This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook, try new recipes,
learn from your mistakes, be fearless and above all have fun! -Juila Child

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pork Loin Fillets with Apple Stuffing and Cider Sauce

I felt the urge to post this recipe; but then hesitated because I felt I had to keep it as my own,  a kind of secret, a recipe I receive endless compliments on whenever I make it; and a recipe that I have made my own and perfected so well.
Then I remembered the words of my very first chef instructor in culinary arts school, he said; "There should be no secrets in cooking, no secret ingredient, no secret sauce, no secret recipes; we should be open in sharing what we learn, what we cook, what we bake, in order for others to reap the benefits of it also."
How wise! And really, that is what being a cook is all about!
Actually the Pork Loin chops are really no secret, the original recipe is from a wonderful cookbook from Williams Sonoma called American Cooking. But as with most all recipes I change them completely around, create my own twist to them and add or remove ingredients, sometimes this is just because I'm just being creative or because I don't have the ingredients on hand and am forced to improvise with what I do have in the kitchen. In this case it was both!
When I first made this everyone was just fell in love with it; a tender stuffed pork loin fillet, dripping in a flavorful creamy sauce. I just cooked these up last evening for dinner and they were once again a big, big hit. I hope they are with your family too! Serve with brown rice, mashed potatoes and with any veggie you like.

Pork Loin Fillets with Apple Stuffing and Cider Sauce
Serves 4
Preheat Convection to 400°F or Standard Oven to 375°F
For the Apple Stuffing:
1 Tbs Butter and 1 tsp vegetable oil1/4 Cup chopped onion3/4 Cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs1/2 Cup fresh chopped apple1/2 Tsp Salt free seasoning
4 Tbs Low sodium chicken broth for stuffing
For the Pork Loin:
4 Thick cut, boneless pork loin fillets
2 Tbs vegetable oil1/4 cup Low Sodium chicken broth for before going into the oven
1/3 Cup apple cider, even apple juice or sparkling apple cider will do
1/4 Cup white wine, I use any brand of Australian Chardonnay, usually $3 or $4 a bottle1 1/2 Tbs cornstarch
3/4 Cup Low sodium chicken broth for sauce
1/4 Cup Half & Half
To make stuffing:
In a medium to large oven proof skillet or frying pan, melt butter and vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the chopped apples, salt free seasoning and bread crumbs and cook for another 2 minutes, then add the chicken broth and stir until all is incorporated and sticks together a bit. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl.
Meanwhile, prepare the pork loin fillets for stuffing:
Beginning at the meaty end, cut a deep wide pocket into each fillet. I like to use a small paring knife and use small, smooth, strokes when cutting so not to cut through the fillet or make a hole in them. Divide the stuffing into 4 equal parts and place into each fillet, packing it down slightly so it stays inside. You may secure each stuffed fillet closed with a toothpick if you like. In the same skillet as you cooked the stuffing, add vegetable oil and butter over medium heat, add the stuffed pork fillets and cook until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes each side. Add the 1/4 cup of chicken broth to prevent sticking and place the entire skillet into the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until meat is 160°F in the center. Transfer the cooked pork fillets to a platter or dinner plate and cover with foil while making the sauce. Save the skillet with all the juices and place over low heat. Add the apple cider, half & half, chicken broth and white wine, stir. Dissolve the cornstarch in a small bowl with 2 tsp cold water and stir then add to the skillet and stir with a whisk. Turn up heat to medium and continue to stir until the sauce thickens to your liking, about 1 to 2 minutes; make and add more cornstarch mixture to the sauce if you want a thicker sauce. Remove skillet from heat when sauce is as thick as you like, then serve pork fillets with sauce.