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Spinach, feta cheese make great pork recipe

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I do not know about you, but I have been busy putting up pickle relish.

I have cucumbers coming out my ears, and that is remarkable since in the past I have told you how good we are at growing zucchini. 

I picked a cucumber the other day that must weigh three pounds.  Of course, it wasn’t used for the relish.

My girlfriend in Virginia, who is a pro in the canning category, told me that I needed to make relish. Well, I thought about it for a few days, frankly because it just seemed so messy and time consuming, then decided, why not.  I looked on the internet and found a great recipe and it turned out very easy, thanks to my food processor. I am saving that recipe for next week’s column.

I have also tried to be more creative in the kitchen this week, as well. A friend of mine in Connecticut used to write the food column for her local paper, Newtown Bee. I remember her saying that recipes you use for chicken are usually very good with pork, as well. So I decided that I would try something with a pork loin. 

A client requested that I prepare a stuffed pork loin for a board of directors meeting. I didn’t want to do the traditional type of stuffing because I felt it would be too heavy for a summer meal. I remembered stuffing a chicken breast with spinach and feta cheese some time ago, so I decided to try this on the pork. 

The aroma coming from the kitchen was wonderful, it filled the whole house. The presentation was very elegant as well.  My friends, I give you my version of:

Spinach and Feta Stuffed Pork Loin

3-4 pound pork loin

2 tbsp. salt and pepper (to taste)

1 tbsp. sea salt (this can be found with other salts in our local Kroger store)

1-1/2 tbsp. garlic salt

1 tsp. ground sage

1 tsp. rosemary (dried)

 

Stuffing

2-1/2 cups fresh chopped spinach (remember that is chopped then measured)

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

¼ cup seasoned bread crumbs

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. Sea salt

1 tsp. (dried) rosemary

1 tsp. thyme

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 egg

Butterfly the pork loin by cutting straight down the middle of the loin (on the top), the long way.  It now should look like an open book.  Then butterfly the left and right flaps the same way.

Pound out the loin to a big rectangle shape.  (Best to cover it with plastic wrap, then pound it out).

Season the inside of the roast with salt, pepper, Sea salt, and garlic salt.

Mix all of the stuffing ingredients together.

Spread the stuffing evenly over the seasoned area of the loin.

Start rolling the longer end up so it looks like the loin you first started with; tie it up with cooking string (if you don’t have cooking string, try toothpicks).

Season the top and sides with the salt, pepper, Sea salt, garlic salt, ground sage, and rosemary.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 40-50 minutes.  Make sure you use a meat thermometer and take it out when the internal temperature reaches between 155-160 degrees.

Let it cool for about 15 minutes, then slice to your desired thickness.

I served this roast with a spring green salad with mandarin oranges and dried cranberries, twice baked potatoes, green beans amandine, homemade yeast rolls and fresh fruit with honey-lime yogurt.  Enjoy!

Lonnie Sundermeyer is a retired professional caterer residing in Ghent, Ky.