The Wild Fig Restaurant and Brie Risotto

The first time the waiter at The Wild Fig restaurant in Aspen, CO described the daily risotto special to me, the only thing I heard was brie risotto. (He also had a rather heavy French accent, which I adored, but may have also hindered my understanding, but it was really probably just the cheese.) When he returned to take our dinner order, I had him repeat himself a.) to make sure I wasn't ordering something too crazy and b.) too make doubly sure I would be enjoying brie risotto for dinner. The dish was a medium-rare duck breast served over brie risotto and an apricot-mango glaze with some micro greens on top. Holy cow was it amazing. No level of full was going to stop me from cleaning my plate (and I did let Rob sneak a bite or two, we were supposed to be on a romantic date ;-).) I knew instantly that I'd be recreating this meal would be a priority and now I can't wait to make it again. The only reason I didn't attempt duck was because I couldn't find it in the grocery store (Rob tells me it's there I just wasn't looking in the right place). The pork was just as good. I also would have just smeared apricot preserves on the plate if I'd had any, but I'm glad I was forced to adapt.

If you ever find yourself in Aspen (its really not as hoity-toity as everyone thinks), please go enjoy this tiny European-brasserie. You'll be very pleased you did.

Pork Tenderloin & Brie Risotto

 Pork Tenderloin with Maple Butter (adapted from this recipe)

1 lb pork tenderloin
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
salt and pepper
1/4 cup water

Pork Tenderloin & Brie Risotto for Two

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat the butter and maple syrup over medium heat in a dutch oven or heavy-bottomed oven safe pan, stirring to melt the butter. Season the tenderloin with a generous amount of salt and just a bit of freshly ground pepper and place in the dutch oven. Brown the underside of the pork, it will take about 5 minutes. Once the one side is browned, flip the tenderloin over and allow the other side to brown, again for about 5 minutes. At this point, put the pan in the oven. Roast for about 8 minutes, or until pork is just cooked all the way through. Remove pork from the oven and allow the tenderloin to rest on a plate. Put the dutch oven back on the stove, add the water and stir over medium heat, scraping up anything from the bottom of the pan. Simmer until reduced to about 1/2 cup. Slice the pork on the diagonal.

Brie Risotto

1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons chopped scallions, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup Carnaroli (or Arborio) Rice
1/4 cup white wine
2+ cups vegetable stock
about 1 cup brie chunks

Melt butter over medium heat in a large pot. Toss in the scallions and the rice. Toast the the rice for about a minute. Stirring all the while, pour in the wine and bring to a boil. Keep an eye on the clock, this should take about 20 minutes. Once the liquid is just about absorbed, pour in 1/2 cup of the vegetable stock. Again continuing to stir. Continue adding in the liquid by the half cup, until you've added 2 cups. At about the 15 minute mark add the cheese. Continue stirring until the cheese is mostly melted and the risotto is finished.

To serve, spoon a decent amount of the maple butter sauce onto each plate. Spoon half of the risotto onto each plate and arrange half of the pork around the outside. Sprinkle a few chopped scallions on top of the risotto.

Pork Tenderloin & Brie Risotto over maple pan sauce

 Admire for just a second ;-), serve and enjoy!