Friday, June 4, 2010

Garlic Herb Cheese Stuffed Pork Tenderloin & Corn Cakes

Another one of my mom's class recipes. Before I knew how to make this, I thought it was pretty involved. But after making it a couple of times, it's not that hard. This is possibly one of my favorite dishes. (I think all of my favorite dishes are ones that my mom made at home.) One tenderloin is good for two people, so if you're cooking for more, follow the recipe as is below.

Garlic-Herb Cheese Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

2 pork tenderloins
1 bunch fresh spinach - I leave this out. Don't ask why. I don't ever remember my mom using this ingredient either.
2 - 5 oz. Rondele Cheese - I usually grab the garlic & herb kind.
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tb. olive oil
1 cup chicken broth

Trim fat & silverskin from pork. Butterfly pork by slicing lengthwise down center but not all the way through. Lay open and flatten to 1/2" thickness.

Wash, dry & remove stems from spinach leaves. Lay leaves over pork. Salt & pepper.

Spoon cheese onto leaves down center of meat & sprinkle with Parmesan. The cheese spreads more easily if it's been sitting out a little while. Leave at least a 1/2" border so that the cheese doesn't completely ooze out when rolling up the meat. Roll meat up and tie with string. This keeps the whole thing together while you sear it.

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Heat large oven proof skillet over medium-high heat on stove and add oil. I use a non non-stick pan so that crusties form on the bottom of the pan. Brown pork on all sides. Place skillet in oven and cook for about 20 minutes until meat is cooked through. Meat temperature should read 160 degrees. Remeber the handle of the pan is hot too when removing it from the oven!! I stupidly forgot one time and yeah, my hand hurt.

Remove pork to carving board and return skillet to stove top. Add broth to pan and bring to a boil, scraping up the brown bits. Boil sauce until reduced to syrupy mix.

Slice meat and spoon sauce over meat.

Corn Fritters

1 package corn muffin mix (Jiffy mix)
1 egg
2 Tb. vegetable oil + more for frying
3/4 cup milk
1 Anaheim or poblano pepper, seeded & thinly sliced - I use jalapeno peppers too.
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup shredded cheddar

Combine dry mix with egg, 2 Tb. oil and milk to make batter. Then stir in chile peppers, corn and cheddar. Heat thin layer of oil in large skillet & cook six small cakes, for 2-3 minutes on first side and 1-2 minutes on second side until evenly deep golden in color.

Transfer to towel lined plate & salt the cakes. Repeat, adding additional oil for remaining cakes.

The gravy sauce on the pork makes everything so much yummier!

Normally I serve the pork with mashed potatoes and a veggie, but I decided to fry up some corn cakes instead. This things are really good. The crispiness from the crust on the outside and the crunch from the whole corn kernels inside give a nice contrast to the pancake like consistency the corn muffin mix gives. Then there are the jalapeno peppers which give it a nice zing. I really like these corn cakes with BBQ (ribs or chicken). They just have that home style feeling.

But let's not forgot about that delicious pork tenderloin. I love how the cheese oozes out. It makes scooping it up with the meat that much more yummy. The sauce is what brings it together though. Without those crusty bits on the bottom of the pan, the sauce just wouldn't be the same. That's why I don't use a non-stick pan. No matter how stubborn the pork seems to be when trying to brown it, it makes it worth while. And the meat is so tender, you can cut it with a fork!

One of my favorite meals. The hardest part might be tying the meat up with the string. That can get a little messy if the cheese is oozing out from the pork.

You have to give this one a try! Happy cooking!

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