Sunday, February 18, 2007

A Few of My Favorite Things

. . . those favorite things being figs and blue cheese. When I came across the recipe for pork tenderloin stuffed with sweet figs and tangy, creamy blue cheese in this month's Cooking Light, I couldn't resist but to give it a whirl. It seemed a perfect choice for a low-key Valentine dinner, paired with orange-chili mashed sweet potatoes, sauteed spinach, and a glass of Sauvingnon Blanc.

I've stuffed chicken breasts in the past, but never a whole pork tenderloin. It was not at all difficult, and I shouldn't have been intimidated by it at all (I was a little anxious about how it would turn out).

Fig and Blue Cheese-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/2 cup dried figs, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray or olive oil
1 T. apple or apricot jelly, melted

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Slice the pork in half lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side. Open the halves, laying pork flat. Place pork between two sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Sprinkle figs and blue cheese over pork, leaving a 1/2-inch margin around outside edges. Roll up the pork, jelly-roll fashion, starting with the long side. Secure with twine every two inches. Sprinkle roll with salt and pepper, and place on a foil-lined jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray or olive oil.

Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Brush jelly over pork. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160 degrees (slightly pink). Let stand for 10 minutes. Discard twine; cut pork into 12 (1-inch thick) slices.

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