TND – – July 1st . . . . In Which I Pretend Dinner is a Fancy Picnic

September 16, 2014

pork header

Dinner – July 1st . . . . In Which I Pretend Dinner is a Fancy Picnic
Apple Stuffed Pork Loin
Potatoes with Arugula Pistachio Pesto
Spring Salad with Basil-Mint-Orange Vinaigrette
Apple Stuffed Pork Loin

2 Tbsp butter
1 large onion, minced
2 medium tart apples, peeled & finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup dried cherries, chopped
1 Tbsp bourbon (or hot water)
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp turmeric

3 lb boneless pork loin
1 large onion, cut into chunks
1 apple, peeled & cut into chunks
1 cup apple juice

Soak the chopped dried cherries in the bourbon (or alcohol of choice / or hot water / or hot apple juice depending on your preference).

Saute the onion and apple in the butter until both are softened.  Add the garlic and spices, and cook for another 30 seconds, or until fragrant.  Add the dried cherries and their soaking liquid and stir to incorporate and scrape up any browned bits.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.  Allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 450.

While the stuffing is cooling, wriggle a thin sharp knife into each end of the pork loin (basically making a pilot hole).  Then use the handle of a long wooden spoon to force a hole all the way through the loin.  Wriggle the spoon to make the hole as wide as you can – I wriggled my hand down into the pork loin to make a split about as wide as my palm.  Stuff the cooled stuffing mixture in from both ends making sure to get it all the way to the center.  Salt and pepper the outside of the roast.

Arrange the chunks of onion and apple in a roasting pan, and place the roast on top of them.  Pour enough apple cider into the pan to cover the bottom by about a ¼”.

Roast the pork for 15 minutes at 450, and then decrease the temperature to 325 and continue to roast, basting every 15 minutes.  Pork loin cooks at about 20-25 minutes/lb, but check with a meat thermometer inserted into the meat not the stuffing – it should read 145.

Transfer the pork to a rimmed plate.  You can either tent it with foil and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes and then serve warm, or you can allow it to cool completely and slice it to serve cold.

Either way, remove the onions and apples from the pan with a slotted spoon, and then scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan – deglazing with either more apple juice or with some bourbon/alcohol of choice.  Reduce the sauce to a thin glaze, and whisk in a little butter if you want a glossy sauce.  Serve with the roast & the roasted vegetables (if you’re feeling generous – generally I consider the roasted vegetables to be the cook’s prerogative and they never make it to the table).

Potatoes with Arugula Pistachio Pesto

Recipe previously given: Delayed Gratification

pesto potatoes

Spring Salad with Orange-Basil-Mint Vinaigrette


Spring Salad
Butter Lettuce, washed & spun dry
1 cup shelled fresh peas
1 ½ cups sugar snap peas, tips & strings removed & then cut in half
1 ½ cups sliced strawberries

Arrange decoratively on a large platter and drizzle with vinaigrette.

Orange-Basil-Mint Vinaigrette
½ cup fresh basil leaves
½ cup fresh mint leaves
1 clove garlic
1 tsp mustard
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest & juice of 1 orange
½ cup olive oil
Salt/pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until emulsified.


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