Good gawd, we were so busy last week that I never got around to posting a recipe. And it’s not going to get better any time soon; after more than a week with Jolly and Little Guy, Beloved left yesterday afternoon to drive to Kalamazoo, Michigan for a week to see a client. He comes home Friday night, then on Saturday Oldest Son and Darling Daughter fly in for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Sorry – I don’t see my older kids nearly often enough.
Oldest Son has to leave first thing Friday morning following Turkey Day – he has work commitments – but Darling Daughter is staying until Sunday. There’s gonna be a whole lotta cookin’ goin’ on, since Darling Daughter is also of the culinary persuasion, and she wants some basic cake decorating lessons, which will be fun too. I SO cannot wait for their visit!
Whenever any of the kids come to visit, I always ask them what they’d like for dinner. This dish is always requested by Oldest Son, who likes it accompanied by Hoppin’ John. It may sound odd, pairing this rather sophisticated dish with such a humble side, but they go together amazingly well. The fruit sauce is simplicity itself and lends itself well to just about any pork dish; I’m going to try it with my Honey Rosemary Grilled Pork Loin, which I recently roasted in the oven (it turned out really, really well). I think it would be what my kids call “teh yummeh.”
I have no idea where this recipe came from, but it’s been in my repertoire for years and while it sounds like it should be complicated, it really isn’t, although it’s certainly fancy enough for company. If you don’t eat pork, you could easily stuff a boned turkey breast with the spinach mixture and serve it with the fruit sauce – in fact, I bet it would be fabulous.
Spinach Stuffed Pork Roast with Fruit Sauce
serves 6 – 8
2 ¼ boneless pork loin roast, trimmed of visible fat
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 slice fresh bread, minced (or pulsed in a food processor until reduced to coarse crumbs)
6 oz. frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of any excess moisture
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 cup mixed dried fruit, chopped
1 cup unsweetened apple juice or cider
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Heat the vegetable oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat; saute the onion until tender and golden. Stir in bread and spinach and season to taste with salt and pepper; remove from heat and set aside.
Starting on a long side, cut a deep pocket in the pork loin roast for the entire length; stuff with the spinach mixture and tie closed with kitchen string at 1-inch intervals.
Place the pork roast on a rack in a small roasting pan; sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast pork for 45 minutes; spread with mustard and sprinkle with parsley and return to oven for another 15 minutes or until an instant thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork (not the spinach stuffing) reads 160° F. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 – 15 minutes.
While the pork loin roast is resting make the fruit sauce:
In a 2-quart sauce pan, bring the apple juice and dried fruit to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 3 minutes to soften the fruit.
In a large measuring cup, whisk together the water and cornstarch; stir into simmering fruit mixture. Add the brown sugar and bouillon; raise the heat slightly and cook until thickened, stirring constantly.
Cut and remove the kitchen string; slice the pork and serve with the fruit sauce.