Pork Stuffed with Basil and Feta!

This time I'm not blogging about something I made, I'm blogging about something my sister-in-law made.  Our 15th wedding anniversary was this week.  We decided to take a trip back to the scene of the crime, Bayfield, WI, where we were married.  My brother and his wife live there and they offered to cook dinner one night.  This is something to which I could not say no, especially after she emailed me the menu!
  • Grilled Bacon Wrapped Pork loin stuffed with fresh basil and feta
  • Israeli couscous with fresh onions
  • Garden grilled carrots
  • Heirloom tomato salad
  • Blackberry tart with fresh blackberries picked fresh from her secret patch (which she shares with a fairly cranky bear)
All of the vegetables for this menu came directly from Robyn's amazing garden.  Everything was so fresh and so delicious!


For those of you who know us well, you know that my brother and his wife have the kitchen of my dreams.  Never mind the menu, I was going to get to spend time in that kitchen!






But we're here to talk about the pork so let's get started.  According to Robyn there is no recipe for this dish so what you see below is what you get!




You start with a beautiful cut of pork loin.  You then remove the fat and cut it so that it can be rolled back up.  You can do this yourself, or you can have your hubby do it for you.  Robyn opted for the latter.



Coat the meat liberally with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.




Add fresh basil and feta.




Roll the loin up and hold it all together with bacon!  Pork wrapped in pork, how can you go wrong with that?  Michael Symon would love this!




For the carrot side, Robyn simply placed the carrots in foil, coated them with olive oil and seasoned them with salt and pepper.  Wrapped them up and put them on the grill with the pork.








Robyn has found the best way to evenly cook the loin on the grill is on a cast iron pan.  No worries if you don't have one!  But if you do, preheat it with the grill.





Place the pork on the pre-heated pan and the carrots on indirect heat in the grill.

Now make the couscous!  Start by sauteing onions in a little EVOO.  Once they are soft, add the couscous to the pan.  Robyn used Israeli couscous which is a little bigger than regular couscous.  Saute the couscous just until it begins to pop, then add the chicken stock.  Robyn just eyeballed the amount of couscous and the amount of chicken stock.  If you're not comfortable "eyeballing" your couscous a good rule of thumb is a cup and a half of liquid for every cup of couscous.





The salad was very simple.  Robyn trusted me to assemble it!  I started with fresh lettuce from her garden, sliced Roma and heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese and basil.  To this I added a little salt and pepper, then drizzled some yummy balsamic seasoning and basil infused olive oil.  Delish!




We passed the time with bruschetta and cheese and crackers.  Oh wait, there might have been some wine in there too!

Twenty minutes or so later, the pork was beautifully cooked.   Cooking time will vary based on the size of the loin and your grill.  I'd check it after about 20 minutes to see how it's going.



While the pork rested (it's very important to let your meat rest, otherwise it will dry out!) we enjoyed our salads at Robyn's beautifully set table.








Dinner was amazing!




We had two desserts, an apple pie which Larry was given as payment for some work he did and a beautiful blackberry torte Robyn made.  Both were to die for.  Yes, I had both!






We shared this amazing dinner with Larry and Robyn's friends Ed and Janet.  What a great evening!


 

And I can't forget Sam!  He helped us all finish anything we couldn't quite finish on our own!




But wait!   I know you want the recipe for that torte!  Don't worry!  I'll get it and it will be the subject of its very own blog!


Thank you Larry and Robyn for a great anniversary weekend!  You were so good to us, well, we're thinking we might do this every year!  See what you started?!

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