(En français ici.)
In January, I had had my first experience with a project called couchsurfing, which allows travel-lovers to contact each other, find places to stay, and meet new people. It may come as no surprise that, while I cannot house people in my tiny apt., I proudly offer tea/coffee or dinner to wayward travelers (with good credentials who seem non-threatening) passing through Paris. This is how I met Ute, a writer and teacher from Stuttgart, and fed her porc stuffed with prunes and mimolette which I got from an Elle recipe D's mom no longer wanted. The evening was a success, but I was left with a nagging feeling about the recipe. Was the cheese too mild? Was there not enough of it? What about more wine? And prunes are so...well, prune-y.
So this weekend, when my friend Jessica came to visit, I thought "here's my chance to make the recipe even better" (especially since Jessica is a very willing and appreciative guinea pig, pretty much exactly what one wants in a friend). So now, tested, and approved, here is my recipe for porc with roquefort-stuffed apricots.
I know, I know, it sounds complicated, but just trust me. It takes about 15-20 min to prepare and then you can stick it in the oven and go enjoy the appetizer -- a perfect meal for a dinner party!
(for 4 people)
-2 porc filet mignon (this actually depends on the size of the cut which can vary a lot; i count about 150g or 5 oz of meat per person)
-300g (or about 1 1/2 cups) dried apricots
-100g (or 3 1/2 oz) roquefort (or other creamy blue cheese)
-2 cups dry white wine
-spicy french mustard
Preheat the oven to 425F. Slice the filets 2/3 of the way through lengthwise and sprinkle salt and pepper in the opening. Stuff a large handful of dried apricots with bits of roquefort or blue cheese and line them up inside the filets with the extra bits of cheese (see photo).
Tie the filets or close them with toothpicks (um, because you don't have any string and, besides, it looks more rustic that way, no?). Cover the outside of the filets with a layer of mustard and put them side-by-side in a baking dish. Lay the rest of the apricots around them and pour about 1 cup (or a bit more) of white wine over the whole thing (the wine should just cover the layer of apricots).*
Cook 30-40min at 425F, pouring the rest of the white wine over the dish little by little during the cooking time. Cut the meat and serve with the wine soaked apricots.
This dish is yummy with wild rice or a mixture of different rices on the side -- also it makes you look cool and talented! So, go for it!
*A big thank you to my sweetie who came up with the idea of cooking the apricots in the wine. Those Frenchies sure know a thing or two about good food!