Grilled Spring Creek Beef Tenderloin with Smoked Tomato Spätzle and a Balsamic Reduction.

From Chef Colin Penttinen

2012 May/June

Smoked Tomato Chutney

Smoking the tomatoes really makes this dish pop. However, if you don’t have a smoker, the flavours are still full and succulent – the bit of chiles in adobo adds a hint of smokiness. Though chef Penttinen wouldn’t resort to liquid smoke if his life depended on it, you could try a drop or two stirred in at the end.


  • 1.5 L can whole roma tomatoes, strained, juices reserved
  • 1/4 c. equal parts minced garlic, ginger and shallots
  • 1-1/2 T. chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 1/4 c. rice vinegar
  • 1 T. maple syrup
  • 2 T. minced parsley
  • 1 T. oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste


Place the drained tomatoes into a smoker over apple or stone-fruit wood for 30 minutes. Remove them and put them on a cutting board. Roughly chop, reserving the liquid. Simmer the garlic, ginger, shallots, chipotle, rice vinegar and reserved tomato juices until reduced by half. Remove from the heat and add the smoked tomatoes, maple syrup and herbs. Mix well and season to taste. Reserve.


Spätzle are squiggly little German-style noodles made by pushing the dough through a special sieve. If you don’t have a spätzle sieve, press the dough flat and flick bits of dough into boiling water with a dough scraper, chef Penttinen suggests. Otherwise, you can find dry spätzle at Edelweiss Village, or use any other small, flat noodle.


  • 1/8 lb. butter, cut into small dice
  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 T. chopped parsley
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 T. grainy mustard
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T. olive oil


Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter until it’s pea size. Cut in the parsley and salt. In a bowl, whisk together the mustard, milk, eggs and oil. Combine the wet mixture with the flour with a wooden spoon, but don’t overmix it… you should be able to see the butter “peas” in the batter. Set aside for 30 minutes. If you have a spätzle sieve, press the batter through over a pot of boiling, salted water. If you don’t, flick bits of the dough into the water. Cook the spätzle for 2 minutes, drain well, dress with more olive oil and place on a tray to come to room temp.

To make a balsamic reduction, reduce 1 c. balsamic vinegar over high heat to 1/4 c. Reserve.

To grill the Spring Creek beef tenderloin, you’ll need 1 lb. tenderloin, lightly salted – not peppered, says chef Penttinen. Grill it on your barbecue over medium-high heat, turning regularly, until it’s cooked to your liking. The chef cooks it rare or medium rare.

To serve: sear the spätzle a bit in a large sauté pan in a bit of butter to give it a touch of colour. Add the tomato chutney and gently toss with the noodles. Portion among 6 plates, fan slices of tenderloin alongside the spätzle and drizzle the balsamic reduction over all.

Serves 6.