It was December, and I was starting to plan my holidaze menus – family coming up the weekend before, friends coming on The Day, and more friends over New Year’s Eve afternoon. I had the Food Network on, and Rachael Ray was doing a show on “Five Ingredient Dishes,” I think it was called.
The main course called out to me: pork tenderloin baked inside thawed frozen puff pastry that had been spread with mango chutney. Simple. Tasty ingredients. What could go wrong?
Nothing, as it happens.
This is elegant, moist, super tasty, and almost stoopidly simple to put together.
A note on puff pastry: even the barefoot contessa has said that “no one makes their own puff pastry,” so, go ahead, pick up a box or two in your market’s freezer case. And don’t worry about the whole “frozen” thing; you can be good to start working with your pastry in as little as two hours, straight from the freezer. See the thawing instructions on the package.
•Frozen puff pastry, defrosted
*Ms Ray used salt and black pepper to season hers. I made two tenderloins that way for Christmas dinner and we all loved it. The next time, just for Rich and I, I made one tenderloin and used some Créole seasoning that friends had brough back from Martinique, and it was lovely.
Heat your oven to 400º.
Pour about 1/4 cup of good olive oil into a large pan over medium high heat.
Season all sides of the tenderloin with salt and pepper, or, if you have another interesting seasoning (such as my turmeric rich Créole seasoning) go ahead and use that instead.
Brown the tenderloin on all sides (mebbe three or four minutes per side) then remove from heat and set aside to rest.
Line a board and a baking pan with parchment paper (puff pastry can get a might sticky).
Run a knife through your jar of mango chutney, to break down any large pieces, then unfold the thawed puff pastry on your prepared work surface.
Note: Ms Ray suggested dividing the sheet in two and using it for two tenderloins, which I did, the first time. The second time, my tenderloin was a bit bigger, so I just used the whole sheet for one, and I think it all came together a little bit easier.
Spread the chutney over the pastry then place the tenderloin(s) in the center of the pastry (whole or half sheet).
Starting on the long side, roll the pastry up and over the tenderloin, pinching the two sides together to seal. Bring the ends up and over, also pinching to seal.
This double image was my first time working with puff pastry, and I may have let the dough get a bit warmer than I should, giving me these not so pretty pastry tubes.
Still tasted awesome.
Arrange the pastry wrapped tenderloins, seam side down, on your prepped baking sheet, then pop into the hot oven and bake until the pastry is deep golden brown.
25 minutes worked a treat for me.
Remove from the oven and let rest for ten minutes before slicing and serving.
For our mid week January dinner, the two of us enjoyed it with a marinated broccoli slaw.
That tasty detail…