The 2009 Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Simone of Junglefrog Cooking. Simone chose Salmon en Croute (or alternative recipes for Beef Wellington or Vegetable en Croute) from Good Food Online. I chose to substitute pork because my wife doesn't care for rare beef and my niece, who lives with us, is allergic to salmon. I did make the short pastry as well as a coconut creamed spinach bed for the pork tenderloin; I wanted to give it somewhat of a southeast Asian flavor.
I had planned to cook this earlier, when I had more time. But things came up. Then, suddenly, the fourteenth was here and it was time to post. So I made the short pastry before going to school this morning, then rushed home after class this afternoon, prepared copies of the final for my evening class, creamed the spinach, seared and butterflied the tenderloin, stuffed, wrapped and baked it, took some photos, wrote some words, and voila...another challenge met. Now I'll post this and then go give my final.
450 grams flour
200 grams butter
In a food processor, pulse flour and butter until you have a coarse meal. Add just enough chilled water to gather into a ball. Flatten into a disk and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least an hour.
Coconut Creamed Spinach
2 TBS oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
16 ounces fresh spinach, stems removed (I used baby spinach)
cayenne pepper to taste
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut milk
Add oil to a medium high pan. Add onions, garlic, and ginger, and cook until onions are translucent. Add spinach. As spinach begins to wilt, add coconut milk, salt, and pepper. Stir until spinach is totally wilted. Continue to cook to reduce the liquid slightly. Place spinach in colander and let cool and drain.
To assemble the dish, sear the tenderloin on all sides. Butterfly the tenderloin, then pound to thin slightly. Stuff spinach mixture in tenderloin. Place stuffed tenderloin on short pastry that has been rolled to about 1/8 inch thickness and brushed with an egg wash. Cut three vents in top of the pastry to let steam escape. Brush top of the pastry with egg wash. Bake in 400º oven for 20--25 minutes. When done, let rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing.