time, I think I would double the layer of pepperoni–we put down a single layer of pepperoni on the puff pastry, but more would’ve been good. They might have turned out prettier if I had cut the slices a little thinner, but they turned out nice enough as it was.

I’ll definitely make these again sometime. It’s a great go-to appetizer for when you need to throw things together quickly. Also, a shout-out to Jeff, who did most of the assembly on these while I worked on actual dinner. Thanks!