Monday, January 14, 2013

From my table to yours: spinach and cheddar-stuffed pork

Cooking is much like writing. There is the researching, planning, improvising, revising, re-working
and constant editing editing editing -- whether it be sentence structure or an ingredient list. 

After a frustrating day of writing, 
I turned to the kitchen to release my creativity. 
The result: spinach and cheddar-stuffed pork tenderloin 
with sauteed grape tomatoes and 
a delicious vegan potato leek soup.  

Take that, writer's block!


spinach and cheddar-stuffed pork tenderloin
(from Jacques Pepin: More Fast Food My Way)

What you'll need:
  • 1 large pork tenderloin (about 1 1/4 lb)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 package baby spinach
  • 1 package grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup white wine (I like Chardonnay)
  • handful of chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese 
  • salt and pepper to taste

What to do:
  • Heat 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Saute garlic and onions for about 1 minute.
  • Add spinach and about 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Cover and cook over medium heat for 1 1/2 minutes, or until spinach is wilted. 
  • Remove the lid and cook until all the liquid is evaporated. 
  • Transfer to a plate and let cool.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  • Trim the tenderloin of any fat. 
  • Butterfly the tenderloin and tenderize with a meat tenderizer (I use plastic wrap and cover the meat when I beat it into submission). 
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides. 
  • Add half the spinach mixture to the center of the tenderloin and top with cheese. 
  • Add the rest of the spinach. 
  • Carefully roll your tenderloin. 
  • Make aluminum foil strips and wrap your tenderloin so the spinach and cheese mixture doesn't spill out.
  • Heat another 2 tbsp of oil in a large nonstick, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. 
  • Place the tenderloin on the pan, browning it on all sides (about 5 minutes each side). 
  • Remove foil strips from the tenderloin and bake in oven for 10 minutes. 
  • Transfer tenderloin to an ovenproof plate, cover and keep warm in oven (make sure you turn it off) while you prepare the tomatoes.

  • Add grape tomatoes to the skillet you used to brown the tenderloin. 
  • Add wine. 
  • Add chopped parsley. 
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Saute over high heat for about 2 minutes, until tomatoes are soft. 

  • Slice the tenderloin crosswise into medallions (about 8 of them) and place them on a serving platter. 
  • Pour sauteed tomatoes over the medallions.
Vegan potato leek soup
(adapted from Jacques Pepin: More Fast Food My Way)

What you'll need:
  • 3 leeks, washed and trimmed into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 package button mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 cups veggie stock
  • 2 cups instant mashed potatoes
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

What do to:
  • Heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Saute leeks, onion and mushroom about 2-3 minutes, until veggies are soft. 
  • Add stock, bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer for another 3 minutes. Add instant potatoes and almond milk. 
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

Don't be surprised if you slurp up two or three bowls of this stuff!


Tune in below to Episode 219 of Jacques Pepin: More Fast Food My Way on KQED. You can see Jacques prepare the pork tenderloin and potato leek soup recipes (start the video at 4:15).