Texan Holiday Dinner - Pork Roulade

Made with Puff Pastry, Grand Marnier Bread Pudding, Pecan Rice Pilaf, Greens and Berries Salad, and Creamed Carrots

Pork Roulade in Puff Pastry, Pecan Rice Pilaf, Creamed Carrots

This time we are straying from the one pan dinner! We have been invited to cook a Holiday Dinner in a real kitchen! Stay calm... it is of the upmost simplicity.

A full dinner recipe including: Pork Roulade in Puff Pastry, Pecan Rice Pilaf, Creamed Carrots, Greens and Berries Salad with a Pumpkin Vinaigrette and a Grand Marnier Bread Pudding. This serves six.

Pork Roulade in Puff Pastry
1 3 to 4lb Pork Roast.
1 package of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry, thawed.
2 bags fresh Cranberry
3 oranges
1 Tb Chili powder
1 Tb ground Cinnamon
6 21" cut string
2 egg yolks
pan spray
some white flour

With a sharp long knife start slicing the Pork Roast "in and around" , about 1" from the edge surface, to actually end up with a "sheet" of Pork. Quarter the oranges and place them in a blender, or food processor till mushed (remove the seeds). In the meantime place the cranberries in a pot at medium heat, add the oranges, the cinnamon and chili. Poke and stir the mixture constantly till most of the cranberries pop, end up with a mixture that will be a semi solid one. Spread on the inner side of the Pork which is now laying fairly flat on a board, roll up and tie with the strings. A regular knot as you will want to undo the strings later on with much ease.

Pork roast tied up with cranberry mixture inside.
Pork roast tied up with cranberry mixture inside.

Wrap in foil and place in a heated oven at 375 degrees for one hour. Remove from oven and undo the foil to let the roast cool off, making it easy to handle. Untie the strings by pulling them while you are holding the roast.

The Puff Pastry box will have two sheets. Place both on a smooth counter with a bit of flour dusting on both sides of it, and with a rolling pin roll them out slightly, increasing their size by just about one inch around. Spray another flat baking pan, placing one puff pastry sheet and the Pork Roast on top. Drape the second sheet on top, reserving a strip about 1" wide. In a small bowl whip the two egg yolks with 1 tsp of water and with a brush. Using the mixture as a "glue", tuck the overhanging sheet over the bottom one.

In the meantime, with the reserved strip and a small knife's point, cut up a few "leaves" and "twigs". You can make the impressions of the leaves with the edge of the knife. Brush the complete surface of the dough with the rest of the egg wash, place the twig (s) and leaves on top and brush again. Place in a 400 degree oven, uncovered, for about 20 to 30mn's till the desired color... as in the picture. Remove, let cool a bit and slice... Nice to show it around to the guests first!

Show off your Pork Roulade!
Show off your Pork Roulade!

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Rice Pilaf with Toasted Pecans
2 C Uncle Ben's regular rice <must be>
3 cans Campbell's Chicken broth <must be / undiluted>
1 handful Vermicelli, broken up in 2" +/- pieces
1/2lb butter
2 C toasted Pecans

Toast the Pecans in a 400 degree oven on a baking flat pan for about 15 minutes, keeping an eye on them so as not to burn them. In a 4qt pot (lid needed) place the butter at 3/4 flame. When melted add the vermicelli and do not stop stirring till the vermicelli is a nice dark bronze color. The butter will foam, it is basically ready when the foam subsides. Move the pot, raise the pot, but leave the flames constant, you will feel like a pro. Add the rice, continue stirring for a couple minutes and at once add the chicken broth. Nice to have those cans pre-opened! Stir for a minute, place the lid on top and wait for the steam to come through. When it does, turn the flames very low and it will be done in about 30 minutes, +/- when the steam stops. You can open the lid once, add the pecans with very little stir with a fork. Turn the heat off and place a towel over it. Let it rest for a good half an hour or till the rest of your dinner is ready.

This is the best Armenian Rice Pilaf recipe, it is the first time I share it... it is my Grand Mother's recipe. Use it with joy. You can omit the pecans... it is only a Holiday touch.

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Creamed Carrots
3 lbs or so peeled carrots
1/4lb butter, melted
1/4 C Heavy Cream
1/4 lb Cream Cheese
2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 full green onions sliced very thing

Boil the carrots in water till done but not mushy. Using a food processor, add carrots, butter, cream cheese, heavy cream, cinnamon and pulse a few times till creamy but still a bit chunky.

Remove and add the green onions. I use an ice cream scooper to plate it. You can keep warm in a covered pot at low heat if needed.

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Greens and Berries Salad with a Pumpkin Vinaigrette
Greens and Berries Salad with a Pumpkin Vinaigrette

Greens and Berries Salad with a Pumpkin Vinaigrette
1 small can of green Chilies, diced
1.5 C Extra Virgin cold pressed Olive Oil
1/4 C White Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 C solid Pumpkin
2 tsp Chili powder
Toasted Pecans (optional)

Prepare the greens "only" as in the picture or according to your taste. Mix all the ingredients with a whip in a bowl, spoon over the greens. Only then add the berries and pecans.

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A Grand Marnier Orange Glazed Bread Pudding
Grand Marnier Orange Glazed Bread Pudding

A Grand Marnier Orange Glazed Bread Pudding

1 loaf French bread cut up ( x1.5" +/-)
2 C whole milk
2 C Heavy Cream
6 eggs
2 C golden raisins
2 tsp cinnamon
2 C Orange Marmalade
1 C grand Marnier

Place the cut up French Bread in a buttered square glass pan. Add the raisins, mix them well. In a large bowl whip the eggs, add the cinnamon, milk and cream and 1/2 C of the Grand Marnier. Pour over the bread. With a sheet pan underneath (it will drip when baking) place in a 375 degree oven for about one hour, keeping an eye on it until it is the color in the picture shown above. In another small bowl mix the Marmelade and remaining 1/5 C Grand Marnier, remove the Bread Pudding and pour over, then put back in the oven for another 15 minutes. Let it cool a bit when done. Then cut up and serve warm.

Chef Ara

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