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Welcome to the PUFFIN.

I successfully married Pork and Stove Top Stuffing into a cute little … muffin.

I know, right?

Pork – meaty, savory, porky, protein rich.
Muffin – bready, sweet, moist, and good with strong coffee.

Separate, they are wonderful. Together? Initially, a conceptually difficult union to wrap your sweet pretty head around. OK.. I’ll speak for myself. It took me a bit to wrap MY sweet head around it. I mean, come on’ – What do you call it?

A Pork Muffin?

A Porkfin?

A Puffin?

Regardless of what one might call it, – it’s strange. But hey, how can you go wrong? Pork, and stuffing. Who doesn’t like that combination, and besides, we ALLL know what strange means to me.

It mean’s I gotta try it.

Plus, they said it was easy, and I like easy.

So… without further adieu, I give you………. a porffin?

Whatever.

Here’s what you need to make this wildly creative, culinary masterpiece:

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That’s right. A muffin tin, two eggs (three, actually. I’ll explain later), ground pork, and a box of good ole’ Stove Top Stuffin’. Try and match the flavors people, k? I mean, if you get ground pork.. use Stove Top Stuffing for pork. If you get ground turkey, (which is perfectly acceptable protein choice in this situation for all you skinny-minnies), use the Stove Top for turkey.

Yessssssssssssssssss, you don’t have to point out the obvious fact that I combined ground pork and turkey Stove Top Stuffing – but ground pork was what my freezer had, and turkey Stove Top was what the store had. No big deal. I’m comfortable flying that kind of flag out there for everyone to see.

You know, the REBEL flag.

So, because I can’t just be normal and go along with direction, I like to “doctor” things up. That would the Stove Top Stuffing that I’m talking about. If you have extra “aromatics” in your fridge folks, doctor that crap up. I started sauteing celery (and lots of it because celery and I have had an intense love / love relationship for many years), and onion with a touch of garlic.

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That particular day, I decided to live on the edge and add some hot chili flakes to the party. I added about a tablespoon and half.

It turns out I’m not as edgy as I thought.

Dial down the chili flakes folks.

Learn by my mistakes. Especially if you’re not too adventurous on the whole spicy thing. Start with half a teaspoon.. you can always add more (One of Mom’s favorite expressions)

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So at this point, when the aromatics are soft, make the Stove Top Stuffing according to the box instructions. Easy Peasy right? Once that’s finished, and slightly cooled, add your pound of ground pork (or chicken, or turkey) and THREE eggs. I realize I had previously said two, and I actually did only use two, but I found the finished product SLIGHTLY crumbly, so an extra egg would hug up all those ingredients and make them stick together much better.

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When the mixture is thoroughly mixed, spoon it into your greased muffin pans. My muffin pan has muffin cups for giants so I got six from the whole lot. However, if you are of the regular human race, I can say that normal muffin pans are acceptable, if not desired over the bigger ones.

Spoon them into the tins at the fullness that you want, as they don’t puff up, obviously, like a cake muffin would.

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Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. (All depending on what size of muffin tin you used. I used a longer cook time because of the muffins for Giants that I was making.) Use your logic okay? We are dealing with ground pork (or any ground meat), so it’s imperative that it’s thoroughly cooked. If in doubt, use a thermometer and cook them till you have an internal temperature of 160 degrees for pork and 165 for turkey or chicken.

FYI – At the very end of cooking time, turn on your blast broiler for a  minute or two. It creates this mildly crunchy top that is FANFRICKENSTASTIC!

I highly suggest you try that.

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These bubba’s are awesome with a side salad for a lunch, or even for a quick breakfast heated up in the microwave. Ok, listen, you can have them for ANY meal because they’re just that good. The batch I made are at the TOP of my spice tolerance so next time, I’ll go a bit kinder on the chilies. Lastly, these freeze like champions!!

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Give them a try and tell me what you think! What changes did you make to “doctor” them up?

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Clickin’ the Heels for a Tart

Seriously now. Who wakes up thinking… ‘I want to make an onion tart.’

Me.

Maybe I was channeling Martha Stewart  or Julia Child (I should be so lucky… about Julia, not Martha. No need for me to be more tight assed than I already am.)

But here I was, waking up to thoughts of caramelized onions in a tart-ish type thing.

Have I ever WANTED an onion tart?

Have I ever REALLY liked puff pastry?

Do I ever REALLY want onions on ANYTHING??

No.

So what’s up with the figurative mornin’ wood for an onion tart?

Regardless, I followed the urge and got my butt to the store, to buy the stuff I needed and went home.

Following Bon’ Appetit’s recipe, I got to work.

Onions. Puff pastry. Bacon. Creme fraiche ( I know…shee shee foo foo, right?).

Here’s the  goods, in picture form.

Roll out the puff pastry in a sheet.

Turn up the edges. (I forgot to take a photo of this. Yes, I know.) Chill. (The pastry, not you……….. Ok, you too.)

Recipe says 3 strips of bacon but COME ON. Don’t you know when it comes to bacon, 5 is the new 3??

Cut them up to make fancy french named bacon-bit type things called LARDONS.  Funny name,… Lardons. Sounds like something that should be stuck to my fat ass… and…actually… um..

nevermind.

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Meanwhile, in a bowl put honey, white wine and bacon drippings and whisk together. Set aside.

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Now for the onions. I used two big ones (as you can see)

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and sliced them using my mandolin. Trust me, I used it for the cheesy potato fiasco here and I used it again. Listen, I implore you… make your life easier and more “cheffy” by getting one. Mine cost a whopping 9.99.

G’head. Make some big ass rings with that bubba.

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Mix the honey mixture with the onions, make sure you coat them well, and spread on a parchment cookie sheet.

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Slide in the oven and go make yourself useful. Crochet a hat. Go river rafting. Cure world hunger.

30 min later, stir the onions. Keep this up till you see them getting toasty and caramelized.

In another bowl, put creme fraiche, salt, pepper and nutmeg together.

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Pour the creme fraiche mixture onto your chilled pastry things evenly. (Yep. Forgot the photo.)

 Place onions on top evenly. (aaand yet again, forgot the photo.)

Get your sprinkle on with the bacon. Evenly.

(finally got my poop in a group. Here’s the photo.)

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In the oven she goes. Recipe says 20 minutes, but I had mine in there a good 30, so keep an eye out so they don’t burn.
Take them out when the pastry looks nice and toasty, and the filling is kinda bubbly. Cool a bit.

Taste.

Oh sweet baby Jesus.

I literally CANNOT remember when I had such a great tasting morsel of food that I actually made. (Ok, except for the toffee thing here, but that’s chocolate and doesn’t count).

The sweetness of the onions, the creaminess of the creme fraiche, accented with the salty/smokiness of the bacon and the buttery, flaky, crispy yet tender bite of the pastry all came together in a way that makes you wanna jump and click your heels in a leprechauny way, and not give one shit how stupid you look doing it.

I actually had to phone people to tell them how good it was. If you’re any self-respecting foodie, you know what I’m talking about.

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I’ll agree, she’s the wallflower of tarts, but she’s the kind you wanna bring home to mom, that’s for damn sure.

And I don’t really like onions… or puff pastry..but this is a whole new ball game.

Trust me on this one.

Bon Appetit!

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/honey-roasted-onion-tart