Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Savory sausage in puff pastry shells

This is much easier to make than it looks, using frozen puff pastry shells. The filling is very similar to what I use for stuffed mushrooms.
You will have leftover filling if you only use one box of shells, but I promise that you won't mind. Stuff some mushrooms, stuff some pork chops, spread it on toast ...

1 lb., more or less, uncooked Italian sausage. I used the kind marked "sweet, mild," but if you like it spicier, go for it. If you buy the kind in casings, just squeeze it out like toothpaste.
2 leeks, cleaned and chopped fairly small
2 cups of chopped mushrooms
1 pkg. cream cheese, 6 to 8 ounces, cut into "pats" like butter
6 frozen puff pastry shells (or 12 -- this could fill 12)

Bake the shells according to the package directions. Be sure to preheat the oven as instructed -- this is one of those times when it actually matters. The shells need to cool before you stuff them.

While the shells are baking and cooling, saute the sausage in a heavy skillet, breaking up any clumps. When it is starting to brown, add the leeks and mushrooms and continue cooking until the sausage is browned and not showing any pink at all, and the liquid from the vegetables has evaporated. This will take about 20 minutes.
Turn off the burner and stir in the cream cheese, which will melt just from the heat of the sausage mixture

When the shells are cool, use a fork to perforate and remove the top. Spoon the sausage mixture into the shells and put the top back on.

You can eat them right away or refrigerate and reheat for 5 minutes in the oven or toaster oven. I didn't try the microwave, but I think it would make the shells soggy, and that's not good.

You will notice there are only three in the picture, although I made six. What can I say? They're really good.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Schnitzel with Noodles

Pork tenderloin
1 egg
Panko bread crumbs or cracker crumbs
salt, pepper
Noodles -- I used Trader Joe's Lemon-Pepper Pappardelle Pasta
cooking oil 
heavy skillet, preferably ovenproof

Cut the pork tenderloin into pieces about an inch thick and pound each one flat. Salt and pepper both sides of each piece.
Use three wide shallow bowls or pie plates, one each for flour, egg and crumbs. Add some salt and pepper to the flour unless you are using cracker crumbs from saltines, in which case just add pepper. Dip each flattened cutlet into flour, then egg, then crumbs. Use a fork or tongs and shake off any excess flour before putting floured cutlet into the egg.
Heat the skillet with enough oil to cover the bottom. Saute a few cutlets at a time until golden brown on both sides. If they are thin enough, they'll probable be done inside then, too. If not (cut one open to see), stick the skillet uncovered in the oven at 350 for 5 to 10 minutes.
Boil the noodles according to package directions.
For sauce, add white wine and butter to the skillet and stir to get the "fond" -- if there are burnt crumbs, though, remove them first! While waiting for the sauce to reduce slightly, sing a couple of choruses of "My Favorite Things."

Where I come from in the Midwest, we just call this pork tenderloin, and it also makes a great sandwich. In Germany, it's schnitzel.


About Me

My photo
This is me enjoying a limoncello in Rome on the last night of our trip to Italy. Funny thing is, I don't really like limoncello that much, but thought it would be great in a dessert. And wouldn't you know, The Barefoot Contessa just did a great fruit salad with limoncello. So now I can't. Oh, well.