People who read my blog will know that I know zippo about BBQ and grilling. In fact, I don’t even own a grill. So when Dave asked me to do a guest post for his blog, I thought “Is he crazy?” Well, yes he is. But so am I, and I accepted the challenge.
Besides, it gave me the perfect opportunity to try two of his own recipes that I’ve been wanting to try: Raspberry Chipotle Marinated Spiral Stuffed Pork Loin with a Bacon Lattice and Bacon Wrapped Grilled Potato Boats with Goat Cheese and Asparagus, with a twist. Canadian Thanksgiving was also approaching, and provided the perfect opportunity to try these recipes.
Not owning a grill meant that I needed to cook these in my oven. Dave was great and provided advice and tips leading up to the big event. I did most of the prep work in the morning, so that I’d be ready to throw everything in the oven in the afternoon.
First, we start with the pork loin. For the raspberry chipotle marinade, Dave suggested using an entire cup of thawed, pureed raspberries. I used seasoned rice vinegar, instead of apple cider vinegar, and because it contained sugar, I decreased the brown sugar by half. As the marinade was bubbling away, it smelled amazing! I tasted it, and it was even better than it smelled!
When the marinade was reduced, I threw in the ground turkey (hey, it’s Thanksgiving… there’s gotta be turkey somewhere), and a few slices of chopped bacon for good measure. Mmmmm, bacon inside and outside!
Now, onto the pork! If you look at Dave’s pictures, you’ll see how nicely he spiraled the pork loin. If you look at mine… well, mine just plain sucked. But at least I didn’t mangle the meat (or my fingers), so it’s a success in my book. I spread some shredded cheese on, used a little more than half the filling, rolled it up, and tied with butcher’s twine.
Next step was the bacon lattice wrap. Dave has really good instructions about how to create it, and it was very easy. I love stuff that’s easy to do, yet looks impressive. I toothpicked the heck out of it to make sure the bacon stayed in place.
Into the fridge it went and I turned my attention to the side dish. My twist on this dish was to use sweet potatoes and fill them with ricotta cheese. Goat’s cheese is okay, but readers of my blog will know that I’m crazy about ricotta.
I added a Thai influence to the ricotta by using red curry paste. First, I mixed about 1.5 tablespoons of red curry paste with a tablespoon of coconut milk and sugar.
Next went in minced sautéed garlic, and sliced green onions…
… then one large egg, 1 lb of ricotta, some salt, and ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese.
Mix altogether, refrigerate, and then prepare the sweet potato boats. And big oops, I got so engrossed in what I was doing that I forgot to take pictures of the prep. That might be a good thing since there are already tons of pictures in this post.
At this point, it was time for lunch. I took the extra turkey stuffing, formed them into patties, and fried them up. They smelled wonderful. I couldn’t wait to taste them.
Holy freaking cow! I could not believe how awesome that tasted! The sweetness, tang, and heat were spot on. I had to e-mail Dave and let him know that he was the man!
In the early afternoon, I took the roast out of the fridge and got my meat thermometer ready. Since there was ground turkey inside, I wanted an internal temp of around 160F, so that it would carry over to 165F. Into the oven it went at 225F. With a roast of this size (1.7 kg, 3.74 lbs), Dave said to start checking around 2.5 hours.
A while later, the sweet potatoes also went in the oven, and I turned my attention to prepping the vegetable dish – roasted cauliflower. This time, instead of doing the usual olive oil, salt, and pepper, I did minced garlic, lemon zest, and shredded Parmesan cheese. That idea came from Caroline over at When Adobo Met Feijoada.
Here is where my times get a little fuzzy. When the sweet potatoes were almost cooked, I filled them with ricotta, and they went back in the oven. The cauliflower went in the oven, and I continued to keep an eye on the roast. It actually took closer to 5 hours to get to temp. But seriously.... the wait was worth it. Even a wait double that would have been worth it.
The pork was so incredibly moist, the stuffing flavorful, and the bacon crisp but not dry. I adored the sweet potato boats. The contrast between the sweet potato, salty bacon, and creamy ricotta filling was perfect. The cheese had just a hint of red curry and didn’t over power. The cauliflower was also very nice, and definitely more exciting than how I normally prepared it.
So the verdict? Absolutely amazing. This was a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner and these are dishes that will stay in my repertoire. I am very thankful to Dave for inviting me to guest post and, of course, for the yummy recipes he created.
******************************Dave again... Do me a favor and drop by Palidor's site (CRAZY ASIAN GAL) and thank her for being a guest blogger today. It is always exciting to see one of your recipes made by a reader. But to have her holiday dinner made from TWO of my recipes really knocked my socks off. I am sorry about the time issues, but thrilled that it all worked so well... I I think those Sweet Potatoes will end up on my Thanksgiving plate! Thank you so much for this post!
Just a reminder, I am in the middle of the BIGGEST giveaway contest I have ever held... Coupons for 4, 15-oz bottles POM WONDERFUL (you pick the flavor). Check my post from Sunday (you can get there by clicking HERE) for the details on how to win, but one of the important ways to enter is to go to http://crazyasiangal.blogspot.com/ and leave a comment, then return here, and comment to me that you thanked Palidor for her guest blog. You will get one entree for each of my guest bloggers you thank for giving me a blog vacation. On Sunday, I will select one commenter to win this terrific prize!