Forget the turkey this year. Instead, consider the other white meat. A succulent, perfectly browned, pork loin roast will dominate the table and bring even Uncle Albert back for seconds.
Apricot Stuffed Pork Loin Roast
6 ounces long-grain and wild rice mix
½ cup boiling water
½ cup chopped dried apricots
2 green onions (scallions), finely chopped
½ cup chopped fresh mushrooms
¼ cup chopped green bell pepper
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
3 tablespoons chopped pecans
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 (5 to 6 pound) boneless pork loin roast
Canned apricot halves
Fresh parsley sprigs
6 slices of bacon
Make the Stuffing: Cook rice according to package directions. Set aside. Pour boiling water over apricots; let stand 20 minutes to soften. Drain. Sauté green onions, mushrooms, and green pepper in butter until tender. Stir in rice, apricots, pecans, parsley, and seasonings.
Prepare the Loin: Ask your butcher to butterfly the pork loin before you pick it up. If that is not possible, do it yourself. Cut a 1 inch deep cut lengthwise down the center of the roast. Pull the meat apart and make another 1 inch deep slice, rolling the meat out flat as you slice. Continue cutting 1 inch deep cuts until you have a flat piece of meat. (You can find video directions for this procedure at: http://www.culinate.com.)
Roll and Cook the Roast: Spoon stuffing mixture evenly over the pork. Beginning with the long side, roll pork jellyroll fashion, and tie securely with heavy kitchen string at 2 inch intervals. Place roast on a lightly greased rack in a shallow roasting pan. Place bacon lengthwise over roast. Insert meat thermometer into thickest part of roast, making sure it does not touch fat or stuffing.
Place an aluminum foil tent over roast. Roast at 325° for 3 hours or until meat thermometer registers 160° (30-35 minutes. per pound). Remove foil for the last 30-40 minutes of baking. Remove roast from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Remove string; slice and garnish with apricot halves and parsley.