Summer to me is lazy days, hot temperatures, fans blowing the hot air around and walks to the lake with my boys (and new girl) to go fishing for perch and small mouth bass. Sometimes we are even graced by the presence of a delicious rainbow trout, but mostly,with this heat, they stay away. It amazes me every night we go how my little boy has grown. How can such a small person cast a rod and reel it in all by himself at only two and a half? My how they do grow so fast.
I can’t wait for all the times we are going to go camping and swimming and hiking together, just as soon as the newest little one is old enough to appreciate it. Right now she is all diaper changes, nursing, crying, sleeping and gurgling. A little too things to appreciate the finer things in life.
There’s much to be said about living on a lake, like how the mosquitoes are so big they could pick you up and fly away with you (sorry, reoccurring nightmare), or how the fog can roll in at any time, resting on the lake’s calm surface. The heat can be oppressive, settling on the valley we live in and bringing with it all sorts of late evening mugginess, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Or should I say I wouldn’t trade my children’s experience with growing up in the rural village we live in for anything?
The amount of fun we can have by simply going out for a walk and picking a few blackberries or huckleberries, the fishing, the swimming, the nature at our doorstep. Who wouldn’t want that as a kid?
Childhoods should be spent being silly, enjoying nature and good homecooked food, taking walks and fishing with fathers, poking bugs and rolling in the grass. I hope I can give my children all of this, and hope that one day they tell me how much they appreciate having grown up the way they did. I strive to offer my kids everything I had in life and more and I think we’re right on the path to achieving those dreams.
Summer to me also means lighter meals and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. So this next recipe may be a little out of place seeing as how you will have to turn on your oven or BBQ, but I assure you it’s worth it. I’ll tell you something about this recipe. I made it for Maple Leaf Foods. Well, I developed it to enter a contest to win $500 worth of groceries (who doesn’t need that?) and they gave me some coupons to buy the pork (full disclosure!). This pork loin is roll cut, stuffed with mushrooms, spinach, bacon and goat’s cheeses and then roasted with a crust of Dijon and fresh herbs. Perfect for pairing with a nice chardonnay and eating on your deck or patio.
Stuffed Pork Loin
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 55minutes
1 1/2 lb. pork loin, centre cut
1/2 lb. crimini mushrooms, cubed (or a blend like shitake, portobello, oyster, etc.)
150 g baby spinach or chopped large leaf spinach (stems removed)
4 1/2 oz. thick cut, bacon (preferably double smoked), diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup white wine or vermouth
4 green onions, chopped
100g goat feta (or regular)
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
kosher salt to taste
fresh ground peper to taste
For the crust:
1/4 cup Dijon or Grey Poupon
1 clove garlic, minced
kosher salt to tatse
fresh ground pepper to taste
1 tbsp fresh oregano
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1. First we need to roll cut the pork loin. The easiest way to describe the method is this: Lay your knife parallel to the cutting board with one end of the pork loin nearest to you. Slice 1/2 an inch from cutting board (you are trying to get the pork loin as thin as possible) from right to left but don’t cut all the way through, leave at least 1/2 an inch as a hinge. Now place your knife in the centre of the pork loin “book”, blade facing left. Cut another flap towards the left, leaving another 1/2″ as a hinge. You should now have a 1/2″ think piece of pork loin that you will be able to stuff and roll up.
2. In a large, deep sauté pan melt butter over medium heat.
3. Add in mushrooms and garlic and sauté until softened. Add in bacon and allow to crisp as much as possible. Add spinach and sauté until completely wilted.
4. Deglaze pan with wine and allow to completely evaporate.
5. Stir in cheeses, green onions and thyme and remove from heat. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 375°F.
7. Leaving one inch of space from edge of loin, spoon on cheese/spinach mixture in thick line. Roll left edge over and roll towards the right. Tie with kitchen twine (or if you don’t have any just rest pork on baking sheet with seam side down) and place on greased baking sheet.
8. Mix crust ingredients in a small bowl and slather onto loin in a thick layer. Coating all sides (except the bottom).
9. Roast in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes. Internal temperature should be 160°F and there should be a tinge of pink left in the pork.
**This recipe was developed 100% by me for a contest being run by Maple Leaf Prime Pork. I received a coupon to buy the pork and am entered into a contest on Maple Leaf’s Facebook Page. If you think this recipe is super fantastic, then feel free to give me a vote there (one per person per day). If you happen to live in Western Canada and like pork, you can receive a 50% coupon just for voting.
Similarly delicious recipes from other blogs:
Apricot Stuffed Pork Loin on Cooking with Amy
Swiss Chard Stuffed Pork Loin on White On Rice Couple
Stuffed Braised Pork Shoulder on Simply Recipes
Orange and Garlic Roast Pork Loin on Bitchin’ Camero
Chili Rubbed Pork Tenderloin on The Bitten Word
Spicy Pork Tenderloin Sandwich on Chez Us