When our oldest son did an about face and invited us to his apartment for dinner for his birthday celebration, we were expecting a nice dinner … but we weren’t expecting a spectacular dinner. This was the one where I was to bring the dessert – vanilla pots.
Here’s what you get when kids see you entertain and cook and serve great food with LOVE. I don’t mean to pat myself on the back here, but I guess in a way, I do! After all, we are the teachers for our children. But this child is far surpassing me in cooking and entertaining. Lucky us, we get to be the fortunate recipients!
We arrived to a beautifully laid out cheese board with dates and grapes and a lovely variety of crackers. Great start.
He was lamenting that one of his flatmates had not returned with the shrimp while he busied himself with putting the finishing touches on his pork roast. The roommate appeared with the shrimp and before we knew it, we were each handed a small plate of rice pilaf with delicious sautéed spicy shrimp. It seemed magical in that it just appeared! I never saw him cook it. Either that or I was on my third glass of wine and didn’t know it. (just kidding).
Dinner was this amazing pork loin roast, stuffed with dates, covered with an herb garlic crust. He spread broccoli florets around the pork towards the end of the roasting time, so that as they cooked, they became flavored with the wonderful pork loin juices. Additional vegetables, along with some potatoes, were oven roasted separately and served, completing a beautiful plate that was really scrumptious. The pork was divine, moist and rich, with the dates sweetening the meat and the crisp herb crust – just terrific!
DATE-STUFFED, GARLIC HERB CRUSTED PORK LOIN ROAST
– serves 8 – 10
One 4 – 5 lb. pork loin roast
10 – 12 pitted Medjool dates
1 tbs. chopped thyme leaves
5 – 6 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbs. olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and pat dry your roast. Stand it on its end and cut an X down through the middle of the roast, coming at it from both ends with a long knife. Then, take a knife sharpening stick or a long handled wooden spoon (something long and round) and shove it through the middle of your X from both ends to create a cavity. Now shove the dates in from both ends to fill the cavity.
Set the roast in a roasting pan, fat side up and score the fat. Salt and pepper the roast all over. Create a paste out of the thyme leaves, garlic and olive oil and spread all over the top and sides of the roast, shoving it in the scored crevices. Roast for about an hour, until an instant read thermometer registers 145 degrees. Let the roast rest for 10 – 15 minutes before slicing into thick 1/2” slices. Serve and enjoy!