Seriously, you could wrap just about anything in puff pastry and I would be over the moon so it was no surprise that I fell hard for a great Vietnamese treat that my husband made for me a few years ago - pate chaud. It's basically a little savory meat pie that the man of the place remembered from his childhood. It's the perfect blend of Vietnamese cooking with French influence.
And it's pretty darned easy to make too!
Just a few ingredients - chopped onion, shredded carrot, minced garlic and pork. We cheated a bit and used a breakfast sausage. The liquid is nuoc mam, Vietnamese fish sauce. There are easy recipes all over the Internet. The man of the place uses more garlic in his nuoc mam than you typically find at Vietnamese restaurants and let me tell you, it's amazing.
Mix all these together and fry them up till the sausage is no longer pink.
Now comes the fun part
roll out the yummy puff pastry (have I mentioned how much I LOVE puff pastry?) and cut along the fold lines. The man wants me to mention that it's best to dust your cutting service with flour before you open up the pastry to keep it from sticking.
Pile up a clump of the meat mixture (I'm thinking that clump is not the correct term but I'm too tired right now to come up with a more appropriate one) on the bottom half of the pastry. Because it was pre-cooked, it was a bit crumbly this time. We might try not cooking the mixture next time and just trust that it'll get fully cooked during the baking process. If my next blog post is from the hospital, you'll know that didn't work.
Fold the pastry strip over the meat mixture and use a fork to seal the edges. You can beat up an egg and brush it along the edges before folding just to glue things together before you start forking. We actually forgot that step so the little bowl of egg wash in the background is mainly there for show at this point.
Really important step - take a knife and cut a couple of vents in the top so that you don't end up with exploded pie guts all over your oven.
I probably should have mentioned this at the beginning - pre-heat your oven to 400. Put the pretty pies on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven for 20 minutes. Pull them out and brush that egg wash all over the top (see, it wasn't purely there for show in the earlier picture) and then put it all back in the oven for another 5-ish minutes until it's all golden brown and crunchy.
Seriously, these are amazing. They are the perfect winter evening comfort food.
Usually these pies are round and smaller than the ones we've made. All you do is use the biscuit cutter to make 2 round circles for the top and bottom crusts. We decided to make a quick and easy version that I prefer because there is more room for filling.