In a typical year, it’s not Easter without ham, cascarones and plastic eggs filled with chocolate, but this year, we’re all improvising.
With social distancing in place, spring celebrations are undoubtedly smaller, but they can still hold whatever religious or cultural significance we assign to them. Ham has become a traditional centerpiece for Easter lunch or dinner because it feeds so many people, but if you’re looking for a smaller main course, consider a ham steak, a large pork chop or even a pork tenderloin.
This easy-to-adapt recipe from Lindsay Boyers’ “The Keto for Two Cookbook” (Adams Media, $16.99) features a trifecta of pork (tenderloin, prosciutto and bacon), but you could adjust the filling to whatever you have on hand. Sauteed greens could replace the frozen spinach, and any kind of salty cheese would suffice instead of feta. You could also throw in dried cranberries or sun-dried tomatoes for a hint of sweet.
If you don’t have kitchen twine, you can use toothpicks or rolled strips of aluminum foil to keep the pork together; it will likely fall apart, at least a little, before serving, but worry not. Easter is a season of renewal, but it’s also as good a time as any to embrace life’s imperfections.
Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Pork tenderloin is so versatile that you can eat this recipe as is or use it as a basic template and change the fillings to any you want. Try ham instead of prosciutto or Gorgonzola cheese or blue cheese instead of feta.
— Lindsay Boyers
1/2 pound pork tenderloin
2 (0.5-ounce) slices prosciutto
2 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground sage
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons feta cheese crumbles
1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butterfly pork tenderloin by slicing halfway through the pork, lengthwise, but not cutting all the way through. The meat should fold open like a book. Lay each slice of prosciutto down on the pork.
In a medium mixing bowl, put bacon, garlic powder, spices, cream cheese, feta cheese, and spinach and beat until smooth. Spread filling over prosciutto and close the tenderloin. Use kitchen string to tie up the pork.
In a large pan over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Sear pork 2 minutes on each side, then place in a baking pan. Bake 30 minutes or until inside is no longer pink and thermometer reads 160 degrees. Serves 2 to 4.
— From “The Keto for Two Cookbook: 100 Delicious, Keto-Friendly Recipes Just for Two!” by Lindsay Boyers (Adams Media, $16.99)