Spiced Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Squash & Apples

“This tastes like Fall!”

That’s what Mike said about this recipe, which is exactly what I was going for.

Cinnamon, brown sugar, and nutmeg. Salty bacon and tender pork. Sweet squash and apples. I’d say this is Autumn in a Pan, and is completely Thanksgiving-worthy.

Make the bacon-wrapped pork the night before, and you can easily throw everything in the pan and cook it while you entertain guests. A meat thermometer (get one here) ensures perfect doneness and no need to poke and prod at the meat.

Use a large roasting pan if you like, to fit more vegetables. My home was filled with the scent of cinnamon and apples…I buy candles that smell like this!

I served the pork and squash with rice that got a big spoonful of the cooking sauce over the top. Or add sliced potatoes to the pan for a one-pot meal.

No candle necessary for festiveness! Have I mentioned how glad I am it’s Fall/Autumn/Festive Food Time/Good Hair Weather?

Spiced Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Squash & Apples

for the roast:

  • 2 pounds whole pork tenderloin (2 loins)
  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 wooden skewers, cut to 4-5 inches long

for the vegetables:

  • 1 sweet dumpling squash, seeded and cut into wedges
  • 1 large red delicious apple, cored and cut into chunks
  • 2-3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • juice of 1/4 lemon

for the glaze:

  • 2 large garlic cloves, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 425°F (400°F convection).

Set roasts out on counter for 30 minutes before preparing. Rub roasts all over with chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Use skewers to hold roasts together. Wrap bacon slices, one at a time, around pork, ends on the bottom, slices slightly overlapping. Lightly oil a large skillet, and place pork in center of pan. If desired, sear off bottom of roast over medium heat while you slice the vegetables.

Carefully cut the squash into wedges, using the ridges as a guide. Cut the apple into large chunks (peel if desired). In a large zip-top bag, add squash and apple and toss with canola oil, cinnamon, and lemon. Add to the pan with the pork roast, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part and transfer to the oven.

Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and simmer over low heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and bubbles form but pop slowly, 30-45 minutes. Strain out garlic (yield about 1/2 cup sauce). Pour over the top of the roast and vegetables about halfway through cooking.

Roast 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until an internal temperature of 135°F is reached. Broil 5 minutes if needed to brown the bacon. Enjoy!


Honey Cream Cheese Wontons

Here’s a quick and tasty dessert idea! I took my favorite elements from the Spanish sopaipilla and from the Asian crab rangoon to create these easy, crispy treats.

Try serving them with warm chocolate sauce or Nutella. Mmmm.

I give the instructions on baking, but you’ll get better results with frying. The outside gets lighter and crispier with frying and the edges stay sealed better. I’ve had so many baked wontons leak all their contents in the oven…your choice, but you’ve been warned!

Honey Cream Cheese Wontons

  • 24 wonton wrappers
  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons honey, plus more for drizzling
  • cinnamon for dusting
  • 1 egg, beaten or 1/4 cup of water, for sealing wontons
  • oil for frying

Combine cream cheese and honey in a small bowl.

Lay the wonton wrappers out flat and fill with 1/2 tablespoon of the cream cheese.

Using your finger dipped in egg or water, wet 2 adjoining edges well.

Fold dry sides onto wet sides, forming a triangle. Repeat with all 24 wrappers.

To fry: Heat a 1/2-inch layer of oil in a pan to very hot. Wontons should immediately begin bubbling when the oil is hot enough. Fry in small batches for 30 seconds per side or until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and let cool slightly.

To bake: Heat oven to 425°F. Lay filled wontons on a nonstick baking sheet. Spray both sides with cooking oil and bake 8-10 minutes or until browned all over, flipping halfway through. Let cool slightly before handling.

Drizzle with more honey and dust with cinnamon to serve. Enjoy!