KENTUCKY (11/23/2013) - Holiday dinners vary from household to household. Some might prefer a traditional meal of turkey with all of the trimmings, while others might want to try their hands at something new. For those among the latter group, the following recipe for "Winter-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin," from Laurey Masterton's "The Fresh Honey Cookbook" (Storey Publishing), is sure to make a splash at your holiday dinner table this season.
Winter Fruit-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup dried figs
2 pork tenderloins (about 3 pounds total)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup honey, preferably sourwood honey
1. Mince the apricots, cherries and figs by hand or in a food processor.
2. Slice the tenderloins lengthwise, almost all the way through. Open them up and lay them flat. Place each tenderloin on a large piece of plastic wrap. Cover with another piece of plastic wrap and pound each piece of meat with a meat tenderizer until it is about 1/2-inch thick. Remove the top piece of plastic.
3. Season the surface of the pork with the salt and pepper. Divide the fruit mixture in half and spread evenly on the cut surface of each tenderloin. Top each with half of the cheese. Roll up each tenderloin, using the bottom piece of plastic to help you, tucking in the fruit and cheese as you go. Tie kitchen string every 2 inches around the tenderloins, continuing to push in any fruit or cheese that may fall out.
4. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
5. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the tied tenderloins, turning as each side is browned. Be careful when searing the open side, as some fruit and cheese might fall out. You are just trying to seal in the meat juices, not trying to cook the pork all the way through.
6. Combine the butter and honey in a microwaveable bowl and microwave on high for about 20 seconds, or until the butter is melted. Drizzle the butter over the tenderloins.
7. Place the tenderloins on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 150 F. Remove the baking sheet and allow the tenderloins to sit for at least 10 minutes before slicing. This will keep the juices in the meat rather than all over your kitchen counter.
8. Snip off and discard the strings. Slice the pork into 1-inch-thick pieces and serve.
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