I remember the day that my parent’s got cable. My brother and I were really excited about it – me probably more than him because he was still pretty young at the time. We caught on real quick that MTV was the “it” station – we absolutely loved watching it, and Joan Jett was one of those artists that they played quite a bit. Looking back, those videos were pretty bad-ass!! Inspired by Joan Jett, and her song, “I Love Rock ‘n Roll,”, I present this gorgeous Pork Loin Roulade, stuffed with figs and champagne grapes, coconut gravy, and arugula dressed with dragon fruit and lime!
What is also pretty bad-ass is that we’ve finally got our own Inland Empire Food Bloggers group! While at the California Farm Water Coalition Tour, Sue from It’s Okay To Eat The Cupcake, and I were talking about how we really needed a food bloggers group for our area. Los Angeles has their own group, and their a great bunch of ladies, but it’s not always feasible to make it all the way out to LA for some of us. Finally it was time, and Inland Empire Food Bloggers was born!
As a result, Rebekah from Decadently Fit, set up a relationship with Melissa’s Produce, and we got sent this lovely package brimming with four different types of grapes, three different types of figs, a young coconut, and dragon fruit! They also threw in Melissa’s “The Great Pepper Cookbook!” I’ve gotta tell ya, they have a Raspberry Habanero Creme Brulee that I’m dying to make. That’ll be showing up in these parts real soon! Wink, wink!
The challenge for the four of us bloggers was to use the ingredients in a recipe, so here’s what I did – I approached it “Chopped” style, and used each ingredient in an element of my dish. Here goes!
Onions, figs, and champagne grapes are sauteed in a little butter and olive oil, then you take it off the heat, and throw in a lovely herb-y mixture of parsley, thyme, rosemary, garlic, and something a little off-the-wall – lime zest! In researching porchetta, I found that citrus zest is often used in the filling, and since I was planning on lime juice for the greens dressing, I figured it would help tie the dish together a bit.
I outline how to “roll out” the pork loin in the recipe directions, but what you want to end up is essentially a square of pork about 3/4 of an inch thick. Add salt and pepper, then slather the fig/herb mixture all over it, leaving about an inch at the top so the filling doesn’t come out.
Roll that puppy up, then secure it with butcher’s twine. Now, I didn’t have butcher’s twine, so I asked my butcher, and he provided me with more than I needed! So nice. I’m definitely going to see if Amazon carries it. Now, I don’t believe I can live without it!
Once the roulade is secured with the butcher’s twine, you really should put it on a roasting rack – in a roasting pan. You want the outsides to get crispy! It can’t do that if it’s sitting in it’s juices. I know it’s bulky, but I really do think it’s necessary.
I used the pan drippings from the roast to make a coconut gravy! I know it sounds a little off the wall, but it went so good with the roulade. It brought some slight sweetness and helped moisten up the pork a bit.
For some flavor and texture contrast, I topped the sandwich off with fresh arugula dressed with a dragon fruit & lime vinaigrette. SUPER GOOD!
Our little, yet growing food bloggers group got together this past weekend, and we shared with each other all of our “Melissa’s Box” creations.
Will ya look at that!? Amazing!!!
What’s even more amazing is that we’re sharing some of the recipes with you! Check it out:
Fig, Grape & Walnut Spread
Sara from My Imperfect Kitchen concocted this lovely spread that really does “taste like Christmas,” as she put it. It’s absolutely delightful, and I can tell you this: It will definitely be making it to my Christmas dinner table this year! It’s amazing!
Pork Tenderloin with Fig & Grape Compote
Rebekah from Decadently Fit created this awesome fig & grape compote to pair with a pork tenderloin roast. The compote was amazing! I love that this dish is low-fat, is naturally sweet from the fig & grapes, and the mustard seeds give it an unexpected pop of flavor and texture!
Quinoa with Roasted Muscato Grapes and Grilled Chicken
Sue from It’s Okay To Eat The Cupcake composed this wonderful grain salad with roasted moscato grapes. Grapes certainly aren’t for eating raw anymore – I love that Sue roasted these beauties! Don’t you just want to dive right into that? This dish is right up my alley.
This isn’t all either, lover of food. We’ll have a special announcement next week, so STAY TUNED!
Without further ado – here’s that Rock ‘n Rollin’ Roulade I’ve promised you! Turn on some Joan Jett tunes, and enjoy!
I Love Rock ‘N Roll
Joan Jett – I Love Rock ‘n Roll
*Disclaimer: Melissa’s Produce sent me the box of produce, but I was not compensated in any other way. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Thyme
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Rosemary
- 6 Cloves Garlic, minced (about 2 Tablespoons)
- ¼ Cup Chopped Parsley
- 2 Tablespoons Lime Zest (I used about 6 small limes, or two large limes)
- 2½ Pounds Pork Loin
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- ½ Cup Diced Onion
- ¾ Cup Chopped Figs
- ¾ Cup Champagne Grapes
- 1½ Teaspoons Salt, divided
- 1 Teaspoon Freshly Cracked Black Pepper, divided
- 5-6 Feet of Butchers Twine
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 2 Tablespoons Flour
- ½ Cup Coconut Water
- ½ Cup White Wine (I used Riesling)
- ½ Cup Chicken Stock
- ¼ Cup Dragon fruit
- 1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 2 Cups Arugula
- Preheat oven to 450° F.
- In a small bowl, combine the thyme, rosemary, garlic, parsley, and lime zest. Set aside.
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, butter, and onion, and cook for about 5 - 7 minutes until the onions are translucent. Turn the heat down to medium, and add the figs and grapes, cooking until the figs have started to break down, and the grapes have begun to wilt, about 7 minutes more.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and combine with the herb mixture.
- Butterfly the pork loin by cutting into it length-wise, on the diagonal - going about ¾ of an inch deep. Continue to run your knife along the initial cut, essentially "rolling out" the pork as you make the cut. What we want to end up with is a square of pork, about ¾ of an inch thick.
- Once you have the pork "rolled out," season it with half of the salt and pepper, then add the fig mixture, spreading evenly over the pork, leaving an inch at one side free of filling at the top.
- Start rolling from the bottom, being careful to not let the filling get squeezed out.
- Once rolled, up, secure the roulade with butchers twine, tying around one end with a knot. Work your way down the roulade, making a loop every inch or so, until you arrive at the other end, and secure it with the final knot. Season the outside of the roulade with the remaining salt and pepper.
- Place the roulade on a roasting rack in a roasting pan, and put in the oven for 20 minutes until the roulade begins to brown. Turn the oven down to 350° F, and cover the roast with aluminum foil.
- Cook for an hour longer, or until the center of the roulade reaches 160° F.
- Remove from the oven, place in a skillet, and cover with aluminum foil, allowing the roast to rest for 10 minutes.
- Place the dressing ingredients in a blender or small food processor until well mixed.
- Pour the dressing over the greens and toss well.
- Set aside.
- Once the roulade has finished resting, remove to a serving platter.
- Heat the skillet over medium-high heat, with any juices from the resting roulade, and melt the butter.
- Add the flour, and with a whisk, combine, and cook for about a minute. Slowly add in the coconut water while continuing to whisk, and do the same with the wine and chicken stock.
- Simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the gravy thickens.
- Split four ciabatta rolls, and spoon a little gravy on each side.
- Place slices of the roulade on the bottom of the roll, top with a little more gravy, then add the dressed greens and enjoy!