If you’re familiar with Beef Wellington, you know it’s the kind of menu item typically reserved for fine dining. Most are made with filet mignon, pate and mushroom duxelle. Right. I don’t know what that last thing is either, but it’s in a lot of the recipes I’ve seen. Well, if you’re a novice cook, the news is good. One of the best parts about Wellington is the flaky crust. So here I combined the puff pastry with something a bit more mainstream -- a cheeseburger. Admittedly, I came up with this in my head and had to refine it a few times, but the result was pretty tasty.
1 pound lean ground beef (use fattier cuts at your own risk -- too much juice can mess this up)
1 portion puff pastry (9 oz.), thawed to room temperature
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 dill pickle, sliced thin
1/4 cup homemade Thousand Island dressing (mix equal parts mayo and chili sauce or ketchup with a tablespoon of chopped pickle)
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put some flour on a clean work surface (your kitchen counter) and on a rolling pin. Divide the pastry dough into four equal parts and roll out six-inch circles. Put one tablespoon cheese, a few pickle slices, and one tablespoon dressing in the center of each circle. Set aside. Divide the beef into four patties, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sear in a hot skillet for two minutes per side to seal in the juices. Lay each patty on top of the condiments on the pastry, and fold up ends to the top, sealing with your fingers. Turn over, and place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Pierce a few slits in each pastry (now you look like a pro), and bake for 20 minutes, or until each Wellington is golden on top and the pastry is cooked through. Let sit for a few minutes, then dig in. Serves four (or three, if you divide meat and pastry accordingly).And here’s a great side, but not one to make if you’re attending a weight-in any time soon.
Mike's Home Fries
1 pound red or Yukon Gold potatoes
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
Cut potatoes into small chunks (about ½ inch pieces). Place in a medium saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil for about six minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, then set aside for a bit until cool. Heat about two inches of oil in a large saucepan (if you have a deep fryer, you’re a step ahead of me). When you can feel the heat when placing your hand an inch above the hot oil, it’s hot enough (375 degrees if you’re keeping score). Carefully lower the potatoes into the hot oil, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until potatoes start to turn golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with kosher salt and serve.