January 12, 2011 by
Winter in Italy. That simple three-word phrase sounds just divine. I wish I could say that I was about to fly off to Europe for an extended winter holiday but sadly, this is not so.
However, I can at least try to pretend that I’m in Italy through my culinary adventures. Winter in Italy was the name of a cooking class taught by the very talented Pam McDonald several years ago at Dish Cooking Studio in Toronto.
I was an employee at Dish while working my way through chef’s school and I was fortunate enough to work alongside Chef Pam as her assistant in many classes.
One of my favourite classes featured a delectable Italian menu which included a radicchio & chicory salad with sautéed mushrooms & shaved parmesan; scalloped fennel & potatoes, sautéed rapini with pine nuts & raisins, veal tenderloin stuffed with leek, sausage & chevre and pears with sweet mascarpone cheese.
In addition to sharing valuable tips and tricks for the kitchen, Pam suggested a unique entertaining idea involving fresh rosemary: extra sprigs can be tossed into a wood burning fireplace for a delicious, natural, yet oh-so-frugal aroma!
This veal tenderloin makes for a stunning entrée on a special occasion. Buon Appetito!
Veal Tenderloin Stuffed with Leeks, Sausage & Chevre
(recipe courtesy of Chef Pam McDonald, owner of “More than Food” cooking school in Toronto
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1½ lbs sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
- 3 leeks (white and green parts), quartered lengthwise, well-rinsed, dried and sliced
- 6 oz. soft mild chevre
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme, washed and chopped
- salt to taste
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3-4 lbs veal tenderloin
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 zest of lemon
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the sausage and sauté, breaking up the meat with a fork, until the meat begins to lose its pink colour. Add the leeks and cook until the leeks are tender and the meat begins to brown, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and stir in the chevre, breaking it into small pieces. Cook until the chevre melts. Season the stuffing with thyme, salt and pepper.
- Remove the silver skin and any excess fat from the tenderloin. Slice the tenderloin down the middle and open as you would a book. Place the tenderloin between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound the meat gently until approximately ¾ (three-quarters) to 1 (one) inch in thickness. Place stuffing on one tenderloin and cover with another tenderloin. Secure by tying with kitchen string. Repeat with remaining tenderloin.
- Mince the parsley, garlic and lemon zest in a food processor. Drizzle in olive oil. Pat this mixture over the top of the veal. Place on lined pan and roast uncovered for 40 minutes at 450° F.
(originally published in the Waterloo Chronicle)