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  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

Two Protein dishes shine in kitchen

Every week, I try to put together some recipes with a common theme. Often, the theme comes to me quickly. This week, however, it required a little thought. I wanted to feature recipes that had no seafood in them, since there are people who don’t eat seafood.

The thought came to me that restaurants often feature dishes with more than one protein. The most common way to accomplish this is to stuff one of the meats with the other. In New Orleans, most of the time this is accomplished by using seafood. So I put on my thinking cap and came up with 3 dishes that loosely are considered as being stuffed: Bacon Cheeseburger Egg Rolls, Andouille Stuffed Pork Loin, and Pumpkin and Brie Stuffed Crescents. I hope you enjoy them.

Saturday nights at the Centola house was hamburger night. My father would grill hamburgers for the family. That tradition has been carried down by my siblings and I. The other day I wanted to try something different. I took the hamburger ingredients and stuffed them into an egg roll wrapper. It was a great twist on my family tradition. I know your children will love them.

Bacon Cheeseburger Egg Rolls

1 pound Ground Beef

1/4 cup Onions, minced

1 tablespoon Garlic, minced

Creole Seasoning to taste

8 ounces Smoked Cheddar Cheese, grated

6 ounces Bacon Jam or 1/2 cup Real Bacon Bits

Egg Roll Wrappers

Over medium heat, brown ground meat, onions and garlic. Drain well.Season with Creole seasoning. While still warm, mix in cheese and bacon. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature.. Preheat deep fryer to 375℉. Place 2-3 tablespoons in egg roll wrapper and roll up. Do not prepare egg roll more than 30 minutes before you fry them. Fry them until they are golden brown, remembering to turn them to ensure both sides of the egg roll cook. Drain on paper towels and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Now for a more traditional stuffed dish. One of my go to stuffing ingredients is Andouille sausage. It is great for stuffing a pork loin, which is a lean cut of meat. The fat from the sausage helps to keep the pork from drying out.

Andouille Stuffed Pork Loin

1 5-6 pound Center-cut Boneless Pork Loin,

1 pound Andouille Sausage

1 teaspoon Basil

1 teaspoon Thyme

1/4 cup Garlic, chopped

1/4 cup Cane Syrup

10 Pearl Onions

1 Red Onion, sliced

6 diced Yams

1/4 cup Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Dash of Hot Sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using a knife, make a slit through the loin from end to end. Using your hands, push the sausage through the center cut. Place the loin in a large roasting pan and season with salt, pepper, basil, thyme, and garlic. Glaze the loin with cane syrup and garnish with onions and yams. Season to taste using salt, pepper and hot sauce. Drizzle oil over meat, cover with aluminum foil and bake for one hour. Cut into sliced and serve.

Fall is here and everyone is celebrating with pumpkin spice in almost everything. This simple dessert will satisfy your pumpkin desires. However, it is a delicious dessert to serve year round.

Pumpkin and Brie Stuffed Crescents

1 tube refrigerator Crescent Rolls

1 can Pumpkin Filling`

4 ounces Pecan Pieces

8 ounce Brie, cut into 16 pieces

Brown Sugar

Preheat oven to 350℉.

Open crescent roll tube. Unroll crescent on a light floured cutting board. Cut each triangle lengthwise to form two skinner triangles. Spread 1 teaspoon pumpkin filling on each. Sprinkle with pecans and brown sugar. Lay Brie slice long-ways then fold the bottom piece of crescent onto the top piece of the crescent and press together. The Brie will be visible from both sides.Place on an ungreased pan or cookie sheet. Sprinkle the top with more brown sugar.

Stuffing a dish is a way to show your creativity in the kitchen. It allows you to combine flavors in a single serving. But don’t eat too much, you don’t want to leave the table feeling stuffed.

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