For Filippo’s birthday I surprised him with dinner out at a beautiful Italian restaurant in Sarasota. Filippo is from Italy so you can understand when I say his all time favorite cuisine is Italian. Needless to say he was more than pleased at the thought of a really wonderful Italian meal and so was I! The restaurant is lovely inside, even has a separate bar to enjoy an aperitif before dinner which we both thought would be fun to take advantage of on our next visit.
Oops, we kind of got ahead of ourselves with jumping ahead to a second visit! There will be no second visit. Every dish was at best, a disappointment and at worst not edible. We’ve been together over twenty five years and I have never seen Filippo not finish a veal cutlet, that is until this birthday dinner! It was burned on one side and over cooked on the other, which they hid under a pile of arugula and tomatoes. Enough said!
That dinner was the catalyst for creating the dish I am posting today; “Happy Birthday Wellington”. We’ll forever remember the disappointing meal we were served for Filippo’s birthday and actually we did have a wonderful time together celebrating his special day. But I still wanted to do a birthday dinner that we could share and actually eat! Something fancy because it is to celebrate someone special; something with mushrooms because Filippo adores them and something I could organize and prep at least partly beforehand so I could spend time with my special guy!
“Happy Birthday Wellington” is what I created. I’ve made Alton Brown’s Pork Wellington and it is fantastic; you can find the recipe on line at Food Network. “Happy Birthday Wellington” is a bit fancier; caramelized onions with dry vermouth sit atop a 2 inch slice of pork tenderloin that has been browned on both sides. They are wrapped in puff pastry, baked and then served surrounded by shitake mushrooms that have been sautéed in butter and garlic with a white wine/ chicken stock and fresh oregano sauce.
Here’s how to create Happy Birthday Wellington for your special someone.
Ingredients: (For Two) prep 20 minutes bake 20-251 small onion thinly sliced
¼ cup dry vermouth
½ cup low sodium chicken stock
4 T. fresh oregano chopped
2 pieces pork tenderloin, each 2 inches thick
1 sheet puff pastry
4 ounces shitake mushrooms
2 small cloves garlic
¼ cup white wine
¾ cup chicken stock
4 T. butter divided
2 T. olive oil
Pre heat oven to 425In large nonstick pan over high heat brown onions stirring constantly about 10 minutes
Add vermouth and reduce until almost gone
Add chicken stock and oregano, reduce until sauce is thick
Remove from heat and let cool
In a preheated non stick frying pan sear both top and bottom of the pork tenderloin over high heat
Remove pork and set aside fry pan for sautéing the mushrooms
Cut the puff pastry in a two circles large enough to cover the pork tenderloins.
Place ½ of the onion mixture on each puff pastry
Top each with one tenderloin
Bring the puff pastry up around the sides and bottom of the tenderloins.
Turn over and place on a non stick baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, the puff pastry will be nicely browned.
Let the tenderloins rest for 5 minutes before serving with the mushrooms and sauce
When the tenderloins have been on the oven for 15 minutes start the mushrooms
Sauté the mushrooms and garlic in 2 T. butter and olive oil over medium high for 5 minutes
Add ¼ cup wine and reduce by half
Add ¾ cup chicken stock and reduce by half
Add 2 tablespoons butter and fresh oregano, mix butter in well.
Place one tenderloin on each plate and surround with ½ mushrooms and sauce.
Serve and enjoy.