Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Greek-ish Pork Pinwheels

I wasn't sure if this meal would be good or a Greek tragedy. Fortunately, it turned out excellent.

I daydream about food on the way home from work most evenings. I think about what ingredients I have at home, things I've seen or cooked before, and just let the thoughts collide. Tonight my thoughts centered around a pork tenderloin that I had thawed out.

I thought about Chris Lilly's Pork Tenderloin Pinwheels that I have made before, stuffed with bacon, rolled in pecans and brushed with a mustard sauce. But the feta and fresh spinach I had at home made me think more along Greek lines. Here's what I came up with.

Nibble Me This Greek Pork Pinwheels


Ingredients
1 ea pork tenderloin
30 spinach leaves (about 1/2 cup?)
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, diced

Marinade
1/2 cup olive oil
3 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup fig infused balsamic vinegar (sub red wine vinegar)
1/4 cup white onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
Whisk together all of the marinade ingredients. Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade for the Greek rice.

Slice the tenderloin lengthwise into about 5-6 slices, about 1/4" thick each as pictured.

TIP: First, put the tenderloin into the freezer for about 30 minutes to partially freeze it. Slices much easier. Second, most tenderloins have a "flat side" due to being packaged two to a pack. Use that flat side as a solid base.

Top each slice with layers of spinach, feta, and sun dried tomatoes. Drizzle some of the marinade on top.

Carefully (i.e. make a hell of a mess trying to keep it all together) roll up each slice from one end to the other and secure with a toothpick.
Place the pinwheels in a small casserole and apply remaining marinade. Let sit for 1-2 hours.

Prepare your grill for a direct heat cook at 375f. On the Big Green Egg, I had plain lump charcoal burning with no wood and I used a raised grid extender. That's about 8 inches from the fire so that would be the top rack on most other grills.

TIP: The oily marinade will cause flare ups so keep your grill lid closed to control the flow of oxygen.

Grill the pinwheels for 8 minutes a side.

We were very pleased with this. They weren't very photogenic but the pork was tender and packed with flavor thanks to the marinade from inside and out.

For a side dish, I made this Greek Tomato Pilaf and added the reserved 1/4 cup of marinade at the point you add the dry rice to the saute. I give that recipe two thumbs up too.

30 comments:

  1. Oh welcome to my world!

    I bet those would be good smoked with pecan!

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  2. Chris, these are gorgeous and would be a terrific for a dinner party. We don't have a grill where we are right now, but I'm bookmarking this to prepare when we return home. We have a friend who's of Greek heritage and this would be a perfect surprise to serve him. I do believe he'll be impressed.

    Stay warm and keep grilling.
    Sam

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  3. "Make a hell of a mess trying to keep it all together" - LOL! That sounds like me in the kitchen:D I think I'm kinda of messy cook.

    I've only seen pork tenderloin sliced into medallions. You have opened my eyes to a whole new method of slicing pork. Thanks for the introduction to pork pinwheels. I see them in the very near future:D

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  4. This seems like something that a good contestant on "Chopped" would make. Do you watch that on Food Network? I'm not even much of a foodie and I LOVE that show!

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  5. Chris, what a great way to prepare this dish. There is something special about each serving being made separately. This is truly a keeper recipe. Many thanks...

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  6. Looks excellent and I have several tenderloins in the freezer I need to use. Will give this a try soon.

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  7. That looks great. I would forget to take out the toothpick.

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  8. Wow! I'm all over this one! Have written my shopping list and as soon as I hit post comment I'll be on my way to Safeway to grab what I need to make this...you read my mind/dreams...a Greek dinner that isn't lamb - drooling already!

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  9. I think they look amazing and so flavorful! I too daydream about food.

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  10. What a great idea... love everything about these... you will see them soon on my site!

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  11. I LOVE this idea! It looks delicious with these ingredients and I can see doing it with other combos according to MY fridge contents! Fun to hear that you daydream about food on the way home. That's exactly what I do, but I think your daydreams are better than mine. Keep dreaming and sharing!

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  12. What an outstanding and elegant pork dish! Marvelous ingredient in the marinade that compliment the spinach, feta and tomatoes. Very creative and amazing!

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  13. Now you are speaking to my inner Greek woman. Reading the ingredients and looking at the pictures takes to me a warm summer evening eating out on the patio, the grill still smoking in the background.... Maybe a nice beer and some feta and pita on the side...oh! and some tomatoes and onions simply dressed with salt, pepper and olive oil!

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  14. OPAH!!! Looks delish - I love doing greek food over a fire - I hate having to do it on a George Foreman grill in the winter.

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  15. Chris, what a WONderful idea! I've got half of a pork tenderloin in the freezer that I didn't use in my Hoosier Pork Sliders. Can't wait to try this. They look great.

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  16. OMG these look freaking fan-tabulous! I am flagging this for the future!

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  17. So YOU'RE Louis XIV you GEEKish-Pork Pinwheel. Did you get a new camera? GREG

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  18. Love all the pictures!!I am a pork fan..... I am drooling here!!!They look absolutely delicious...I am printing this recipe.

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  19. That looks and sounds great! We did a pork tenderloin Mutumbre once- stuffed with cheese strips, sausage strips, onion and bell pepper strips..when cooked then cut into disks- it looked like a church window cookie!

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  20. These definitely look delicious Chris! Perfect for a main dish or as part of a nice party buffet. Yummy :-)

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  21. Dude, I so need glasses. I thought you said "greenish pork pinwheels."

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  22. I like the way you roll. Hee. Hee.

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  23. I think like that all the time too - and my waistline and rear end will attest to it.

    These pinwheels sound wonderful and what a great presentation! Hello YUM!

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  24. Chris - Those pinwheels are just lovely!

    Have you actually tried them with red wine vinegar, rather than the fig balsamic. That's a pretty drastic change from sweet to vinegary! I'd imagine it would pull the recipe in another direction entirely.

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  25. I think I could totally wrap my head around this (and my mouth) YUM!

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  26. Those pork pinwheels look really tasty!

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  27. Loving these. For real! Who would say no to that?

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  28. Sounds yummy. Can this be baked/ broiled in an oven? Could try it in winter in that case.

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