Pork Tenderloin over Ricotta Mashed Potatoes with Spicy Wilted Spinach and Prosciutto
Prep Ingredients: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Peel and halve the potatoes and add to the pot and cover with water. Cover and bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes. Mince the chives and reserve a pinch for garnish. Thinly slice the shallot. Thinly slice the garlic. Pat the pork tenderloin dry and season with salt and pepper.
Make the Mashed Potatoes: While the potatoes are cooking, combine the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, chives, butter, and heavy cream in a large bowl and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Once the potatoes are very tender, drain them and reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Transfer the potatoes to the bowl with the cheese mixture and beat with an electric mixer, adding the cooking water one tablespoon at a time to reach a smooth consistency. (I used about 5 tablespoons, you may need more or less!) Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Fry the Prosciutto: Add the prosciutto to a large, cold oven-proof skillet (big enough for the pork tenderloin) and turn the heat to medium high. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the prosciutto is very crispy. Remove the prosciutto from the skillet, leaving the fat in the pan.
Brown the Shallots: In the same skillet over medium heat, add the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot and shimmering, add the shallots and reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots a browned, not burnt, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the shallots from the skillet and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Season to taste with salt. Carefully wipe out the skillet.
Cook the Pork Tenderloin: Heat the remaining one tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet over medium high. Once the oil is shimmering, add the pork tenderloin and cook for 3-4 minutes per side until the entire tenderloin is well-seared. Transfer the entire skillet to the stove and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the pork reaches 135ºF at the thickest part. Transfer the tenderloin to a cutting board and rest for 10 minutes. After the pork has rested, thinly slice and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Make the Spinach: Return the skillet you used to cook the pork in to the stove over medium high heat. Once hot, add the chicken stock and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the garlic is softened. Add the spinach and cook, stirring regularly, until the spinach has just wilted, an additional 2-4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To Serve: Transfer the mashed potatoes to a serving dish and top with the spinach and all the juices and sliced garlic in the skillet. Arrange the sliced pork tenderloin on top. Sprinkle with the crispy prosciutto and browned shallots. Grate a touch of parmesan cheese over the entire dish and garnish with the pinch of reserved minced chives. Enjoy!