Saturday, January 9, 2010

Pork Florentine

Cabin fever.

It hasn't completely set in yet, as Mike and I set out for a quick trip to Walgreen's and to put gas in his car this afternoon. But when the high in Mississippi is 28 degrees, well, we just don't get out that much. And it's snowing in Atlanta. You should have SEEN the hordes at the Kroger on Wednesday; that's how I realized bad weather was on the way. If a snowflake is spotted in Texas you can bank that there will be a run on bread and buttermilk in Mississippi.

We're trying to keep busy and moving in the house, but there's only so much we can do inside. The neighborhood pond has frozen over except for where the two pumps keep water moving, and even those circles of movement are giving up to the ice. Our bodies aren't accustomed to this kind of weather, and we both get instant brain freeze upon walking outside.

The cat and dog L.O.V.E. it.

It's like somebody has set them both on fire. I suppose it's a function of movement = warmth, but when the dog isn't curled up shivering next to me for MY warmth, he's frisking and running laps through the house and being as much of a pest as he can be to Kearney, who has taken up residence in Dante's bed. When Kearney isn't bedded down, he is begging, pleading, DEMANDING that we let him outside RIGHT THIS MINUTE.

So I figured I'd pull out an old recipe that I developed back in April of 2008. This was a matter of me wandering around the grocery store thinking, "Hmm. I like pork. And I like spinach. Let's put them together." And this is what I discovered. It's actually more of a springtime/summer dish I suppose, but you can raid your freezer and pantry and probably come up with something similar and probably tastier. The basic premise is to wrap meat up around something savory and roast it. Pull out some puff pastry, wrap that around the meat, and bam! Wellington.

And afterward you can huddle around the open oven for warmth as it cools down.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Roast time: 30-40 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings
Pan Preparation: lightly greased cooling or roasting rack, kitchen twine

1 ½ - 2 pound pork tenderloin (can be marinated overnight)
2/3 - 1 cup olive tapenade
16 ounces frozen chopped spinach, seasoned and cooked, drained, and squeezed dry
½ – ¾ cup feta cheese crumbles
  1. Preheat oven to 425, and salt and pepper the outside of the tenderloin to taste.
  2. Using a very sharp knife, and being careful not to slice all the way through the meat, make a rectangle of pork.
  3. Make a long horizontal slice about ½ inch from the bottom of the pork, to about ½ inch from the other side.
  4. Open up the pork like a book, and make another incision, again toward the bottom of the meat, ½ inch shy of the opposing side. Press down to flatten.
  5. Lightly grease a roasting rack with cooking spray, and line the pan with aluminum foil. Set the opened pork on top of the roasting rack, perpendicularly to the rings of the rack.
  6. Spread the olive tapenade evenly on the pork, pressing into the meat.
  7. Spread the spinach on top of the tapenade, again, pressing down to flatten.
  8. Top the spinach with feta crumbles.
  9. Slowly roll up the pork lengthwise, and tie with kitchen twine.
  10. Roast pork for 30-45 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 155-160 degrees.
  11. Allow meat to rest for 5 minutes after removing from oven.
Cats photo courtesy of icanhascheezburger.



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