A few weeks ago, I saw pork tenderloin at the grocery store -- buy one get one FREE. Not one to turn down free meat, or free anything for that matter, I picked up two of them! I wasn't ready to cook them at the time, so I froze them. But I kept thinking about that pork sitting in my freezer and wondering what I could stuff it with. I played around with the idea of apples... butternut squash... cranberries. But in the end, I decided on my beloved goat cheese.
Don't you just love goat cheese? Salads, pizza, sandwiches, even omelets, all of these things can act as a tasty vehicle for goat cheese. Its one downfall? COST! That stuff is so expensive. Today, I bought 4oz for about $4 (FYI that's like $16 a pound!). That is a little insane when you consider that I usually buy it at Sam's Club where it costs only $7 for an entire POUND. I just really didn't feel like going all the way to Sam's.
I must say though, $4 well spent! The honey goat cheese I bought really made this dish -- but you could use plain goat cheese and I'm sure it would still be awesome. Another key ingredient? I picked up a bag of julienne sun dried tomatoes, and when I got home and opened the bag, I realized they were smoked. They turned out to be amazing! This would also make an awesome stuffing for chicken breast.
This dish isn't very hard to make but is very impressive looking, so would be perfect for a dinner party or Christmas Eve dinner perhaps? The filling just happens to be green, red, and white after all!
Now what to do with the other pork tenderloin in my freezer?
Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Spinach, Goat Cheese & Sun Dried Tomatoes
2 lb pork tenderloin
10 oz box frozen spinach, thawed
4 oz goat cheese with honey
1/4 cup smoked sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
1/4 - 1/2 cup white wine (I used Chardonnay)
1 pat butter
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. First, prep the pork tenderloin and let it sit out while you prepare the filling. Trim off any visible fat / silverskin (the shiny membrane attached to the tenderloin). Cut a slit down the center of the tenderloin, leaving about 1 inch connected. Lay the tenderloin open flat in between two layers of plastic wrap. Pound with a meat mallet, starting from the middle and working out, until the meat is about 1/2 inch thick. Season well with salt and pepper.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and add chopped onions and minced garlic. Saute until translucent.
Open box of frozen (thawed) spinach and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Add spinach to pan along with onions and garlic, then add sun dried tomatoes and stir to combine. Crumble goat cheese into skillet and remove from heat. Residual heat will be enough to melt the goat cheese and bring the "stuffing" together.
Spread filling over the flattened pork tenderloin, leaving about an inch on each side. Tie every inch or so with twine to hold the roll together. Season with salt and pepper on all sides. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the pork for about 1-2 minutes on each side or until nicely browned the whole way around.
Place skillet in pre-heated oven and bake for 40-50 minutes or until an instant read thermometer registers 145 degrees Fahrenheight. Remove pork from oven and wrap in aluminum foil to rest for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, to make a quick sauce, place the same skillet over medium heat and add 1/4 - 1/2 cup of white wine to deglaze the pan. I used Chardonnay since I had some on hand! Scrape up all of the tasty browned bits from the bottom, allow the pan sauce to simmer and reduce some, then add in a pat of butter. Unwrap the pork and place on a cutting board. Add any remaining juices from resting into the sauce. The sauce should be ready when it lightly coats the back of a spoon.
To serve, slice the tenderloin, plate it, and spoon some of the pan sauce over the top.