Archive for the ‘Local products’ Category

Sometimes a fun, if not a great, notion

March 8, 2015

Blame it on the weather induced cabin fever.

Dinner is served: Pork Roll Wellington, roasted potatoes, salad.

Dinner is served: Pork Roll Wellington, roasted potatoes, salad.

Or maybe it is a hyper awareness of all things pork roll. One friend is working on putting together his second festival honoring that local indigenous product and another has just released a book on the subject.

Whatever the cause, “inspiration” struck earlier this week and I just had to act on it: Pork Roll Wellington!

Right out of the oven!

Right out of the oven!

Don’t laugh (yet).

What if we dressed up this Jersey favorite pork product with some chicken liver pâté and mushroom duxelles and then wrapped the package in some puff pastry? Would it be edible? Tasty? Worth the effort?

2015-03-08 15.47.01OK. Laugh if you want, but it wasn’t that bad. And it wasn’t that difficult.

I adapted this recipe for Beef Wellington.  Instead of the beef tenderloin, I used one of those cute little 1 pound “chubs” of Cases’ Pork Roll. I made the chicken liver pâté last night from the recipe linked to from the Beef Wellington page (click here). The duxelles I made earlier today so they could cool down.

As per the recipe, I mixed the mushrooms and some of the pâté together. After rolling out a sheet of puff pastry, I spread the mixture over the pastry. Having removed the pork roll from its traditional canvas casing, I then set it on the “dressed” pastry dough and rolled it up. The seam and the ends were sealed with some beaten egg and pressed together. Placing the package seam side down on a baking sheet, I set it back in the refrigerator to cook later.

Have you ever seen a "naked" pork roll?

Have you ever seen a “naked” pork roll?

Since the pork roll comes “ready to eat” you only have to bake the dish long enough to heat it through and brown the dough nicely. I put mine in a 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes and then lowered the temp to 400 for another 15 or so.

Admittedly I didn’t know how this would come out but it tasted pretty good. I might try adding an “inner wrap” of phyllo dough (in place of the crepes in the original) to act as a vapor barrier and reduce the sogginess of the underside of the pastry crust. My wellington stuck a little to the aluminum foil I lined the baking sheet with. A bit of oil, Pam, or maybe using a silpat should remedy that.

Give it a try. It’s a fun way to dress up an old standby.

A little slice of pig heaven.

A little slice of pig heaven.

Fall foraging

November 10, 2013

ForagingAnn and I shirked our domestic duties (chores and such) in favor of a Sunday drive….albeit a drive with a purpose.

I wanted to check out the Brick Farm Market in Hopewell; she has been craving some of the aged cheddar from Bobolink Dairy and Bakery in Milford. So we opted to make our excursion into a an adventure to see what we might acquire for tonight’s dinner.

At our first stop, we picked up two strip steaks from grass fed beef raised on Double Brook Farm, a piece of Dante (a sheep’s milk cheese) and some prosciutto cured by Salumeria Biellese from hams of heritage breed hogs raised on the farm.

Continuing on to Bobolink, we not only grabbed some of their cave aged cheddar (a house favorite), a piece of their “Amish Blue Cheese”, some of their “Frolic and a stick of their cranberry walnut bread (plus a pair of cheddar biscuits to nibble on in the car).

On the return trip, we visited the Stockton Market. There I picked up some crimini and shitake mushrooms to go with my steak and some marinated olives from Mushrooms, Etc. We also grabbed some chocolates from the Painted Truffle.

Our menu took shape: marinated olives, an assortment of cheeses and the prosciutto for starters. Grilled, grass fed, strip steaks (mine topped with some crumbles of the blue cheese and accompanied by the roasted mushrooms finished with some butter, bourbon and rosemary) and roasted rosemary potatoes as the main course. Then came salad of lettuce, tomato and shaved finnocchio (all local produce from a prior trip to the Trenton Farmers Market) to cleanse the palate and the chocolates for dessert.

Hunting and gathering worked out.