Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fig and Chipotle Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

   I'm not going to lie, this is one of the technically hardest dishes to make.  Have no fear though, because I have a couple tricks to make it a little less daunting!  It is a two step process of marinating then stuffing.  The marinade is great all on its own, too.  I can't exactly define a region or cuisine to this recipe, but it is most definitely Spanish-inspired.  It is a super impressive dish that is actually very healthy (but it doesn't taste like it.)

1/2 C freshly squeezed orange juice
1 Tbsp orange zest
2 Tbsp dry sherry (optional, if not using sherry, use 1 Tbsp red wine or cider vinegar)
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp minced garlic
1-1.5 lbs pork tenderloin

Trim off excess fat and remove silver skin.  Cut your pork tenderloin in half.  (It is just easier to work with the shorter sections.)  Butterfly open the halves.  Marinate for several hours (up to 24 hrs.)
*If you are not stuffing it, add salt and pepper to meat just before cooking
**Easier Option:  Use chicken breast or thick cut pork chops and cut a deep pocket into the side for stuffing.  This saves you the hassle of butterflying and is just as delicious.

1/2 C diced dried figs (about 6-8 whole dried figs, preferably black mission)
1/3 C chopped parsley
1/4 C pistachios, chopped
2 Tbsp dry sherry (if not using sherry, use equivalent amount of stock or orange juice)
2 Tbsp chipotle puree (2-3 whole chipotles in adobo that are minced into a fine paste)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Combine all stuffing ingredients.  Remove meat from marinade; salt and pepper meat.  Lay flat the sections of pork.  Divide stuffing in half and spread over the pieces, leaving a half inch border on three sides.  Roll halves up.  Truss with butchers twine or secure with tooth picks.
375 deg. F for 45 minutes.  Until internal temperature reaches 140 deg. F.  Rest for about 8 minutes, slice and serve.  (4-6 servings)
**Easier Option:  Place stuffing into pocket of chicken breast or pork chop.  Secure with toothpicks.
375 deg. F for about 30 minutes (depending on the size of the meat cuts.)

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