Impress the fam- Pork Wellington

This dish came about partially by accident. Partially because I had been eyeing Beef Wellington on Pinterest since I was planning my holiday menus months ago. Mostly however, because my 10 year old saw puff pastry in our fridge and said “aw mom I don’t feel like eating chicken pot pie!!”

She was right. That is why puff pastry was in the fridge. Chicken pot pie was my original plan for dinner that night. She is not a fan of peas and even though, because of this, I omit the peas in my pot pie recipes she still gripes once in a while about the thought of them maybe, possibly, perhaps being in her dinner. She’s also one of those kids who doesn’t like her food touching. The meat has to be separate from her greens. The starch can’t be touching anything on the plate. She is a good eater but she has her quirks too.

Any how, no pot pie- no pot pie. What to make?

I had a pork tenderloin that I needed to use soon. I had mushrooms. The puff pastry. Pork Wellington! “Let’s wing it” I thought–and the outcome was absolutely scrumptious. My husband James even said “Sarah this tastes amazing!”

And that’s really all I needed to hear. I will be making this again. And again. And well probably forever cause it’s a winner!

Here’s how to make it!

Pork Wellington

  • 2-3lb pork tenderloin- plain or pre seasoned depending on your preference.
  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 c of Bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2-3 sprigs of thyme
  • 4-5 slices of good provolone cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1 egg
  • Parsley to garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 375

If your tenderloin is pre seasoned or marinated skip over salting it. Other wise season the pork generously with salt and pepper.

Heat a cast iron skillet on high. Add your olive oil and butter to the skillet and sear the tenderloin on ALL sides.

Once seared, set it aside to rest.

Sauté your shallot and mushrooms until browned and cooked completely, add more olive oil if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Next, add in your garlic and thyme. Cook for 1-2 minutes longer.

On a parchment lined baking sheet, lay out the puff pastry. Spoon the mushroom mixture in the middle of the pastry, leaving room at the edges. Top with parmesan and then provolone.

Then place the seared tenderloin on top of that and carefully wrap the puff pastry around it. Pinching the seams.

Turn the Wellington seam side down. Cut 3-4 slits in the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape.

Whisk your egg and brush over the top of the pastry. Garnish with chopped parsley and more Parmesan if desired and bake 30-35 minutes. Check at 25 min to be sure pastry isn’t getting too brown.

Let the Pork Wellington rest covered with foil for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Meaty, cheesy, savory, doughy goodness!!!

I am pretty sure this recipe comes with a satisfaction guarantee!

Do yourself a favor and try it. You will thank yourself for it!

Kale Pesto Garlic Knots with Hymilayan Mineral Salt

  
Well… My kitchen smells incredible!

There’s nothing better than homemade dough baking in the oven with cheese and garlic. The smell–something straight from heaven. 

This past summer I decided to grow an abundance of kale. Our daughters were really digging the kale chip craze and I love to wilt it down in a Marsala mushroom sauce or add it to a simple salad. 

It’s funny, my first job at 16, was working at a seafood restaurant. It was my job to set up the market every morning- lay out the salmon and cod filets, shuck the oysters, check the mussels to be sure they weren’t open and well…dead. 

I’d slice the lemons and position everything in the large glass display case, with care. Kale was always the last thing to display… that last pop of color against the bed of ice and less than stellar smelling fish.

As I got older and realized kale was a thing…. Boom! Mind blown. It’s not just for show in smelly fish counters?!?

Nope! Kale is so fantastic and I feel fortunate that our 8 and 9 year olds absolutely love it! It is packed with nutrition! 

I digress.

Anyway… I grew a ton of kale! The great thing about kale is that it freezes well. 

With that in mind I made kale pesto this past August, vacuum sealed small portions and what do you know?!! It’s February and I’m still enjoying my harvest via kale pesto! 

 To thaw, I just set it in a pan of warm water for 10 minutes or so. 

It’s really easy to make too! This is one of those bogo posts. A twofer, if you will…

Kale Pesto|

In a food processor combine:

  • 3-4 c fresh kale
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 c toasted walnuts
  • 1 c parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 c good extra virgin olive oil, plus more to reach desired consistency 
  • 1 tsp of salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 pinch of black pepper 
  • a squeeze of fresh lemon juice 

  

 

Mix it all up!   Freeze or use within the first few days.

Kale pesto has such an earthy, robust flavor! You’re going to love it!!

Twofer time!!!!

Kale Pesto Garlic Knots with Hymilayan Mineral Salt|

1 hour, makes about 8-10 knots 

  • 1 pizza dough, homemade  or store bought. Cut into 1″ to 2″ strips
  • 1/2 c kale pesto
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted 
  • 2 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, divided 
  • 1/2 tsp Hymilayan Pink Mineral Salt 

Preheat your oven to 350 and cut your dough into strips. 

 Spread a tsp or two of pesto on each strip.  

 Tie them into simple knots. Almost like a pretzel. Then place them in a well greased pie dish or cast iron skillet. 

 Stir your minced garlic with the melted butter. Brush evenly over the top of your garlic knots. 

Sprinkle with half of your parmesan cheese and bake for 30 minutes.

When they’re done,  sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and your fabulously nutricious Hymilayan sea salt. The salt adds such a special kick ontop of the warm bread.

Cool slightly before serving and enjoy! 

   

Rich and Creamy Ham and Corn Chowder

 

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This chowder was the perfect fix this week! I’ve been fighting a nasty cold and of course when one person in the house is sick…everyone gets sick.

A warm, rich and comforting meal is exactly what we needed last night. 

Being that my girls stayed home from school, I had the whole day to tend to them, and scheme up some sort of warm reward for all of us sickies before heading to bed. 

I went to the freezer and pulled out a smoked ham. 

When we first picked up our meat from the smoker late fall we were excited to cook up a big ham dinner. 

To our surprise, the ham seemed overly salty and while we were grateful for our home grown ham we were slightly disappointed with the over powering salty flavor. 
We only opted to smoke the bacon (which is AMAZING) and a few picnic hams.

After one disappointing attempt I decided to rinse and then boil the ham this time around.

Once the ham was fully cooked, I sliced it up, using half for this recipe and saving the other half for ham salad to keep for lunches throughout the week. 

This chowder can easily be done with a simple ham steak, cubed, as well. 

I was so pleasantly surprised how rinsing and boiling the smoked ham  took away the overpowering salty bite… Leaving our farm fresh, yard to table ham tasting succulent and perfect in this creamy corn chowder!

Rich and Creamy Ham and Corn Chowder|

40 minutes, serves 6

  • 2 c cooked ham, cubed
  • 1/4 lb bacon, or pork belly, diced
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 c red potato, diced
  • 1 c carrots, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped
  • 1/2 all purpose flour
  • 3 c milk
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube 
  • 2 c water
  • 1 c grated cheddar cheese 
  • 1/4 c grated Parmesan 
  • 1 can of whole kernel corn, or two ear cooked with corn cut from the cob
  • A pinch of salt and white pepper

This chowder is the perfect prep ahead meal! It was so nice and sunny yesterday… The windows were open, it was a balmy 38 outside after all, and I figured… Crank up the woods stoves, open up the hatches and get those germs out!  

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Dice up all your potatoes, onions carrots and garlic. 

In a heavy ceramic dutch oven, or whatever soup pot you prefer, fry up your bacon or pork belly over medium high heat. 

Once all that glorius fat has been rendered, spoon the the bacon bits out and save for another time…

Add your onions and carrots to the bacon grease and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. 

Once translucent, add in the garlic. Cook for another minute or two.

Next add the flour. Toss to coat and cook the raw flour, stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes. 

Next add the milk, water and bouillon cube. 

Add your ham and potatoes…bring the chowder to a simmering boil.

Add your cheeses and stir until melted. Add the corn, stir and then cover.

Simmer on low for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

Stir every so often to be sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of your pot. 

This is a startchy dish after all. 

After the potatoes are tender, the broth should be thick and creamy.

Serve it up and enjoy!!! This is a soul satisfying meal! 

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