Mar 15, 2010

Fig & Blue Cheese-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

You really shouldn’t be reading this post. Seriously. Just skip to the bottom and get the facts, slap on an apron and MAKE this. But if you need more prodding, here are six reasons why this dish is so drop dead amazing:

1.    Only six ingredients.
2.    Only six steps.
3.    Extremely easy but still fancy.
4.    Loaded with cheese but still healthy.
5.    Absolutely delicious.
6.    Still absolutely delicious as leftovers.
Now, if you simply can't make this mouthwatering meal right this very second, I understand. You're stubborn. So go ahead and read on and hopefully you'll be making it sooner than later.

So...ever had blue cheese-stuffed bacon wrapped dates? They're sinfully divine. My favorite appetizer of all time. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a Cooking Light recipe for a lightened version of them (thanks a lot, bacon). But one day they will grace this blog, I promise. Until then, this recipe has a very similar flavor and I'm telling you, it's one of the tastiest dishes I've made since I started this project. And I've made some finger-licking food. Just ask my husband's ever-growing tummy.

But a recipe has to be more than tasty to make me happy. My true keepers are the ones that amaze me equally with ease, quickness and simplicity of ingredients. And this dish definitely delivers. 


The prep is minimal. Just chop the dates, then butterfly and pound the pork tenderloin. Be careful not to accidentally slice the pork all the way in half when butterflying, or you'll give all that yummy filling permission to escape. I nicked a few holes myself, which was fine, but some of the filling did bulge out a bit.

And if you're as lucky as me, you just may be pleasantly surprised to find two tenderloins in your package, allowing you to double the recipe and make enough food for an entire week. Rejoice for gourmet lunches on random Mondays!


Once the pork is flat, sprinkle on the figs and blue cheese crumbles. It'll be a lot. You're going to look at at that tenderloin and seriously doubt your ability to roll it over the mountainous heap. And you'll think I'm a liar who's secretly laughing as you battle with a cleverly disguised complicated recipe. 

But then you're going to carefully but firmly fold over the pork, seal it together and see that it was much easier than it looked. And you'll feel bad for calling me a liar. How dare you, by the way.



If a few rogue fig and cheese pieces do fall out in the process, don't fret. Just pop them back inside. Or better yet, pop them in your mouth. Then secure your creation with meat twine. 

Don't have meat twine? I didn't either, so I sent my poor husband into the cold to buy some. Kroger turned him away because they only carry it during the holidays for turkeys. (Seriously?!) But Meijer came to the rescue. It was by the meat counter. And according to a very helpful source, a.k.a. mom, you can always beg the butcher for a few strands or use undyed, 100% cotton string from the hardware store.


Next, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake. After 20 minutes, brush on the melted apple jelly, then let it bake for another five minutes. I used this time to make some brown rice and green beans.



And then you're done. The recipe says the pork should be slightly pink, which was weird to me. (Worms?) But as it turns out, slightly pink is definitely the way to go for tender, flavorful pork, and it's totally safe. 

After it sits for ten minutes, snip off the twine and slice. If you placed the twine every two inches like you were supposed to, slicing will be simple. The twine will leave an indentation, and you can slice each of those mini section in half for perfect one-inch rolls.

So here we are again, me begging you to go and make this. You just have to. The pork is tender and juicy, and perfectly seasoned with a crunchy glaze. And the tart blue cheese inside gets all melty and pairs perfectly with the sweet figs. It's just all around delicious and I'm positive you will love it as well. It'll be the most beautiful meal that you'll ever eat in complete silence.


Fig & Blue Cheese-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Cooking Light, January 2007
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 slices)

Cookbook Note: An apple glaze and sweet dried figs complement the savory blue cheese in this simple yet refined dish. Serve with wild rice and steamed green beans.

1  (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/2  cup  dried figs, coarsely chopped
1/2  cup  crumbled blue cheese
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
1  tablespoon  apple jelly, melted

Preheat oven to 450°.

Slice the pork in half lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side. Open the halves, laying pork flat. Place pork between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Sprinkle figs and blue cheese over pork, leaving a 1/2-inch margin around outside edges. Roll up the pork, jelly-roll fashion, starting with long side. Secure at 2-inch intervals with twine. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper, and place on a foil-lined jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 450° for 20 minutes. Brush jelly over the pork. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160° (slightly pink). Let stand for 10 minutes. Discard twine; cut pork into 12 (1-inch-thick) slices.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 274 (30% from fat), Fat: 9.2g (sat 4.6g,mono 3g,poly 0.6g), Protein: 28.4g, Carbohydrate: 19.7g, Fiber: 2.5g, Cholesterol: 80mg, Iron: 1.8mg
Sodium: 581mg, Calcium: 135mg.


3 hungry tummies said...

Always love dishes with fruit , this is no different! bravo!

Lisa Anne said...

So it looks amazing, except for the fig part. I'd leave that out. I don't fruit my food unless it's coconut rice. This really looks yummy!!

bobwasahamster said...

My favorite meal Rachel has made so far. But I know that'll change once she makes her next one.

--Happy Husband, Luke

SwizzlestickMama said...

That sounds fantastic! I will have to make this right away; I love figs and I love,love, love! bleu cheese!

teresa said...

my reason number seven would be that i've never cooked with figs, can you believe that! this looks fantastic, i'm totally sold!

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Oh my, is that fig? Oh, Oh, Oh, and is that blue cheese I see? Oh God, and did you stuff it, so tenderly, OH OH OH, inside some pork? Oh, Oh God, Oh my, Oh my God, OH MY GOD...

Uh, yeah, I just had a, uh, moment...

Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner

Shayna said...

That looks delicious! I'm especially impressed that you thought to stop and take photos at each step of the way!

Stopping by from SITS --- Please visit me at

Happy day!

Megan said...

I've never heard of such a dish, but it looks beyond amazing!

Sadly, I'm eating dinner with vegetarians tonight, so I'll have to wait to try it out!

Melissa B. said...

Oh my mouth's watering, and I've already had dinner! I need to make a grocery list, pronto...

Tina Lane said...

Even your Hubs left a comment on this one! lol.

Must be a winner.

♥ Katinka said...

Stopping by from SITS :) Have a wonderful Wednesday!!!!

Anonymous said...

omg you make that for me and i would just about do anything for you...

Jessica {The Novice Chef} said...

I just came across your blog and I am so glad I did! This looks fabulous!

Ingrid said...

I'll be making this for dinner sometime this week. I'm not dummy.

heidi @ wonder woman wannabe said...

Yep, from the looks of it, this one is going on the 'to try soon' list! Thanks!

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