Bacon Maple Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

March 24th, 2012

If you want a KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF dinner entree for your next party this is definitely it.   And believe it our not, this dish came about because I was cleaning the kitchen out in preparation for our return to Lake Lure.  I had a pork tenderloin in the freezer, dried figlets and apples, pecans, pear nectar and pure maple syrup that I did not want to take back with us.  I remembered a similar recipe from a blogger who is no longer blogging but who had great recipes.  Do any of you remember A Nod is as Good as a Wink to a Blind Horse?    George is missed by many of us.

I butterflied the pork tenderloin, mixed the stuffing ingredients together, rolled it up and wrapped bacon slices around it.  I drizzled more maple syrup on top of it, added pear nectar to the roasting dish and baked it for an hour, basting occasionally.  It came out looking like glazed perfection.

This is one of those dishes that I will make again and again.  The stuffing was sweet and moist and the pork was tender and tasty with it’s cloak of bacon.

This is a real winner.  I can hardly wait to make it again.  That will happen in my Lake Lure Kitchen.  We are leaving the first of the week.  I will be posting again at the end of next week.  I have a lot of organizing and paring down to do before we leave.

Space will be tight.


For the stuffing:
2 apples, chopped
2 cups chopped dried fruit ( I used a combination of figs and dried apples)
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 apple cider or pear nectar

For the pork:
2 pork tenderloins
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon cardamom (Optional)
8 slices of bacon
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 to 1 cup apple cider or pear nectar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix stuffing ingredients together and set aside.

Butterfly pork tenderloins by cutting down the middle of each one 2/3rds of the way through.  Place each between sheets of wax paper and pound out to a 1/4-inch rectangle.  Place as much stuffing as will fit easily on each one.  You will have extra to put in small casserole to cook separately.  Roll up pork starting at a long end and place seam sound down in baking pan or casserole.  Wrap each tenderloin with 4 slices of bacon.

Drizzle tops of each one with maple syrup and pour 1/2 cup apple cider or pear nectar into pan.  Place in oven and cook for 1 hour basting occasionally and adding more liquid if pan starts to caramalize too quickly.

Remove from oven and let rest covered for 5 minutes.  Slice and serve.

Printable recipe

A Little Help From My Friends

February 16th, 2012

Sometimes it is hard to figure out what to have for dinner.  On those occasions you can either check out your cookbooks or food magazines, or go to your internet friends.  I feel like I know lots of creative cooks in my circle of internet friends.  We may have never met, but I know what you are like, how you think, what you find funny and what you like to eat.  We reveal much about ourselves through our blogs.  So far, I have not been wrong.  I have met several bloggers after following them for a while and they were just as I surmised.

Katie of Thyme for Cooking is one of my friends.  Hopefully I am not being presumptuous.  Katie lives in the South of France and she and her husband are restoring their farmhouse.  Katie is funny, straightforward, hard working and an accomplished cook.  She recently made this potato gratin for dinner and it sounded just right to me.  I had just purchased a hunk of Gruyere cheese and knew this would be the perfect use for it.   I was right.  The potato gratin has sauteed shallots to which a bit of brown sugar is added to help caramelize them.  They add a hint of sweetness to the casserole.  So thank you Katie for a great, easy recipe.  You can view it on her website.

So what to have with the potatoes?  I had pork chops.  I found the perfect recipe on The Pioneer Woman’s website.  Now, I probably will never have the opportunity to meet Ree Drummond, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling like I know her.  She is funny too and she has shared so much of her life with all of us on her blog that I’m sure she understands why every one of us wants to meet Marlboro Man.  My picture does not look half as good as hers (Have you seen the size of her camera?).  But the chops were outstanding.  They were browned briefly and then a pan sauce was made with red wine, beef broth, whole garlic cloves and balsamic vinegar.  They were succulent and rich.

So thank you friends for a great dinner.

I am not retiring my cookbooks, but a little help from friends sometimes comes in handy at dinner time.

Pork and Wild Rice Soup

January 16th, 2012

Making soup is a creative outlet.  I like to experiment with combining ingredients.  Making soup is also forgiving of mistakes.  Even if you screw up, it still tastes good.  But in this case there were no screw ups.  I started with a recipe from Cooking Light magazine and adapted it.  I had some boneless pork chops in the freezer and had just been to the supermarket where I found a quick cooking wild rice medley from a company called Canoe.  Their website is interesting and the name Canoe came about because wild rice was first harvested from canoes.  The wild rice medley has bits of dried red peppers, carrots, celery, onion and parsley in it but no pesky preservatives or additives.

I love combining black beans and greens together in a soup.  Kale is one of my favorites and it adds great nutrients and color.  The recipe called for two serrano chilies and lime juice which added a kick and a refreshing bite.

Have you noticed the great variety of tortillas in the market lately?  Mission has just come out with with an artisan tortilla with flaxseed and blue corn.  It has lots of Omega 3s and is high in fiber.  I topped the soup with these tortilla strips which I toasted in the oven.  You can also top the soup with sliced avocado and sour cream.  Anyway you do it, you can’t go wrong with this great combination.


2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound pork loin, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/3 cup quick cooking wild rice medley
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves minced garlic
2 serrano chiles, seeded and minced
1 1/2 cups of water
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 (32-ounce) carton fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups kale, washed, stems removed and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt and Pepper to taste

Toasted tortilla strips, avocado and/or sour cream for garnish

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Brown pork on all sides.  Remove from pan.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.  Add rice, onion, garlic and chiles; saute 3 minutes or until onion is tender.  Add pork, water oregano, brogh and beans; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until rice is tender.  Stir in kale, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper and simmer gently until kale is wilted, about 2 minutes.  Top each serving with garnishes of choice.  Serves 6.

Printable recipe

Cardamom Pork Roast with Apples and Figs

December 15th, 2011

The holidays are upon us whether we are ready or not.  This is the first year in a long time that I have remained calm and accepting of all of the myriad tasks left to do.  We will be traveling back to North Carolina to spend Christmas with our family and enjoy the joy of Christmas through children’s eyes.  We have not put up a tree.  Only wreaths adorn our front door.  I have not made cookies and most of my shopping has been done online.  I am taking the Peace and Joy of the season to heart.

But you can’t expect me to totally ignore the wonderful food possibilities for a Christmas meal.  Dried fruits, whether used in fruitcakes or figgy pudding,  are a part of the season.  Pair them with a beautiful pork roast and you have the star of the show for your holiday table.

This simple pork roast is so festive and delicious that I plan to make it every year.  There are a few ingredients that you may not have on hand, but they are worth purchasing.  Cardamom is not a spice that was in my spice cabinet.  When I saw the price of it, I almost turned away, but being the curious cook that I am, I went ahead and bought it.  Cardamom is an Indian spice with a strong flavor.  Very little is needed to impart it’s distinct spicy notes.  It is used in many Indian desserts and is an important ingredient in the Finnish sweet bread, Pulla.  I have seen recipes for cardamom sugar cookies online and think I will make them, just because I can.  Pear nectar is another important ingredient in this recipe.  Because the pork and dried apples and figs are seasoned with spices like cinnamon and cardamom,  a fruity liquid makes perfect sense.  Add port and cream to the finishing sauce and you have a dish that just screams CELEBRATION.

Give this a try.  I will be back next week from North Carolina with more holiday cheer. 


3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground fennel
1 (3-pound) pork loin, trimmed
Cooking spray
2 cups dried figs, halved lengthwise
2 cups dried apples
1/4 cup minced crystallized ginger
3/4 cup pear nectar
1 (14 ounce) can low sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup pear nectar
1/2 cup port
2 tablespoons currant jelly
1/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

To prepare roast, combine first 9 ingredients in a small bowl.  Rub mixture over surface of roast; place in a shallow roasting pan coated with cooking spray.

Place figs, apples, and crystallized ginger around roast.  Pour 3/4 cup nectar and broth over fruit.  Bake at 400 degrees F. for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 160 degrees F., stirring fruit frequently.  Remove from oven; place roast on a carving board, and place fruit in a bowl using a slotted spoon.

To prepare sauce, pour any pan juices into a sauce pan.  Add 1/2 cup pear nectar, port, and jelly; bring to a boil.  Cook 4 minutes or until thick enough to lightly coat back of a spoon.  Stir in heavy cream; simmer 2 minutes or until sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally.

Printable recipe

Pork Tenderloin with Blood Orange Sauce and Sweet Potato Salsa

December 1st, 2011

Entering a recipe contest is so exciting.  eRecipeCards has challenged eight of us to come up with a winning recipe using products from O OLIVE OIL.  I received my box of Blood Orange Olive Oil and O Porto Vinegar a few weeks ago.  I have seasoned cornish hens with the oil and vinegar, I have added them to green beans wrapped in bacon, and dressed salad greens with them.  This combo of olive oil and vinegar could be the secret ingredient that makes so many of your recipes outstanding.  Many restaurants are now using O’s olive oils and vinegars as finishing touches to their dishes. There are so many possibilities for their use, and I am thrilled to be a part of this contest.  The hardest part has been settling on a recipe to share for the contest.

If you have been following my blog you know that I love seasonal ingredients.  The sweet potatoes in the market right now are near perfection.  Oranges and sweet potatoes go well together.  But I was looking for a dish with a little spice.  The Porto Vinegar has a slightly smoky taste which marries well with spices like cumin and chili powder.  So I roasted cubed sweet potatoes tossed with blood orange oil, porto vinegar, and the spices.  I made a salsa with the roasted potatoes by adding tomatoes, orange segments, jalapenos, scallions, and cilantro.  A vinaigrette of orange juice combined with the orange oil and vinegar was the finsihing touch.

One of my favorite meats is pork tenderloin.  It is mild in taste and marries well with other flavors.  It is a perfect complement to the sweet potatoes and the oil and vinegar.  A simple spice rub was added to the tenderloins and they were browned and roasted in the oven for a short time.  I made an orange sauce to drizzle over the finished dish.  Served with the sweet potato salsa it is an awesome combination with a little kick.  What could be prettier or more colorful going into the holiday season?


2 12 ounce pork tenderlions, trimmed of white membranes and fat
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup white wine

Spice Rub:
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup of freshly squeezed blood orange juice or orange juice
2 tablespoons O OLIVE OIL Blood Orange Olive Oil
1 tablespoon  O OLIVE OIL Porto Vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon reserved spice rub
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water

Mix spice rub ingredients together.  Rub all but 1 teaspoon of the spices on the trimmed pork tenderloins.  Place the tenderloins in a glass dish that will hold them.  Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Remove tenderloins from the refrigerator.  Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in an iron skillet or large frying pan.  Add the tenderloins and brown on all sides.  Pour wine into skillet and cook briefly.  Cover pan and place in oven and roast pork for 20 to 30 minutes.

In the meantime, heat the orange juice, Blood Orange Oilve Oil and Porto Vinegar together in a small saucepan.  Add the honey and the 1 teaspoon of reserved spice rub and cook over low heat until everything is combined.  Salt if needed.

Combine the cornstarch and water to create a slurry.  Add it to the orange sauce and cook stirring constantly until the sauce thinckens slightly and becomes glossy.  Reserve.

Remove tenderloins from oven and place on a cutting board.  Let rest covered for 10 minutes.  Slice and serve with sauce and salsa.


4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 tablespoons O OLIVE OIL Blood Orange Oil, divided
1  tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons O OLIVE OIL Porto Vinegar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and membranes removed and chopped fine
1 red bell pepper, chopped
14 grape tomatoes, halved
3 scallions, chopped
1 orange, sectioned
Zest of 1 orange
1 orange, juiced (about 1/3 cup)
Chopped cilantro for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Place cubed sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of Blood Orange oil and 1 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.  Drizzle with 1 tablespoons of Porto Vinegar.  Toss together to coat well.  Sprinkle with spices and salt and pepper and toss again.  Roast in oven for 30 to 45 minutes, tossing occasionally until sweet potatoes are tender and beginning to brown.  Remove to a large bowl.

Add all of the chopped fruit and vegetables and the orange zest and stir to combine.

Mix the orange juice with the remaining 1 tablespoon of Blood Orange Oil and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of Porto Vinegar.  Pour over the salsa.  Sprinkle with cilantro and additional salt and pepper if needed.  Stir to combine.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Now it is your turn to vote.  Do you think I have a winning recipe?  I hope so.  I know I will have stiff competition.  These ladies are the best.  I would appreciate your support.  Just go to the eRecipeCards home page and follow the links to the search recipes page. Enter OOLIVEOIL in the search box.  This will take you to the list of competitors.  Add my pork tenderloin recipe to your recipe box.   Also add my taste testing recipe.  You do need to be a registered member of eRecipeCards.   If you are not a registered member, it is easy to join and there are no requirements other than filling out the registration form.  eRecipeCards is a great resource.   Dave has provided bloggers and non bloggers alike with a site where good food and terrific recipes abound.

Printable Recipe Sweet Potato Salsa

Printable Recipe Pork Tenderloin with Blood Orange Sauce

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.