New Years, for most folks, bring resolutions. None is more prevalent then making a vow to diet or loss weight. This usually means depriving ones self of the pleasure of eating rich, hearty, decadent foods. Although I often will sit and take stock at the beginning of a new year, I rarely make resolutions. As I was leafing through my morning paper on new years day, I skimmed past an article with Paula Dean who was waxing poetic about this exact subject.
It seems Ms. Paula is adjective opposed to the practice as well, as she feels she is setting herself up for failure by doing so. I tend to ride this train of thought myself, especially where dieting and food are concerned. Don’t get me wrong, everything in moderation is a great principle to live by, as my recent return to a regular regiment at the gym will attest to. Nevertheless, instead of partaking in acts of denial, I am avowing to rise to the occasion of a new year and document 365 days of GOOD EATING!
While we are on the subject of New Years tradition, we will start the year off by featuring a twist on the often honored Pork and Sauerkraut meal which is rumored to usher in a year of good luck. I decided to get a bit creative and expand with this take on the old stand by:
Fig and Goat Cheese Stuff Pork Loin with Apricot-Ginger Glaze and Braised Purple Cabbage
- 1 x 12oz Pork Tenderloin
- 4 x Dried Figs (thinly sliced)
- 15-20 Leaves Fresh Baby Spinach
- 1 ½ oz Soft Unripened Herb Goat’s Cheese
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/8 tsp Salt
- 1/8 tsp Black Ground Pepper
- 1/8 tsp Ground Cayenne Pepper
- ½ tsp Fresh Finely Chopped Thyme
Apricot and Ginger Glaze
- 4 tsp Apricot Jam
- 1 tblsp Fresh Ginger ( ½ in. in length as thin as you can)
- 1 tsp Salted Butter
- 1 tbsp Water
- 1oz Dry White Wine
Trim any excess fat from the meat and remove the ‘silver’ by sliding your knife just underneath it, careful not to cut away any of the meat. Turn the tenderloin horizontally across your cutting board with the less smooth side facing you. Make an incision the length of the tenderloin, down the centre, ¾ of the way through. Then make another incision along each half of the meat, so it butterflies. Cover the meat with a large piece of plastic wrap, and using the flat/smooth surface of a meat mallet gently flatten the meat until it is evenly ¼ in. thick. Be careful not to tear the meat. Allowing for 1” from all sides to remain clear, lay the spinach leafs in the centre of the tenderloin. Then lay the figs on top of the spinach and crumble the goat’s cheese on top of the figs. Fold in the left and right sides of the meat to overlap the spinach, then take the side closest to you and fold it over the spinach, tuck and roll firmly. Lay down a large piece of plastic wrap horizontally and place the meat in the centre. Fold the side closest to you over the meat and continue to roll it firmly. Take both ends of the plastic warp and twist the ends until the meat is wrapped tightly and even, then place it in the refrigerator for 10 mins. to rest and hold its form. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400° F. Next take a plate and add mix your seasonings (salt, pepper, cayenne, thyme). Line a baking sheet with baker’s parchment paper. Preheat a large pan over medium-high heat. Carefully unwrap the meat and evenly coat the meat with the olive oil, then roll the meet in the plate of seasoning, evenly seasoning it. Then place the side with the flap down into the pan first. Continue to turn until the entire piece takes on a golden brown colour, approx. 3 mins. Remove the meat and place it on the baking sheet and place it in the oven. For medium-well, cook the pork tenderloin for 24 mins. Remove from oven and allow the meat to rest for 5 mins. Then cut and serve.
(Apricot and Ginger Glaze)
As thin as you can, slice some fresh ginger. Then cut the slices into strips no longer than ½ in. in length. Preheat a small pan using medium-high heat add the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the fresh ginger and stir until ginger begins to sizzle, approx. 30 seconds. Next add the apricot jam. Once the jam has begun to melt, add the white wine and water. Mix everything well and continue to simmer until there are no more lumps in the pan, approx. 10 mins. Remove from heat and set it aside.
1 teaspoon caraway seed
1. Heat a Dutch oven or a large pot to medium. Once it’s warmed up a bit, add the oil and the cabbage. Cover the pot.
2. Add the vinegar, water, and sugar and combine.
3. Cover and braise in the oven at 325 degrees for 2 hours. Stir every half hour or so. If the liquid completely evaporates, just add a little extra water.
4. Remove from the oven.