Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fall out

Living in Southern California, its hard to tell, but there is a ever so slight hint of fall in the air. Its not in the middle, but on either ends of the day. I shouldn't act surprised, I'm back to stressing over my sons lunch box and fighting my way through the crush at school pick up.

Really you can hardly judge the arrival of the season by the store displays, fall items were already up on the morning of July 5. Since then, stores have been proudly featuring fall things like pumpkins and Halloween bric-a-brac. Also by this time anything "summery", sent to the 1/2 off bin. Try to find a swimsuit after July, I dare you.

It's time now to decorate with with dead leaves and shamelessly eat tiny candy bars and fist fulls of candy corn. I think of apples, dipped in caramel and squashes and how cool it is that cob webs are in. The oven replaces the grill, as savory roasts and sweet pies are on the menu.

In the spirit of staying ahead this fall I thought you might enjoy this entree. Mediterranean Pork Loin, is a dish that for me, bridges the seasons. Summery flavors tucked inside my favorite fall roast. As usual I have offered a recipe that feeds a crowd, but maybe I have given you a reason to entertain this season.

While I'm writing this I realize there are dozens of great recipes I want to share, all the colors, and tastes both comfortable, and rich. I must warn however, don't get too comfy with fall, before you can put away your tricks and treats, turkeys, pilgrims and Christmas will be up.

5 lbs. pork loin
½ lb. french bread
1 cup artichoke hearts
6 garlic clove chopped
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 slices bacon chopped
2 tablespoons capers
½ cup shallots chopped
½ cup green olive chopped
1 ½ teaspoons rosemary
1 ½ teaspoons thyme
1 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
Butterfly pork loin by cutting length wise down 1 side pork loin 3/4 the way deep, spread open on cutting board, Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay plastic wrap over and pound with a meat mallet until 3/4 inch thick and set aside.
Cut bread into cubes and bake at 300 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes until dry.
In a heavy saute pan saute bacon in olive oil until brown.
Add shallots cook one minute.
Add Artichokes, tomatoes, garlic, capers, herbs and green olives, stir in bread cubes and chicken broth.
Pack stuffing mixture down center of pork and roll over stuffing overlap at closure and secure with cooking twine every three inches.
rub with salt and pepper place on rack seam side down in roasting pan and roast at 475 degrees for 10 minutes then drop down temperature to 325 degrees and roast approximately 1 hour until center reaches 150 degrees.
Cover loosely with foil, allow to stand about 30 minutes before cutting. Remove cooking twine, Slice one inch thick for serving. Serves about 12.

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