Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Steven Raichlen's Tapenade Pork Loin

Tapenade Pork Loin
The recipe is on page 121
basic introductory instructions with several photos starting on page 117.

Today I am going to blog about another one of Steven Raichlen's Main Course, Pork recipes. Just a reminder, I am going to be cooking each and every recipe in Steven Raichlen's HOW TO GRILL book. It is a means to an end of my goal of getting better, It is forcing me to challenge myself with new and different items to cook, and it is my personal tribute (rip-off) of the "Julie & Julia Project". This recipe was the main course featured during my night of Chocolate Covered Bacon (see yesterday's post). ... so, on to the recipe.

I didn't take a photo of the ingredients, but this is supposed to be a spiral cut pork loin, with an olive tapenade stuffing. I was able to venture out to the farmer's market over the weekend, and bought some beautiful Italian olives, marinated in oil. This was very tasty, and was a big hit with my guests.

I do not want to step on any one's toes, and do not want to publish someones recipe without permission. If you are interested, contact your local library and they will have this book, or better yet, add it to your library and buy the book if you want the details.

I do want to post some details about the recipe that I either liked, chose to do differently from Steven's and what I learned.

My local under priced grocery store had a huge sale recently on those Hormell Pork loins, 2 pound size. This was about a full pound less than the one recommended in Steven's recipe. It defiantly limited the amount of spiral in my final product, but you get the idea from the photo. You need a sharp knife and patience to get the ideal thin unrolled loin. The stuffing was very easy with a food processor. During the rolling portion of the process, I had to do it twice, as I discovered that a tight roll pushed the olive goo out the sides. A loose roll worked much better.

The final product was incredibly full of flavor. The spiral cut insured that each bite had some of the Tapenade in every bite. This recipe is highly recommended, but a larger piece of meat would have made for a better spiral look. Also, I used a lighter shade of olive than was in Steven's photos. He used a very black olive, and the contrast between the meat and the Tapenade was more pronounced, and added more panache.

As I said, my guests were very happy. I made a spiral stuffed loin with my own recipe that was more spicy along with this. The people afraid of the spices in the other were thrilled with this very flavorful option.

On a scale of 1 to 5, this gets a 5. I really liked it, and will make this again. Especially for a crowd that prefers a gently spiced tasting menu item.

So far, Stephen has given me 5 highly rated recipes and only 1 that I would not make again. So far, very very good.



  1. You have an underpriced local grocery store? I am soooooo jealous!

    The pork looks terrific, though I'm not a fan of tapenade.

    I also loved the look of your chocolate-covered bacon. Man, I have got to try that sometime.

  2. Yeah Coyote, I did put that comment in for you to enjoy. Here in God's country, we have a very good store called Price Chopper. Prices compare well with Wal-Mart, but they have great sales. The 2 pound porkloins were only $4 each. The butcher shop is well stocked, and if I call ahead, they are terrific about setting aside some quality items if I have a specialty meal planned.

    And BTW, the bacon was a huge hit. I already got phone calls from a couple of the group that took their extras to work and all is gone!

    Funny stat, I made grilled pineapple for 8 people the other day. 6 of them tried it, and only 5 really enjoyed it (some people simply do not like pineapple). so, only @65% of people like grilled pineapple, while over 80% of people like chocolate covered bacon

    What a world, what a world

  3. Pineapples are on sale at my LOGS this week, so I plan to get one to grill!

  4. Just know that more people would prefer Chocolate bacon.

    But seriously, if you have never done it, watch the sugar start to bubble to tell when it is done, soooooo good.

    And the coconut adds a lot. I also had someone suggest chocolate drizzle, but I didn't have any in my fridge...

    It will be a hit, blog about it, and I am glad to see some grilling posts!

  5. I am also going to make an Asian BBQ sauce using POM juice and hoisin. I think I'll BBQ some shrimp. But when the heat breaks...I don't have much of an appetite right now when it's so hot here...