Don't let menu planning overwhelm you as family and friends gather at your dining table during the holidays.
This main-dish trio harmoniously unites a variety of unexpected flavors and textures. Plump, trimmed pork loin along with sweet, spiced apple pie filling and stuffing offer a unique combination to please and surprise your guests. Just before serving, add a generous layer of grated sharp cheddar to top off, and you've got a crowd pleaser.
Its beautiful and impressive platter presentation only adds to the simplicity of preparation. All ingredients cook together in one large, covered baking dish. You save time and get rave reviews. What's not to love? Enjoy!
PORK LOIN, SPICED APPLES AND STUFFING
Prep with: Large, deep cooking skillet with lid; cooking tongs or long fork; broad bowl for dredging; large glass baking dish with lid; medium saucepan; meat thermometer
4 boneless pork loins, well trimmed of fat (1 inch thickness is ideal)
1 tablespoon grape seed or olive oil
½ cup flour
Pepper to taste
1 can (20-ounce) apple pie filling
Dry stuffing mix (6-ounce package and ingredients required to prepare it)
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese, optional
In large skillet heat oil on medium-low. In broad bowl, blend flour and pepper with fork to mix. Dredge each pork loin (coating both sides) in flour mixture and transfer to heated skillet.
Brown about 5 minutes on each side then cover skillet as they start to cook. Use cooking tongs or a long fork to turn.
Prepare stuffing in medium saucepan, per instructions; set aside.
With cooking spray, lightly prepare large glass baking dish. Pour apple pie filling on bottom of baking dish; spread evenly.
Place each pork loin on top of pie filling, spacing them evenly in baking dish. Spoon prepared stuffing to top each pork loin.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, then 10 more minutes uncovered. Use meat thermometer to gauge for thoroughly cooked pork. Recommended is 145-160 degrees. A simple test: Juices should run clear when pork is pierced.
If serving with cheese, garnish just before serving.
Shannon M. Smurthwaite is a Southern California native, author of "Mormon Mama Italian Cookbook," food columnist and freelance writer. Her blog: www.myitalianmama.com. She and her husband, Donald, reside in Idaho. Email: [email protected]