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I’m Mari.
On Marivelous Me! you’ll find recipes, food gifts, food I’ve traveled for and food solutions. Poke around, maybe you’ll find inspiration for something you’re working on. Enjoy! 


Entries in pork (3)


TVP & Meat - Loaf

TVP meat loaf meatloafTVP meat loaf meatloaf slicedMany moons ago, I sang TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein)’s praises and you haven’t heard boo from me about it since. Well, since Mr. Mari and I are trying to shed our Freshmen Ten, I pulled Ole Faithful out of the cupboard. The first thing I made was meatloaf, substituting the breadcrumbs for some TVP. Success! The meatloaf was super moist and flavorful (I soaked the TVP in chicken stock). Now I’m thinking about trying to use TVP as fried chicken breading. Stay tuned for that experiment! Meanwhile, click on over for some TVP & Meat - Loaf!

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gyoza za za!

gyoza pork dumplingsgyoza pork dumpling ingredientsgyoza pork dumplings uncookedWhenever Mr. Mari and I go out for ramen, we typically order a plate of gyoza (Japanese pan-fried pork dumplings) to share as an appetizer. I don't have any concrete evidence but I think gyoza is the appetizer to eat before slurping up a hot bowl of wavy noodles. Maybe it's because you get protein to chew on that you wouldn't otherwise get in your noodle bowl. Maybe it's to warm up your jaw muscles for all the slurp slurp slurping you'll be doing. Anyway, as much as I love ramen, sometimes I just want a big mountain of gyoza to eat for dinner. I don't know of any restaurant that serves a herculean-size dinner portion so to satisfy that craving, I make them at home...

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bacon-wrapped, olive, spinach and feta stuffed pork tenderloin

I've been in a protein rut. More to the point, I've been getting a little tired of the foods I make. It's been sort of like eating at the same restaurant every night: roast chicken with (blank), oven-baked fish with (blank), grilled flank steak with (blank) - ho hum, that again? So I went online searching for a pork tenderloin recipe that offered a different technique to what I normally make. Lo and behold, there was a recipe for stuffed pork tenderloin on Cook's Illustrated. You can stuff a pork tenderloin? Apparently so, you just need to butterfly it. Their recipe called for tying and grilling. Since it was raining out and I had some bacon on hand, I oven roasted the sucker and "tied" mine with bacon.

What I like about the concept of stuffing is that there are endless options you can use as stuffing: cornbread with sautéed mushrooms and onions, leftover spaghetti (why not??), ricotta cheese and herbs, puréed oysters and breadcrumbs (don't knock it 'til you try it), and so on. Having the variety of fillings will keep this new recipe/technique fresh, which I imagine, will keep me excited about dining at this restaurant of mine. 

Bacon-Wrapped, Olive, Spinach and Feta Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

serves 6 as entrée

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped fine
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
4 ounces crumbled feta
2 tablespoon mint (or parsley), chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 - 1-1/2 lbs. pork tenderloin (mine had two skinny tenderloins in the package)
6 slices bacon
sea salt & fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine olives, garlic, spinach, feta and mint in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. 

Butterfly tenderloin so you have a thin piece of pork. Using the flat side of a tenderizer, pound until it's about 1/4-inch thick. Repeat with second piece. Place pork pieces in front of you, slightly overlapping. Season with salt and pepper. Your pork should be longer than wide, moving away from you. Spread filling evenly on pork, leaving a half-inch border on the left, right and far edges. Starting with the edge closest to you, tightly roll the pork into a tube. 

Lifting one end of the tenderloin, place a piece of bacon directly under one end. Fold the bacon, gently pulling, in a crisscross pattern. This will help hold one end of your roll together. Lift the unwrapped end of your pork roll and evenly place the other five slices of bacon underneath. Continue crisscrossing your bacon slices across your roll, gently pulling to help close the roll. Once completed, take toothpicks and poke through the end of each bacon strip, securing it in place. 

Bake in oven for 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145°. Remove from oven, tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Remove toothpicks, slice and enjoy! 

Note: Next time I do this, I'll probably brown the outside first, to help crisp up the bacon. The bacon was thoroughly cooked but it didn't have as much plate appeal, as I would have liked.