Spinach and Feta Stuffed Pork Tenderloin served with mildly spiced vegetable sauce is what’s on the menu today, but first let me tell you a little about the weather we’ve been having here in Arizona. How many times will you hear me tell you how much I love the weather here? —not too often, and especially not in summer. But for the past few days, it’s been very cold in the morning and beautiful in the afternoon! The warm and sunny afternoons remind me why I like to live here. Can you sit out on your porch in December wearing a t-shirt?
On to the food. It won’t be long now when we’ll be sitting down and celebrating the holidays with friends and family, or maybe just taking the time to get into contact with people on the “Get Together With…” list.
One dish that’s a crowd pleaser is Spinach and Feta Stuffed Pork Tenderloin. I think people like it because it’s pretty when you see it sliced and lined up on plate, inviting all to enjoy. Pork tenderloin is also a very tender meat and it’s low in fat. If you know how to tie-up the meat it’s not a complicated dish to make. My brother Frank surprised me one time when he saw me tying a roast and asked if he could try. I was doubtful but told him, “Sure, go ahead.” He’s does a little home cooking, but not enough to have learned that, and he tied it perfectly. To make the story short, he said he learned it in the school of veterinary medicine. At any rate, it wasn’t just beginners luck.
In the healthy recipe below I have included pictures and links to tutorials to help you. The sauce is dairy-free and complements the meat nicely. I hope you enjoy it!
You may also like these posts: won ton hamburger, or pork tenderloin with pear chutney.
You may like these tools: Oven Mitts roasting pan digital thermometer
Spinach and Feta Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
For the Roast:
- 2-1/2 pounds pork tenderloin (2 strips for a total of 2-1/2 pounds)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1-1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- ½ pound fresh spinach
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
For the Sauce:
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1-1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup finely sliced carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
- 2 cups water, chicken stock, or vegetable stock
- 1-1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon Chipotle pepper (or your choice of heat, cayenne is a good alternative)
- 1 bay leaf
For the Roast:
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet and when it is hot add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently until the onion is transparent.
- Wash the spinach, remove the stems, place it in a skillet, salt it lightly, and then add a pinch of water. Cover and cook just until the spinach looks fully cooked. This should only take 2 to 3 minutes. Rinse the spinach and squeeze the liquid out. Let it relax and then squeeze again. The spinach should be very dry. Chop the spinach well.
- Trim the fat off the tenderloin, and remove the silver skin (see this tutorial), but DO NOT make cuts!
- Butterfly the tenderloin with the flatter side facing up, by slicing lengthwise down the middle of the loin without cutting through all the way. Lay the meat open on top of a piece of plastic and top with a second sheet of plastic.
- Pound the tenderloin to a thickness of ½ inch, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Layer the onions, spinach and feta cheese on top of one of the sides of tenderloin.
- Cut a piece of string 6-1/2 times the length of the meat, and lay it under the meat toward the top end with 6 to 7 inches of string extending beyond the meat on the right side.
- Place the second piece of meat on top and begin to tie up the roast on both sides (SEE VIDEOS), and then season with salt and pepper.
- Pre-heat the oven to 475°, place the meat on a roasting pan and set it on the middle rack in the oven. Immediately lower the heat to 350° and bake about 45 minutes, turning the meat over half-way through the baking time. Cook until the temperature in the center if the roast reaches 160° to 162°. After removing the roast from the oven, cover with foil and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. The temperature should continue to rise to 165°.
Make The Sauce:
- In a small saucepot sauté the onion and garlic until the onion is transparent. Add the flour and stir well for 30 seconds.
- Add the tomatoes, carrots, bay leaf, and 2 cups liquid (water, chicken stock or vegetable stock). Cook until the carrot is tender, stirring from time to time, and more often as the water evaporates.
- Remove the bay leaf and add the tomato paste, salt, and chipotle pepper. Blend the sauce until smooth, adding more liquid if necessary. Check the seasonings and bring it back to a boil if you added more liquid.
This recipe is copyrighted by MyHealthyEatingHabits.com
You may like these tools: Oven Mitts roasting pan digital thermometer
This recipe is also posted at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday’s Table, and Full Plate Thursday
Pork Tenderloin with Pear Chutney
Some years ago I saw a very funny independent Spanish film called El filandón, based in part on the short story Las peras de Dios by Antonio Pereira. It was about a family of pear farmers suffering a bad year when there was an over abundant supply of the fruit. Because they could not sell the pears they turned to eating them, rather than having them go to waste. I had to laugh every time the mother told her husband, or children what they were eating at the next meal—foods like: pear soup, pear omelette, pear casserole—you get the idea. So I found it amusing this morning when I came across the recipe page at USA pears. It’s worth a peek at. It makes me think the growers there may have had their own lean seasons.
I love pears, especially the Bartlett. This week the 38 Power Foods blog group looks at what makes this fruit so good for us. It was a surprise to me that pears are such a good source of fiber, because they are so creamy to bite into. One piece of fruit has about 100 calories and provides close to 1/4 of your daily fiber needs. It’s also a good source for your antioxidants in the form of vitamins C and K, and it helps with satiety and blood regulation, making pears a very good choice for people with type 2 diabetes.
This recipe for pork tenderloin with pear chutney is quick and easy to prepare and it taste great!
Servings: 4 to 6 Prep Time: 35 minutes Total time: 35 minutes
1 pork tenderloin
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
Ingredients for the Chutney:
3 pears, Bartlett, Bosc or Comice
¼ cup white onion, minced
2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
2-1/2 tablespoons tequila
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon raisins
¼ teaspoon ground clove
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1. Place the following ingredients in a small pot: minced onion, coconut sugar, tequila, white wine vinegar, raisins, clove, ginger, cardamom, and cayenne. Bring it to a boil and then add the chopped pears. Cook until they are tender, about 15 minutes.
2. Trim the tenderloin of fat, and slice the meat along the width at 1-1/4 inch intervals. This should leave you with 6 to 7 pieces. Butterfly each piece by cutting crosswise, almost all the way through each piece, and then opening it open, as you would a book.
3. Place a piece of plastic over a cutting board and then place one piece of meat on top and cover with another sheet of plastic. Pound the meat with a flat meat hammer until it is about ¼ inch thick. Repeat until all the pieces are flattened. Salt and pepper each piece
4. Pour 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons in a large frying pan and heat it to medium-high. Cook the meat on each side and then set the filets on a plate until you are ready to serve.
Serve with pear chutney.
Power Foods: 150 delicious recipes with the 38 healthiest ingredients
The World’s Healthiest Foods (pears)
If you are a blogger and would like to take part in our group blogging about Power Foods: 150 Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients, (from the editors at Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine) we’d love to have your company. Contact: Mireya(at)myhealthyeatinghabits.com for details.
Check out what these other bloggers have cooked up! Alanna – Kitchen Parade Veggie Adventure – Alyce – More Time at the Table, Ansh – Spice Roots, Casey –SweetSav Jeanette – Jeanette’s Healthy Living, Martha – Simple-Nourished-Living, Minnie – The Lady 8 Home, Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits
This posted can be seen at Full Plate Thursday and Pennywise Platter
Won Ton Hamburger
Welcome back to week #30. In case you haven’t been around, Mary Berger at One Perfect Bite and fellow bloggers are profiling the “50 Women Game Changers” outlined on Gourmet Online. Barbara Tropp is in spotlight this week.
Barbara Tropp became interested in Chinese culture in high school. Her interest led to PhD studies at Princeton, University, followed by two years living in Taiwan. There she became immensely interested in Chinese cuisine. After her time in Taiwan she dropped her studies and moved to San Francisco to be close to an important Chinese community. Her two cookbooks are The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking and China Moon Cookbook, which is named after the New Cuisine restaurant she owned. Barbara died at the age of 53 on October 1st, 2001—due to Ovarian Cancer.
I owe many great memories to Barbara Tropp. When Barbara’s book “The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking” came out in 1982, I was working for a caterer named Sharon Singstock. She bought the Barbara’s book, and much of the food that Sharon was cooking at the time was influenced by Barbara. Sharon’s food was remarkably delicious and as a result, I wanted to learn more about Chinese cooking, so my mother and I took a class at Montana Mercantile, in Brentwood, CA. After that, Mom and I got into the kitchen each week-end and made elaborate Chinese dinners for the family. We had a great time and lots of laughs around the dinner table. Mom and I couldn’t wait to get back into to the kitchen the upcoming week-end to experiment more with the basics of stir-frys, shu mai, won tons, spring rolls, and soups. Chinese food was in vogue and Chinese cookbooks started appearing in all the bookstores, everyone was buying woks, chopsticks, bamboo steam cookers, and other types of Chinese cooking utensils. This all came on the heels of Barbara’s book. She was a great influence, not only for Chinese food, but for the New American Cuisine movement.
About the recipe: I found this easy to make Won Ton Hamburger recipe posted at RecipeSource, and they indicated it was exported from Master Cook II. RecipeSource also indicates the recipe is by James McNair, but the title is “Barbara Tropp’s China Moon Cafe Won Ton Burgers”. At any rate, I’m doing a variation of that won ton hamburger to make a smaller amount, and to booster the flavor ingredients: ginger, garlic, and green onions. I’m also serving the burger topped with grilled onions.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Servings: 4 to 5
Ingredients for the Filling
1-1/4 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons green onions, chopped
1-½ tablespoons cilantro, Garlic
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
2-½ teaspoons garlic, minced
1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar, or cooking sherry
½ teaspoon hot chili oil
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
4 to 5 whole wheat hamburger buns
½ medium onion, sliced crossed to ¼ inch thickness
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1) Mix all the ingredients in a bowl being careful not to compact them too much. Just mix until all the ingredients are well dispersed. Set the bowl aside.
2) Add the olive oil to the pan and spread it around to cover bottom of the pan. Cook the onions until they are golden brown, and tender.
3) Grill the burgers three to four minutes and then flip them and finish cooking on the other side. Approximate cooking time is six minutes total. They should reach an internal cooking temperature of 155°.
4) Grill the hamburger buns if you like them that way. Place the burger on the bottom bun and top with grilled onions.
You should see the great recipes these bloggers are cooking up this week!