Tony’s Festive Pork Spirals
On a balmy Christmas morning, I awake to an empty apartment. The only sound piquing my ears up from slumber is a four-cup Mr. Coffee puffing away in the kitchen. There are no whispering babes awaiting this dreamy parent. Only a warm cup of Italian Biscotti Cookies, a YouTube yoga routine, and every Christmas romance Netflix can dish out.
This may sound like an imagined version of what some may feel like in a few weeks, but this was my Christmas morning in 2014. My son was with his father that year, and I found myself alone. In all honesty, I felt completely at home with myself.
From our first viewing of The Grinch, we’re told that the meaning of the season is to be with others. But in 2020, togetherness looks vastly different for many of us.
For some, this may be a disheartening thought. Yet, this is a perfect opportunity to invite in something bright and new. Something full of life, self-care, and reflection.
These changes can mean a private celebration that can look like whatever you want it to look like. You could practice your favorite exercise, devote a special meditation or ceremony. Perhaps a special journal entry marking the occasion is fitting for you. Or create a special meal made with love and care for you, by you.
I offer you this comforting meal for your special day alone or with others. If you’re following along with Jackie in A Thousand Worlds Away From Me, stay tuned for the next installment. This dish will make a special appearance.
TONY’S FESTIVE PORK AND APPLE SPIRALS
- 1/2 cup cranberries
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 4 cups stuffing mix
- 1 cup chicken stock, divided
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 1/4 cup minced celery
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled, and finely diced
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 2 Pork Tenderloin, trimmed and butterfly cut lengthwise
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Camembert cheese, room temperature
- Butcher’s twine
- Preheat oven to 375 Fahrenheit.
- In a small bowl, add 1/2 cup cranberries and 1/2 cup red wine. Set aside to soften for 20 to 40 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the stuffing mix and 1/2 cup chicken stock. Set aside.
- In a medium saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onion and celery. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Sauté 10-13 minutes, until tender.
- Add granny smith apples and soaked cranberries. Reserve soaking wine. Sautés mixture for another 5-8 minutes. Add the reserved wine to deglaze the pan. Simmer until the wine is almost completely reduced. Add mixture to the stuffing mixture, then stir in parsley and the remaining 1/2 cup chicken stock.
- Season the two pork tenderloins with 1 teaspoon sea salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper on both sides. Spread camembert cheese on one side of each tenderloin, then spread each with one-third of the dressing mixture, pressing it firmly on top of the cheese layer. Roll each tenderloin up lengthwise, creating a tight spiral, then tie each with four pieces of butchers’ twine. Cut loose ends of twine.
- In a large saute pan, over high heat, sear all sides of each tenderloin roll. Place each tenderloin in a 9×13 inch glass baking dish along each long side and fill space in between with the remaining third of the stuffing mixture.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes, or until an inserted thermometer reads 150 Fahrenheit. Rest for 20 minutes, then slice each tenderloin into rounds and arrange the rounds in a dish with stuffing mixture.