I watch a lot of cooking shows. Like a LOT of cooking shows. If we still had cable you would see me Saturday morning curled up on the couch with my favorite cereal, eye guzzling as many food network show as I can like they were Saturday morning cartoons- old habits die hard!
Thank goodness for Netflix. And if you’re in the market for a binge-worthy food show you MUST watch “Worst Cooks in America!” Seriously, I think out of all the food shows I have watched, I have learned the most from this show. I may go on a limb and say this show has inspired me the most as well.
Now before you start questioning my abilities let me explain. Two chefs (one usually is Anne Burrell) go head to head training the worst cooks in America they can find through a series of cooking boot camp. They go over knife skills and basic cooking techniques. They really drive home the importance of creativity as well as organization in the kitchen. Plus you get a few laughs in on the way because these people are freaking hilarious!
Today’s dish is inspired by one of the episodes where they taught the recruits to make a Roulade with a pan sauce and mashed potatoes. I have had some Pork loin chops in my freezer for a while and have been eagerly waiting for the opportunity to use them. I confess, pork chops are not my favorite piece of meat, but there was a sale and well you know how it goes. I kept wracking my brain for ideas of what to do with these beauties and then it was like a light bulb of inspiration came on in my head while watching Anne Burrell pound the dickens out of a pork loin, prepping to roll around her filling.
I followed suit and decided to base my filling on what we had in our fridge. Today’s main players are zucchini, peaches and goat cheese. I added some herbs for flair, and a pinch of cinnamon to add to the “wow factor” of the dish. You could totally substitute any of these ingredients to adapt to what you have in the kitchen. My suggestion is to just think- what’s in season? What do I have? Will it taste good together?…and also, less is more!
Once the roulades were assembled I gave them a good sear on all sides to lock in the juices, develop the flavor and make them pleasing to the eye. Anne always says “Brown food, is good food!” Who am I to disagree? (Because it’s true!)
The roulades finish off in the oven to cook all the way through, then they need to take a rest on the cutting board while we use the brown bits in the pan to make a sauce. I used chicken broth to deglaze the pan. I always thought deglazing was a good way to get a jump start on the dishes. Allow the broth to reduce by half and then add a squeeze of lemon plus the zest because you paid for that lemon so use it all girl!
Roulades are sliced into four equal sized medallions, served up right so you can see that beautiful filling and nestled in a delightfully fluffy, cloud of garlic mashed potatoes. Drizzle some of the pan sauce on top to add that final splash of flavor. And voila! Dinner is served!
I think Chef Anne would have been proud of this dish. The juicy, seasoned pork against the warm, slightly sweet filling, followed by the tang of the goat cheese and the zing of lemon in our sauce definitely would have earned me a red apron to stay another week.
Ok recruits, it’s time for you to put your spin on this dish! Let your creativity sing and let me know what you would fill your roulades with in the comments below!
Let’s get cooking!
- ½ cup Zucchini, diced
- ½ cup ripe Peach, diced
- ½ tsp fresh thyme
- ½ tsp fresh chives
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 1 Tbs Olive Oil
- 2 oz goat cheese
- 2 boneless Pork Loin Chops
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- ¾ cup chicken stock
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- Cover each Pork Loin Chop with some plastic wrap. Using a mallet or rolling pin, pound the dickens out of it till it is flattened to about a ¼ inch thick. Season both sides generously with salt and pepper.
- In a skillet over medium high heat drizzle some olive oil. Once the oil is hot, toss in the zucchini. Make sure the pieces are in one even layer of the skillet. We want these pieces to get some good caramelization so don’t move the pieces around in the pan. Let the pan do its job and brown that zucchini. This will take 1-2 minutes. Once the time has elapsed, stir the zucchini around. You should see golden brown bits all over your zucchini.
- Once the zucchini is browned, add the diced peaches. Saute until both are soft, but still have a little texture to them. Season with salt and pepper. Take the skillet off the heat and add in the chives, thyme and cinnamon. Stir to coat evenly. Set mixture in a bowl to cool off
- Now that the filling is room temperature, it’s time to stuff those chops! Spoon about a ½ cup of the zucchini, peach mixture on the top third of the flattened pork loin chop. Crumble an ounce of goat cheese over the filling. Tightly roll the pork chop over the filling and continue until you have formed a tightly shaped log. Lay the log seam side down. Tie each log with kitchen twine so that the pork holds its shape.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In an oven proof skillet over medium-high heat, sear each log on all sides to get a golden brown, caramelization on the outside. This will take 5-6 minutes. Once well seared, drizzle each log with a little Extra virgin olive oil and place the skillet with the pork roulades in the oven to roast for about 25 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the roulade.
- When ready, remove pork roulades from the oven and set on a cutting board covered in foil to rest and redistribute the juices. Place the skillet they were cooked in on the stove over medium heat. Deglaze the pan by adding ¾ cup of chicken stock and scraping up the little brown bits. Bring the stock to a boil then reduce to simmer for about 4 minutes till the stock is reduced by half. Remove skillet from the heat and add the juice of one lemon as well as the zest. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- Slice each roulade into 4 medallions and place upright on a clean plate. Spoon the pan sauce over the medallions. Just enough to dress them and add moisture. Serve alongside a heaping helping of mashed potatoes, and enjoy!