Because I'm feeling quite classy today - and it doesn't happen often, so it's good to make the most of it - I shall be calling the dish a Millefeuille. However, don't be thinking of layers of crisp pastry interspersed with common old pepperoni and squishy mozzarella - oh no. Be thinking of lovely golden puff pastry, filled with a luxuriant mixture of pepperoni, mashed potato (oh, sorry, did your expectations just crash and burn? *chuckle*), mozzarella cheese and spring onion.
Whatever you call it, it was flipping lovely.
|The filling, before the top layer went on|
This was another one of hubby's creations, in that he knew we had a pack of pepperoni and two balls of mozzarella in the fridge, left over from an expected pizza voyage that never happened. The mozzarella is used up easily at lunchtimes, but the pepperoni was a different matter. So he devised a use for it - and very nice it was, too.
|All pleated up and egg washed - ready for baking|
For simplicity, we bought some ready-made puff pastry and even a tub of ready-made mashed potato. Now shop bought mash isn't my favourite by any means, but I have to admit that it did make what could have been a right old palaver a lot easier. Of course, the best thing of all would be to make a bit extra the day before (presuming you have a dinner with utilises mash the day before). For us, our meal plan that week had gone completely to worms and the rhythm of our dishes was completely up the creek - hence the shop bought mash.
The only two changes we'd make when making this again, would be to use a better quality of mozzarella - which would give better flavour, plus to use a small quantity of grated cheddar, just to increase the cheese flavour by a tiny bit.
The addition of the spring onion to the mixture was a stroke of genius, though. Far nicer than straight chopped white onion, or a sweated off onion. It gave a lovely bite to the texture plus a welcome splash of colour - not to mention the sweet, mild onion flavour which of course went so well with the other ingredients.
Son & heir definitely approved and even ate his salad without complaint. Hubby was, of course, super critical of the dish as it was his own creation - but agreed that it was definitely one that he'd do again. I was pleasantly surprised by the flavours as I'm not the biggest fan of pepperoni outside of a pizza and found that the pepperoni flavour was muted by the mashed potato, which allowed the cheese to come through most agreeably.
One note that is worth mentioning, is that the fat content of this dish is off the scale. It would be impossible to substitute chorizo, for example, as the fat that chorizo brings would just swamp out the texture. If you consider that every single ingredient - the pastry, mashed potato, pepperoni and mozzarella - all contain a significant amount of fat, this is very definitely a dish for "once in a blue moon". I'm sure it has a place, though - perhaps as a sharing dish for a mixed buffet, or as a picnic dish (it was very good cold, too!). Something where you don't need to have a huge slab of the stuff.
Definitely one of those meals that are naughty, but very nice!
PEPPERONI & MOZZARELLA MILLEFEUILLE (serves 4-8)
400g puff pastry, rolled out into two sheets approx. 15" x 8"
120g sliced pork pepperoni
400g mashed potato (leftover mash is best)
250g mozzarella, grated
50g cheddar cheese, grated
5-6 spring onions, trimmed & chopped into quarter inch pieces
freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten.
1. Prepare a baking sheet with non-stick aluminium foil and pre-heat your oven to 180degC/350degF/Gas4.
2. Slice the pepperoni into strips and place into a good sized bowl. Add the remainder of the ingredients and season with a good pinch of black pepper. Mix with a fork until evenly combined.
3. Place one of the sheets of pastry onto the baking sheet.
4. Tip the pepperoni mixture out onto the pastry piece and form into a rectangle, at least an inch in from the edges of the pastry.
5. With a pastry brush, brush a little of the egg wash around the edges of the pastry.
6. Lay the second piece of pastry across the top and press down around the edges, to seal. Make sure you're not trapping air inside the pastry, by cutting two or three slots into the top of the rectangle.
7. Pleat the edges of the pastry, to seal and neaten. Then give the pastry a good coating with the egg wash.
8. Place into the oven for some 35-40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.
9. Serve with a side salad.