One of my favorite Saturday pastimes is preparing a great meal with my favorite sous-chef. Before the weekend I ask the manfriend what we should cook up together, and about 90% of the time his response is: “Pork Puff Pastry!” It’s a favorite of ours, and while it isn’t on the menu every week, I have a feeling someone wouldn’t mind if it were… 🙂
If you can’t tell already, I love working with Puff Pastry. In my mind, Puff Pastry is the easiest way to make a meal look fancy and gourmet; not to mention the fact that it is delicious!
Admittedly, this is not a quick recipe. It takes time to prepare, but it is well worth the effort. To make Pork Puff Pastry, you’ll need a few tools: a large saucepan, a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or baking mat, zester and a pastry brush.
Start by cooking the rice, as it will take about 10-15 minutes. While the rice is cooking, cut up your pork tenderloin into about 1-inch cubes, or smaller. Season with a bit of salt and pepper, and then brown the pork on both sides. You don’t want the pork to cook all the way through; just barely browned on the outside, about 2-3 minutes on each side. It will finish cooking in the oven later.
While the pork is browning, chop up your mushrooms and onions, and mince the garlic.
Transfer the pork to a heat proof bowl or plate and then fry the bacon. Mmm bacon. 🙂
When the bacon is still chewy (you don’t want it to be crunchy, as it will cook more in the oven later), transfer it to a plate with a paper towel. Leave the bacon grease in the pan, because you’ll use it to saute the mushrooms and onions.
Caramelize your mushrooms and onions with your minced garlic in the bacon grease, and then combine with the rice, pork, and bacon in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper, to taste, and mix well.
There will be quite a bit more rice mixture than you’ll need for 4 PPP’s, but I like to make extras and freeze them so I can have Pork Puff Pastry whenever the craving hits me! The rice is delicious on its own as well, and makes great lunch leftovers. Just make sure to either microwave it or heat up in the oven to make sure the pork is completely cooked (remember, we only browned it!).
Brush egg wash over the tops of the PPP’s and pop them in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 425 F, until golden brown on top.
When the PPP has about a minute left in the oven, heat the crème fraîche on low with lemon juice and zest. Don’t let it bubble or boil; you just want to melt it.
Golden, flaky goodness! 🙂
Pork Puff Pastry (a.k.a PPP)
(Recipe adapted from my Momma)
– 1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
– 1/2 lb thick sliced bacon (if you choose to use turkey bacon instead, you’ll need oil and butter to caramelize the mushrooms and onions)
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 onion, diced
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 container button mushrooms, sliced
– 4 cups cooked wild and brown rice
– salt and pepper, to taste
– 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (I like Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry)
– beaten egg
– 2 to 3 tbsp crème fraîche
– 2 tsp grated lemon zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
Preheat oven at 425 F. Fry the pork on both sides in hot oil until barely brown. Fry bacon strips, then saute onion and mushrooms with minced garlic. Mix meat, rice, onions and mushrooms well in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Allow to cool.
Roll out thawed puff pastry and cut into 4 equal squares. Pile rice mixture in the center, and fold pastry edges together (take opposite corners and fold together, then repeat with the remaining two corners). Brush with beaten egg, place on baking sheet with parchment paper, or on baking mat. Bake for 20-25 minutes until pastry is golden brown on top.
Heat crème fraîche, lemon zest and juice in a small saucepan (just until melted, don’t let it boil!), and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle on top of pork puff pastry.
Tools you’ll need: large saucepan, baking sheet lined with parchment paper or baking mat, zester and pastry brush.
Recipe for side salad shown in photos can be found here.