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I had a plan when I arrived in Palm Springs. I was going to relax after the hectic craziness of the past month, lounge around the pool, cook and blog.

Well it hasn’t exactly worked out that way. There is just too much to see. There are mountains to traverse, deserts to wander, shops to explore.

Haven’t had a lot of time for cooking with all the site-seeing and shopping. But the other day we drove up highway 74 through the mountains above Palm Springs and I saw tons of wild sage growing on the little off roads we explored (shhh…don’t tell Enterprises Rent-a-Car we went off road with their tiny rental) and it inspired me to do something in the kitchen.

Now when I say kitchen I am using the term VERY loosely. The “kitchen” in my husband’s home away from home consists of a fridge the size of a microwave, an even smaller microwave, some paper plates and a knife I think my husband must have paid about $1.99 for and was way overcharged! But there is a nice gas grill, so I decided to think of this as camping.

Now I must confess that my idea of camping is when the hotel does not have room service but nonetheless! I decided I could cook a nice sage-rubbed pork loin stuffed with dried fruit on the grill. Seems easy enough.

Another confession – I am not a big barbequer. Firstly, for a man who has a hard time making canned soup (my hubby) he can create gastronomical wonders on a grill – his ribs are to die for. So who am I to get in the way of creative genius? Also I have – let’s call them issues – with not being in complete control of the temperature. When I preheat my oven to 350 degrees I can be fairly sure it will go to 350 degrees or close enough. With fire, how do you know? A bit scary but I jumped in regardless.

Now one of the things I did not anticipate was how lost I would feel without my pantry and gadgets. No microplane, no grill pan, no freaking decent KNIFE! Not too mention basic herbs and spices. But since a huge dream of mine is to rent a house in Tuscany some day and spend a month or two cooking, I figured I better get used to making do with what is available.

I had the butcher butterfly the pork loin for me – major knife problem solved – and I bought an instant red thermometer.

It came out beautifully; crusty on the outside, juicy on the inside with the sweetness of the fruit perfectly complementing the pork and I learned about the joys of just getting out of my comfort zone when it comes to cooking. After all, it is supposed to be fun. And cave people didn’t have French mandolins, food processors and such.

Gluten Free Grilled Pork Loin Stuffed with Dried Fruit Recipe


2 pound pork tenderloin – butterflied
1 cup dried cherries – cut in about ¼ inch pieces
¾ cups dried apricots – cut in about ¼ inch pieces
2 cups gluten free chicken stock
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon dried sage
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
Olive oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Preheat grill
Mix salt, pepper and sage in a small bowl


In a small bowl add ½ cup of the dried cherries with the dried apricots and soak in about ½ cup of chicken stock. In another small bowl soak the rest of the dried cherries in about another ½ cup of chicken stock.

Dry the tenderloin and lie flat in front of you. Spread about 1/3 of the salt, pepper and sage mixture evenly over the inside of the pork loin.

Squeeze the liquid out of the mixture of dried apricots and cherries reserving the soaking liquid.

Evenly spread the fruit over the tenderloin leaving a border of about ½ inch all around.

Roll the tenderloin lengthwise like a jelly roll and tie with string at about 2” intervals.

Rub the rest of the spice mixture all over the outside of the pork loin and rub with a little oil until well coated.

Put the stuffed pork loin directly over the flames and cook on each side for about 2 minutes per side until a nice sear is achieved all the way around the roast. Move off of direct heat and cook for about 25 – 30 minutes until an internal temperature of 160 degrees is reached. I cooked this with the cover down on the grill but if your grill doesn’t have a cover then tent with foil.

Remove pork from grill and let rest for about 10 minutes on a plate.

Mix the cornstarch with ¼ cup chicken stock until all lumps are gone.

In a saucepan combine the rest of the chicken stock, the reserved soaking liquid and the dried cherries along with their soaking liquid and bring just to a boil. Add the cornstarch mixture and remove from the heat. Stir until glossy and thick. Stir in any meat juices that have accumulated on the plate. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed with salt and pepper.

Remove string from the pork loin and slice. Serve with the sauce.

This could be made in the oven at 350 degrees. Just sear the loin first in a skillet or on a grill pan. Cooking time may be a little shorter or longer, so test with a thermometer for done-ness.


This Gluten Free Recipe Serves 6 People.
Grilled Pork Loin Stuffed with Dried Fruit – Simply Gluten Free

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Chef Erik May 9, 2008 at 4:27 pm

Very nice plating. I don’t even eat pork but that looks delish. My friend said your site is great, I told him, “I told you so”.


Peter G May 9, 2008 at 5:54 pm

You’ve done wonders Carol, even with your limited equipment and kitchen. Thats a very creative cooked piece of pork loin. I absolutely love the flavours with the dried fruit.


White On Rice Couple May 9, 2008 at 7:50 pm

Looks like BBQ-ing is another one of your hidden talents! This looks totally divine and I can imagine it with your grilled lettuce! Yum!


Krysta May 9, 2008 at 8:23 pm

I would so make this but the hubby has a rule about not fruiting the dinner! I swear he’s ten years old.


Cinnamonda May 10, 2008 at 10:42 am

What a yummy recipe! And the photo is absolutely beautiful.



Sheltie Girl May 11, 2008 at 6:49 am

This sounds fabulous. I love having pork with fruit…well and cinnamon.

When we travel for my husband’s job, we tend to stay in hotels with kitchens (i.e. Residence Inn). I’m pretty bad…I bring along my knives. I picked up a nice case for them at Chef Central so they are protected for the trip. The knives they give you in the hotel can be duller than your teeth.

Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go


Grace May 12, 2008 at 2:29 am

i usually eat my pork with baked apples or marinated in orange juice, although i’ve also tried fresh pineapple and cranberries in the past. i haven’t tested cherries or apricots, but i don’t see how they couldn’t be a delicious addition! thanks for the idea!

your blog is great, i’ll be coming back for more! :)


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