Grilled Pork Tenderloin Roulade
with Individual Spinach-Asiago Gratins
For the final night of my Cooking Light week I thought I would really push myself and try a recipe that looked much more complicated than some of the other quick and easy recipes found in the magazine. I picked the recipe for Grilled Pork Tenderloin Roulade for a couple reasons. The first being that the recipe called for goat cheese (will explain more about goat cheese in a moment) and also because it looked like it would be a challenge, which is definitely what I was looking for.
The recipe started with the pounding out of pork tenderloins, something that can be a bit challenging when you don’t have a meat mallet. After some unsuccessful attempts to flatten it using a frying pan my husband found an open ended wrench in the closet and figured it would do the trick. The wrench definitely worked better than the frying pan and we were left with flattened pork ready to be stuffed.
Oh goat cheese, what an ingredient!
When it comes to goat cheese I typically cringe when thinking about eating it. I might be the only one with this problem but some goat cheeses are too ‘goaty’. Too ‘goaty’ to me is when the cheese tastes way too much like the way a farm smells. I know it sounds crazy but I just can’t get past that thought and there for it has affected my feelings towards this form of cheese. I am happy to say that not all goat cheese has this affect on me and so I am forcing myself to find ways to use this cheese to one day possibly begin to enjoy it.
After combining all the ingredients for the stuffing I spread it out on the pork and then began to roll it up armed with my new roll of kitchen twine. It was at this point that I realized we didn’t quite pound the pork enough because it was almost too thick to roll. But I kept going and was convinced I would make it work even if it meant using more twine to keep it closed.
Once I got the pork tied up it was off to the grill to cook while I put together the individual spinach-asiago gratins. In keeping with the theme of the week I found this Cooking Light side dish recipe. Spinach and cheese are a great combination especially with a little panko sprinkled on top for texture. This creamy side dish was easy to prepare and was ready to go when the pork was done being grilled.
The end result of this finale for Cooking Light Week was a great meal that turned out to not be as much of a challenge as I had originally thought. It was nice to know that I could tackle what I thought to be a challenging recipe and have it turn out overall pretty good.
I am working on reminding myself that you can always improve on things you try and so although it wasn’t a complete success there were some good elements to the dish and lessons learned for the next time I decide to tackle Grilled Pork Tenderloin Roulade with Individual Spinach-Asiago Gratins.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin Roulade
Courtesy of Cooking Light Magazine
1 pound pork tenderloin trimmed
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Prepare grill to medium heat. Slice tenderloin lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side. Open halves, laying tenderloin flat. Place tenderloin between 2 sheets of plastic wrap; pound to 1/2 inch thickness using a meat mallet or heavy skillet. Sprinkle shallots, cheese, walnuts, and thyme on tenderloin. Roll up, starting with the long side, secure pork at 1 inch intervals with twine. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
Place pork on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill for 27 minutes or until a thermometer registers 155 degrees, turning after 13 minutes. Remove from grill; lightly coat with foil. Let stand for 10 minutes; cut crosswise.
Individual Spinach-Asiago Gratins
Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (10 ounce) bag fresh spinach coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup fat free milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash of ground nutmeg
1/4 cup grated fresh asiago cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add butter; swirl pan until butter melts. Add onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes or until tender. Add half of the spinach; cook 2 minutes or until spinach begins to wilt, stirring frequently. Add remaining half of spinach; cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts, stirring frequently. Remove pan from heat.
Place flour in a small bowl; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk. Stir flour mixture into spinach mixture; add salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Divide mixture evenly among 4 ounce ramekins coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle panko and parley over each serving. Place ramekins on a baking sheet. Broil 1 minute or until browned.