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Roasted Pork Loin Stuffed with Apples, Dates and Goat Cheese
Pork loin is a tasty, easy, and inexpensive protein to serve your family any day of the week. But, when you stuff the pork loin with thinly sliced, tart Granny Smith apples, sweet, gooey dates and creamy, earthy goat cheese, you take something ho-hum and turned it into a luscious meal that's good enough to serve to guests.
Whenever I cook, I try to use ingredients I already have in my kitchen and I try to keep the costs low. Each month, I buy a large pork loin at Costco and cut it into three 2-pound portions to be used throughout the month. Buying meat in bulk saves considerable money. I also buy a large chunk of goat cheese every month from Trader Joe's. Priced at around $5, this cheese adds flavor and creaminess to salads, pastas and, of course, meats. Goat cheese used to be difficult to find but, now, it can be located at any grocery store. There's nothing worse than seeing a great recipe in a magazine and realizing the ingredients are so upscale that you can't find them at your neighborhood grocery store. When you finally do locate the item, it's so expensive you question it's value. If you're like me, however, you go ahead and buy the costly item because you don't want to admit you've wasted so much time searching for some rare ingredient imported from France. I am happy to say that this savory-sweet recipe is made of ingredients that are so common, you can easily find them at your favorite supermarket.
Pork Loin Roast Stuffed with Apples, Dates and Goat Cheese
- 2 lbs pork loin, boneless
- 1/2 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
- 4 dates, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
- 4 basil leaves, cut into ribbons
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- kitchen string
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Butterfly the pork loin to make one flat piece. To do this, simply slice down the middle of the roast, lengthwise, fat side down, while spreading out edges until it opens up flat. Lightly pound with a mallet to ensure it is of uniform thickness.
- Layer the thinly sliced Granny Smith apples over the pork, making sure to leave 2 inches of space around the edges.
- Layer the thinly sliced dates over the apples followed by the goat cheese crumbles. Finish by sprinkling the basil ribbons over the layers.
- Bring the sides of the roast together. Your roast now looks similar to it's original form. Secure with string. I'm sure there is a special, chef method of tying a roast but, for a home cook, the easiest way is to tie 5 separate strings along the length of the roast, knotting them tightly. Place the tied roast into a roasting pan with the seam facing down. (This will place the fat side up.)
- Add the seasoning: salt and pepper to taste, Herbs de Provence, paprika and garlic powder. Massage the seasoning into the roast.
- Insert a meat thermometer and place in the preheated oven for about an 1 1/4 hours or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees.
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Good Digital Probe Thermometers from Amazon.com
The best meat thermometers
Over the years, I've gone through several meat thermometers. My first thermometer was of the manual probe variety. You can find these at any supermarket. After replacing it several times, I realized that they stopped working after a few uses and weren't very accurate. I was lucky to move into a new home that had a probe thermometer attached to the oven. This Kitchenaid oven was probably my favorite oven of all time. All I had to do is plug the thermometer into the oven, insert the probe into the meat, program the desired temperature and the oven would let me know when it was done. No more guessing.
Unfortunately, we moved from that house and my beloved Kitchenaid was left behind. Last year, my mother-in-law gifted me a digital probe thermometer she bought at Macy's. I must say, it works just as well as the one I left behind. It is made by Martha Stewart and consists of a probe which you insert into the meat while in the oven, a wire that you close in the oven door and stretch to the adjoining counter and a digital programmer. You can set it to let you know when your target temperature is reached or when a certain time has been reached. The best part is, you don't even have to know what target temperature you need. You simply select your meat type: beef, burger, lamb, poultry, or pork. Next you select the desired doneness: rare, medium-rare, medium, medium-well, or well-done. After you have made your choices you can walk away. The thermometer will beep loudly when the meat is done. I highly recommend this meat thermometer, or one similar, for those who are not lucky enough to have an oven with one built-in.
©Copyright Denise Mai, June 7, 2012. All rights reserved.
Follow me on Twitter! @denise_mai
Facts about this recipe.
|Serving size: 4 oz|
|Calories from Fat||153|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 17 g||26%|
|Saturated fat 7 g||35%|
|Unsaturated fat 7 g|
|Carbohydrates 3 g||1%|
|Sugar 2 g|
|Fiber 1 g||4%|
|Protein 33 g||66%|
|Cholesterol 100 mg||33%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|