After the third amuse I rotated into the main kitchen to produce mass quantities of soup (for both PCR and the cafeteria). But for my birthday my family was going to come eat in the PCR so I wanted to be there. So I switched with someone for the day and got to do amuse again!
This time my inspiration was simply what I felt like eating - and I thought of ground pork with grilled corn and roasted red bell peppers. And I wanted to put it in puff pastry, because I love puff pastry - one of my favorite creations was a Thanksgiving puff pastry dumpling I did years ago, where I basically wrapped leftover turkey, sweet potato and cranberry sauce in puff pastry and baked it.
So anyway, this was supposed to be an easy amuse - I would stir-fry the ground pork, and lay the corn and red bell peppers on the grill until they charred. Which is what I did, but first I made the sauce.
Since I pictured the pork puff pastry as a dumpling/samosa like thing, for the sauce I thought about the green sauce that accompanies samosas. But I didn't want all the Indian flavors so I just kept it simple, cilantro and yogurt and garlic, seasoned with lemon juice and cayenne. I put in too much garlic, so I tried to adjust by putting in more cilantro and yogurt, but that only made it slightly better.
While I was busy adjusting the sauce, Tishara stepped in and cut my corn kernels for me. Maybe she just wanted her grill back, but I was really glad to have some help.
The red bell peppers I put into a tin and covered with foil after they got all charred up - the trapped residual heat softens the peppers even more and allow for the charred skin to be easily peeled off (which I did, in some cold water).
The bell peppers and the grilled corn were added to the pork - which I stir-fried with red onion, ginger, vinegar and paprika (the seasonings were a product of googling "pork corn red bell pepper", finding a recipe for pork chop with bell pepper and corn relish, and stealing the idea).
Once the filling was done I got to wrapping the dumplings, and somehow I had gotten only a dozen in the oven when it came service time. And guests were being seated in the PCR and I had nothing ready. So I started freaking out and pulled the dumplings from the oven and deep-fried them instead. And they looked ugly and not what I wanted them to look like (hence no pictures of those).
Meanwhile I was also freaking out because my family didn't show up and I didn't have my phone and I had to get my phone and I had all these messages about meetup mishaps, and it really was too much stress.
In the end I bought myself some time with the deep-fried puffs, and decided to make my life easier by not making any more dumplings. Instead I just laid down puff pastry squares in muffin tins and spooned filling over that and baked - and what came out were more like pork puff pastry cups. And they actually looked much better. And I regained my ability to breathe.