SPINACH AND MUSHROOM STUFFED PORK TENDERLOIN

The pi day last week made me realize that for a blog that is almost 6 years old, I have very few pies to share. Not the type of stuff we make that often, and of course, it reflects on their¬†limited presence in the site. On the opposite side of the spectrum we have pork tenderloin, by far one of the types of meat I make the most. This version is a little more dressed-up than usual, and perfect for a weekend dinner. The recipe comes from Fine Cooking magazine, and for those who care to know nutritional details, it is Paleo-friendly (if you omit the cream sauce) and low-carb. It is also elegant, and flavorful, which is what really matters ūüėČ

StuffedPorkTenderloinSPINACH AND MUSHROOM STUFFED PORK TENDERLOIN
(slightly modified from Fine Cooking)

5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3-1/2 oz. cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced (1-1/2 cups)
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained and diced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 oz. baby spinach (5 lightly packed cups)
1 large pork tenderloin (about 1-1/4 lb.)
zest of one large lemon
2 tsp of lemon juice
1 large shallot, finely diced
3/4 cup low-salt canned chicken broth
2-1/2 Tbs. sherry vinegar
2 Tbs. heavy cream

Set a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450¬įF. Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a heavy, ovenproof 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the mushrooms, sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. each of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until browned and tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the spinach and sun-dried tomatoes, sprinkle with salt, and cook, tossing well with tongs, until the spinach is¬†wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a colander and set the skillet aside.

Butterfly the tenderloin by making a horizontal slice lengthwise through the meat almost all the way to the other side. Open the meat flat, like a book. Cover with plastic wrap, and using a meat mallet, a small, heavy skillet, or the heel of your hand, lightly pound the pork so that it’s 1/4 inch thick. Rub the pork all over with 1 Tbs. of the oil, the lemon juice, and sprinkle all over the zest of the lemon and about 1/2 tsp. each of salt and pepper.

Squeeze any excess liquid from the spinach and mushrooms. Spread over the pork, leaving bare a 2-inch border along one long edge. Starting with the long side that’s covered with filling, roll the stuffed tenderloin toward the bare-border side so that it forms a cylinder, and tie it with kitchen twine.

Wipe the skillet clean if necessary. Heat the remaining 2 Tbs. oil in the skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Sear the pork on all three non-seam sides until well browned, about 6 minutes total. Flip onto the seam side, then transfer the skillet to the oven. Cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast registers 140¬ļF,¬†15 to 20 minutes.

Transfer the meat to a clean cutting board, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, return the skillet to the stove over medium-high heat (be careful; the skillet’s handle will be hot). Add the shallots, season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring, until the shallots soften and brown, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, sherry vinegar, and simmer briskly until the mixture reduces by a bit more than half, about 4 minutes. Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Slice the pork into 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve with the sauce.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

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Comments: The only problem when cooking pork tenderloin is the delicate nature of this meat, and its tendency to dry during roasting because it has such low-fat content. By filling it with the saut√©ed mixture of veggies, you won’t run such risk. ¬†I prepared the filling, rolled the meat, wrapped it in plastic and left it in the fridge for several hours, then finished it all up for our dinner on a Saturday evening, back in January.

You can serve it with any type of starchy side you’d like, pasta, rice, mashed root veggies, but in this particular dinner I went with a much lighter option, and enjoyed it with a side of grated carrots lightly seasoned with lemon juice & olive oil. ¬†I like to keep it in the fridge for an hour or so, then add salt and pepper right before serving. It is amazing what a touch of lemon juice can do to grated carrots. ¬†I first read about it on¬†Leite’s Culinaria, after a tip from our¬†friend Cindy. Try it sometime, nothing could be simpler, but you’ll find yourself making it again and again.

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CREMINI MUSHROOM MEATLOAF

As Anne Burrell often puts it: brown food tastes good. I fully agree, but it is a nightmare for food bloggers. Why? Taking a good picture is quite tricky. Granted, photography is not one of my fortes, but I am aware that even those who know their way around a camera need to work a little harder when faced with beef stews, chocolate brownies, and Рcase in point Рmeatloaf.  This one maybe even trickier as the beef is mixed with cremini mushrooms. Double decker brown for you!  Still, no matter the quality of the photos, I had to share this recipe because it is totally worth it. The mushrooms not only provide extra moisture to the meat loaf, but they add that enticing umami-ness.  The recipe comes from Cooking Light magazine which is one of my favorite sources for weeknight recipes. Never too rich, always packing great flavor.

Cremini Meat Loaf

CREMINI MUSHROOM MEAT LOAF
(adapted from Cooking Light)

1 pound cremini mushrooms
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup almond flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 ounces ground sirloin
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
1/4 cup ketchup, divided
.
Heat oven to 375¬į.
.
Place the mushrooms in a food processor; process until minced. Do it in two batches if necessary.
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Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add minced shallot; sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add mushrooms; cook 7 minutes or until liquid evaporates and mushrooms begin to brown. Add sherry; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in thyme. Cool slightly.
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Combine mushroom mixture, almond flour, and next 4 ingredients (through egg), mixing until well combined. Shape mixture into a free-form loaf on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375¬į for 20 minutes. Remove from oven; brush with half of ketchup. Bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160¬į. Remove from oven; brush with remaining ketchup, if desired. Cut into 8 slices.
.
ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

served

One of the changes I made in the recipe from Cooking Light was using almond flour instead of Panko. If you prefer a more traditional take, go for breadcrumbs, same amount. ¬†I served the meatloaf with mashed cauliflower and spinach, a recipe that I blogged about not too long ago. This was a simple, but delicious meal. You can prepare the mushroom mixture in advance, even a couple of days earlier to speed up dinner preparation. One of the best things of this meal: leftovers. My lunch next day was a couple of slices of meat loaf with a hard-boiled egg, and an avocado. The type of lunch that doesn’t make me sluggish during the afternoon. Love it!

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