Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Goat Cheese Stuffed Pork Loin - Part Deux

The first time I tried out this recipe I had already chopped up my whole tenderloin into loins (I always feel naughty when I say that word:-/). It didn't really work out so well. The loins were a little too thin and after butterflying, stuffing, and skewering - all the filling leaked out while cooking. Blah. I did, however, find out that burnt goat cheese is effing delicious.

So, I picked up another tenderloin and decided to try again. This time I did it properly, kitchen string trussing and everything. Some of the filling still leaked out, but not nearly as bad as last time. Last time there was nary a trace of goat cheese left in the pork. I'm still thinking it might be easier to just add a nice dollop of herbed goat cheese on top after cooking, but stuffing the tenderloin infuses it with such great flavor. This style of stuffing really has me torn. Perhaps next time I'll add some breadcrumbs to the goat cheese to get it to stay inside the pork loin. Or maybe, before searing in the pan, refrigerating the whole loin, all trussed up, for twenty minutes or so, that way the goat cheese doesn't start melting immediately. Anyone have any advice?

I'm still not sure if this dish is worth all the work though. I really hate getting stuff stuck under my nails. Boo.

Herbed Goat Cheese Stuffed Pork Loin

Serves 2

1 pork tenderloin, cut in half
4 oz. goat cheese
olive oil
fresh basil, chopped
1 garlic clove, smashed
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Use a sharp knife to butterfly the tenderloins. Lay out flat and cover with saran wrap. Using a meat mallet or rolling pin beat out the tenderloin until it forms a rudimentary rectangle. Do NOT flatten completely, this will alter the texture of the pork. Season pork with salt and pepper.

2. In a small dish combine the goat cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, chopped basil to taste, the garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread over the surface of the pork evenly, leaving a 3/4 in. border.

3. Using kitchen string, tie up the pork in even sections ensuring the roll stays intact. Drizzle with olive oil and season again with salt and pepper.

4. In a heavy, oven proof skillet melt the butter in olive oil over medium high heat. Sear the loins on each side until a nice, caramelized brown crust forms on all sides. Transfer skillet to the oven and cook an additional 12 minutes.

5. Remove from oven, take loins out of skillet and let rest, covered with foil, about ten minutes. This will allow the juices to settle and the filling to firm up a bit.

6. Remove kitchen string and slice on the diagonal.

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