February 16, 2011

Fake Fancy Pants

As many of you may have figured out from my last post, I love cheese. (No shit, Sherlock.)  Obviously to those who know me this is no grand revelation. It should come as no surprise to anyone who reads this that no matter how much of a “diet” I may be on, I simply refuse to give up indulging in certain things. This list includes but is not limited to good cheese, wine, beer, and red meat. (I sound like such a healthy dieter, I know.) I don’t understand those who deprive themselves all day, every day. Victoria Beckham with her salads and plain white fish morning, noon, and night will never cease to appall me. I firmly believe that indulgence  is part of what makes the life we have grand, even if it has to be in moderation, (at least for now.)

Below is a Fig and Blue Cheese-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin recipe that sounds much more elegant and complicated than it actually is, (and of course it includes blue cheese for those of us who need a little indulgence now and again.)

 What you’ll need:

  • 1 (1 lb) pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup dried figs, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled good quality blue cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. apple jelly, melted
  • Cooking spray
  • Butcher’s twine
  • Foil


  1.  Preheat oven to 450. 
  2. Slice the pork in half lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, the other side.
  3. Open the halves, laying pork flat.
  4. Place pork between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/2 inch thickness using a mallet or small, heavy skillet.
  5. Sprinkle figs and blue cheese over pork, leaving a 1/2 inch margin around outside edges.
  6. Roll up pork, jelly-roll fashion, starting with long side.
  7. Secure pork at 2-inch intervals with twine.
  8. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper.
  9. Place pork on a foil-lined jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray.
  10. Bake pork at 450 for 20 minutes.
  11. Brush melted jelly over pork.
  12. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until thermometer registers 160, (meat will be slightly pink.)
  13. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  14. Discard twine and cut pork into 12 - 1 inch thick slices.

Tips, Tricks, and Mishaps:

I realize there appear to be a lot of steps to this meal. Rest assured it’s much easier than the number of instructions may lead you to believe.  

  • If your “stuffing” falls out, stuff it back in. Try to refrain from leaving blue cheese crumbles and figs all over your baking pan. Figs contain sugar which tends to burn much faster than meat – cheese has a tendency to do the same.
  • I turned my tenderloin halfway through the cooking process so that both sides looked the same. (Clearly as a photograzer I feel the need for food to be aesthetically pleasing.)
  • If you are worried about a, “jelly-roll” style when rolling your pork, I suggest consulting this clip to ease your mind. There is no need to watch the entire video, just get yourself through the rolling and you should be all set. 

Don’t be afraid to try new things when cooking. Tonight I’m replacing the figs with pitted, dried dates (which are killer delicious with blue cheese.)  With just 270 calories for 3 slices of this fancy pants pork it’s defiantly worth giving the 14 steps a shot.

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