Pork Tenderloin and Artichoke Heart Tart – Top Chef Night

This was another recipe from the Quickfire cook book. From Lia in season 3 who was tasked with making a dish using a pre-made pie crust. No problem there. I made a pie crust from scratch exactly once in my life and it was a lot of work even though it was delicious. I’m all in for the convenience of the pre-made pie crust even though it’s inferior.

This dish had two almost completely separate components — the pork tenderloin and the artichoke tart. The pork was good, but I didn’t honor the pig as much as I wish I could have. I have a lot of trouble cooking pork without overcooking (when it gets painfully dry) or undercooking (when it’s rubbery and weird). This was pretty close, but the meat needed more spice or something. This was also my fault because the sauce that was supposed to go over it (a lemon butter reduction) was waaaayyyy too lemony. And, of course, I didn’t taste it before K drizzled it over the pork. It was so tart and overwhelming, we ended up scraping as much off as we could because it was nearly inedible. We did, however, try to keep the chorizo crumbled on top because that was delicious and a little rich and spicy. So the pork (mostly the sauce) wasn’t perfect.

But the artichoke tart was fantastic! It was essentially just artichoke hearts and sour cream, but it baked up into a zingy little pie. We piled some pear, fennel and roasted red pepper salad on top with a little cheese and a simple olive oil vinaigrette and the combo was certainly a winner. A note to anyone tempted to make this dish: It’s best eaten fresh. I had leftovers the next day and it just wasn’t the same. That made me sad because I’d hoped to somewhat replicate the artful artichoke dish we’d had the night before.

Culinary lessons learned as a result of pork tenderloin and artichoke heart tart — I have lots to learn about cooking pork properly; always taste everything that’s going to be on the plate *before* it gets on the plate; retain the memories of your wonderful meal because, just as the movie is never as good as the book it’s based on, your leftovers will never be as good as your original dish. I remember you fondly artichoke heart tart with pear and fennel salad, you will be made again.

Pork Tenderloin and Artichoke Heart Tart


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