The holidays are over and the weather is getting colder in Toronto. We have started to work on our New Year’s resolutions to eat healthy, exercise more and to de-stress our lives. I look at the New Year as a new beginning where I can reset my life by making changes as needed and move closer to my goals by making my annual lists. I make lists of personal, career, and financial goals that I want to achieve in the coming year. I often include things like exercising regularly, or maintaining work-life balance or expanding my photographic portfolio. Others have their own way of approaching the New Year but in the end we all want to make our lives better and more fulfilling.
You may want to spend more time with the ones that you love or you may want to travel more or you may just want to pay off the holiday bills. We all have something that is important to us and in these economic times many of us want to keep life simple.
When I think of entertaining in a low stress fashion I look for recipes that are simple, yet elegant to serve. This simple but elegant meal is a compilation of 2 recipes that I found online. The Goat Cheese Stuffed Pork Tenderloin is from the Food Network Canada and the Cranberry compote from the LCBO Food & Drink Magazine.
I decided to use cranberry compote with the tenderloin because I love the way that the pork and cranberries complement each other, the compote is tart and fruity while the pork is rich, creamy with goat cheese filling. The marriage of the fruit compote with the pork is light and flavourful yet textured enough to be interesting.
You can make this dish any time during the year and for any occasion.
Goat Cheese Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Compote
Makes 6 servings
1/3 cup (75 ml) finely diced red onion
2 tablespoons (25 ml) water
2 cups (500 ml) fresh cranberries, divided
¾ cup (175 ml) dry red wine
½ cup (125 ml) granulated sugar
1 large apple or almost-ripe pear, peeled and grated
2 teaspoons (10 ml) freshly grated ginger
1 cinnamon stick
Combine onion and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile cut ½ cup (125ml) of cranberries in half, set aside. Stir remaining cranberries, red wine, sugar, apples and ginger into onions. Add cinnamon stick.
Bring to a low boil, stirring frequently. Adjusting the heat as needed, briskly simmer mixture, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Stir in reserved cranberry halves, simmer another 5 minutes. Cool, cover and refrigerate until need. (Compote can be made 2 to 3 days ahead)
Recipe for Cranberry Compote from the LCBO Food & Drink Magazine-Holiday 2009 edition
Goat Cheese Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
2 Pork tenderloin, centre cut approximately 6 inches in length
Salt and pepper to taste
¾ cup (175 ml) goat cheese, crumbled
Zest of 2 lemons
1 ½ tablespoons (22 ml) fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon (5 ml) cracked pepper
Preheat oven to 395 degrees F (201 degrees C)
Use a sharp knife to “butterfly” the pork tenderloins. This is done by making an incision mid way through the length of the tenderloin (so it opens like a book). Be sure to leave ½ inch uncut at the base.
Season both sides with salt and pepper. Cover loins with cling film and pound with a meat tenderizer until the surface is flat. Do not over pound the meat as it will affect the texture of the pork.
In a medium sized bowl mix together the goat cheese, lemon zest and basil with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and pepper. Mix gently to combine being careful not to bruise the basil.
Remove plastic wrap from loins and spoon goat cheese mixture down the centre of each loin leaving ¾ inch border all around. Roll up making a compact and even roll. Tie with butcher string down and around each loin with a tie at 1 inch intervals ensuring the roll stays intact. Cut off excess string.
Rub outside of each loin with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season both to taste with salt and pepper.
Set a large skillet over medium high heat, add the remaining olive oil and heat 30 seconds. The pan should be hot but not smoking.
Place pork loins in the skillet and allow them to cook until deep golden brown caramelized crust forms. Turn and repeat until both loins are golden brown. Place skillet in preheated oven and allow them to cook for another 12 minutes.
Remove from the oven and place the loins on a plate and cover with foil. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. This will allow the meat to rest and give the filling a chance to firm up.
To serve slice 1 inch pieces of pork using a sharp knife. Divide the pork onto plates with 2 tablespoons of the cranberry compote on the side.
Recipe for Goat Cheese Stuffed Pork Tenderloin adapted from a recipe on the Food Network.ca by Angela MacRae