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stuffed pork
Stuffed Pork Tenderloin on Bed of Onions

Ricotta Risotto

Sautéed Spinach

Menu Plan for the week of Nov. 15, 2013: Day 2 Recipes

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin on Bed of Onions
Ricotta Risotto
Sautéed Spinach

Cooking time:  50 minutes for menu       Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

      It's not easy to buy 2oz of spinach - so we'll have a bit as a vegetable, too. Plus it's a nice contrast to the richness of the risotto.  The leftover risotto will be used on  Day 4 (There should be at lease 1 cup).

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin on Caramelized Onions   Preparation, cooking time: 45 minutes
     Pork tenderloin lend itself very well to stuffing. Here we stuff it with savory mushrooms and roast it on a bed of onions.    

14oz (420gr) pork tenderloin
3 tbs olive oil - 1 for stuffing and 2 for basting
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup chopped mushrooms, about 1oz (30gr)
2 tbs dry bread crumbs
1 tsp dried basil
2 tbs red wine vinegar

The stuffing:  Chop mushrooms and mince or crush garlic.  Heat 1 tbs olive oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add paprika and sauté for 1 minute.  Add mushrooms and garlic and sauté for 3 - 4 minutes, until starting to brown and soften.  When mushrooms are done put into a small bowl and add bread crumbs and basil; mix well. 
The pork: Butterfly pork tenderloin - cut it in half lengthwise leaving 1/4 inch intact along the edge, so that you can open it like a book.  Open it and give it a couple of whacks with a meat mallet so that it lies flattish... or pound lightly with the edge of a plate.  You just want it to be flat and easy to work with.  Spread mushroom mixture on one side of pork about 1/8 inch from the edge.  Fold other side over and tie with kitchen string.  Cut five 6 inch lengths of string and wrap around pork and tie every 2 inches - making certain that you do one as close to each end as possible. 
The rest: In a small bowl whisk together remaining 2 tbs olive oil and vinegar.  Place pork on onions in a small roasting pan and roast in 400F (200C) oven for 25 - 30 minutes, depending on size, until done, basting periodically with oil/vinegar mixture.  When done, slice and serve.
Pork should be slightly pink in the center to keep it moist. Slice it and take a peak or, best method, use a meat thermometer.  Pork is done when internal temperature reaches 145F.

Caramelized Onions these are started in a skillet and finished in the oven
2 onions  
1 tbs butter
2 tbs red wine vinegar
2 tbs brown sugar

Slice onion thickly.  Heat butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onions and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add vinegar and brown sugar.  Stir well to melt sugar and combine.  Spoon onions into a small roasting pan, arranging so pork will just fit on top.

Ricotta Risotto                                                             Preparation and cooking time: 35 minutes
This is based on a recipe from the cook book 'Risotto'.   This is a very white, very creamy, very rich risotto.  As always, the end result should be almost soup-like, never stiff. Add the spinach at the end so that it just wilts.  We'll be using the leftovers in Risotto de Salto.

2/3 cup Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto - Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
1/3 cup dry, white wine
2 1/8 cups chicken stock
2 shallots
1 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
2oz (60gr) fresh spinach
1/3 cup whole or part skim milk ricotta (3oz, 90gr)
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese - freshly grated  (about 1.5oz, 45gr)

Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat.  Slice the spinach into strips.  Peel and chop shallots. In medium saucepan heat butter and oil over medium heat.  Add shallots and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.   Add rice and sauté stirring, for 2 - 3 minutes until rice has white center.  Add white wine and stir.  When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/3 cup of stock, stir.   When stock is almost absorbed add another 1/3 cup and continue adding 1/3 cup at a time and stirring.  Reserve 1/4 cup to add at the end.  Taste the rice.  They should be just 'al dente' - slightly resistant to the tooth but fully cooked.  You can add a bit of water at this point if needed but you shouldn't have to.  Add the rest of the stock, the spinach and both cheeses.  Stir vigorously over heat to combine well and wilt the spinach.  Spoon into a bowl and serve.

Sautéed Spinach                                           Preparation and cooking time:   10 minutes
   This is quickly done and best if done at the last minute.  A sprinkling of lemon juice and sea salt is all that's needed to let the spinach shine.  The leaves should be barely wilted.

4oz (120gr) fresh spinach
2 tsp dried chives or 1 tbs fresh
1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp good olive oil
1 tbs lemon juice
salt - sea salt is nice, and pepper

Wash and stem spinach if needed.  Drain in a colander.  If you don't feel you need to wash it - do it anyway.  We want a little bit of water on the leaves - what ever is left after draining well - and shake them around a bit, too.  Cut big spinach leaves into strips.  Snip chives if using fresh. 
Heat 1 tsp oil over medium high heat in large nonstick skillet. Add spinach and herbs.  Quickly stir-fry, 1 or 2 minutes.  The spinach should just start to wilt.  Remove.  Drizzle with remaining olive oil, lemon juice, sprinkle with salt, pepper and serve.

Cooking Schedule: 50 minutes for menu
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
medium skillet, large skillet, 2 saucepans, baking dish
Turn oven on, 400F (200C)
Peel onions, shallots, garlic
Slice onions for pork, sauté
Mince all garlic
Trim, chop mushrooms
Sauté mushrooms, garlic, paprika
Slice pork, pound flat
Remove mushrooms, add to crumbs, basil, mix
Stuff pork
Add sugar, vinegar to onions, stir well
Heat stock for risotto
Grate Parmesan
Tie pork

Spoon onions into baking dish, add pork, roast
Make basting sauce, baste
Chop shallots for risotto, sauté
Tend to the spinach, washing if needed, slice for risotto
Add rice to shallots, stir
Add wine to rice, stir
Baste pork
Add stock to risotto, stir
     Relax a bit.....
Add stock to rice, stir
Keep adding stock and stirring
Finish risotto
Baste pork - done? Remove, let rest
Heat oil in large skillet
Add spinach, herbs. stir-fry
Finish spinach
Slice pork, serve

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