Monday, October 25, 2010

Apples x2

We have finally reached the bottom of the apple picking barrel, thanks to apple golden raisin stuffed pork tenderloin with a side of braised red cabbage with apples.  This is one of those sneaky little dishes that manages to look impressive while being totally uncomplicated.   More importantly though, it's cozy and full of flavor.

To start, you need a 3ish pound boneless pork tenderloin.  Ask someone at the meat counter to butterfly it for you so you end up with a nice, flat rectangle.  You can certainly ask to have it butterflied on the spot.  But a note to those with kiddies:  I've started calling ahead to have the meat butterflied in an effort to avoid meltdowns of the 18 month or 4 year old variety.  I just march right up and pick up my order without having to wait in the non-line (why no numbers, Whole Foods, why?) hopeful to lock eyes with the meat guy/gal before the last cow comes home.  I digress...  The stuffing is embarrassingly easy; I just jazz up the instant kind they sell in a bag with sauteed onions, apples and golden raisins.  I always keep golden raisins around.  They add great sweetness and are more interesting and complex than the traditional ones.

Here's the general can change this up a million ways, so have fun!

Apple Golden Raisin Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

3-3 1/2 lb boneless pork tenderloin, butterflied
Instant Chicken Flavor Stuffing (I just use the WF store brand)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cooking apples (ex: Jonagold, Golden Delicious), peeled and chopped
1/3 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a saute pan, cook the onions and apples in bit of olive oil over medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, prepare the instant stuffing separately.  Add the onion/apples mixture to the stuffing, along with the golden raisins, and stir to combine.  Allow to cool slightly.

Roll out the tenderloin flat and sprinkle it with about 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.  Spoon a few generous scoops of the stuffing into the middle of the meat, then roll one side to the other.  Turn it seam side down, and tie it closed in two or three places with kitchen twine.  Brush the roll with olive oil, then salt and pepper it again. 

Roast on a sheet pan for 30 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and roast for 20-30 minutes more.  You're looking for an internal temperature of about 137 degrees in the meat.  (Note that the stuffing will register at a higher temperature.)

Though the braised red cabbage doesn't photograph so well, please trust me that it is truly delicious - thanks in large part to my friend, apple cider vinegar.  If you're not a cabbage fan, this side just might convert you.  It is tangy, sweet and savory all at the same time.  The apples offer a welcomed textural change from the cabbage - which, by the way, makes me feel healthier with every bite.

When flipping through my recipe binder recently, I noticed that I had unknowingly clipped two different recipes for braised red cabbage - who knows how long ago.  I guess I've been subconsciously longing for this dish.  And I'll tell you that it was totally worth the subconscious wait.  Incidentally, I didn't even select one of the recipes I clipped, and went instead with Tyler Florence, because his stuff is just awesome. One note: I omitted the fresh dill because I forgot to buy it.  I'm sure it's lovely in the dish, but I didn't miss it!

Before I sign off, here's round two of the Parmesan Polenta from TV Dinners Unplugged.  The leftover polenta set nicely in a baking dish.  I cut it into squares, fried it in super hot olive oil to give it a nice crust, and served it with store bought marinara sauce.  Yay for a totally new dish!


Post a Comment