Monday, December 10, 2012

cooking light, fast and super flavorful: spiced pork medallions with apples

Finally, we have a Christmas tree in our house.  Needles on the carpet, quirky branches loosening up in the heat (I use that term loosely, it's never more than 69 degrees in here) and pollen or whatever in the air strangling my lungs a little bit (no worries, that goes away after a week or so).  If your parents bought a live tree with balled roots every year and planted them in the yards of the houses you lived as kids.....you just can't get an artificial tree.  Well, if this allergy thing gets worse and I need an inhaler someday we might, but we're standing tall with our intrepid fraser fir straight from the lovely state of North Carolina.  Sara will feel right at home.  Greg and I set out on our empty-nester tree buying adventure after dark on one of the colder days we've had this winter.  Even a few snow flakes fell earlier today.  So hard to get all Christmas-y when it's 60 degrees in a place where it's not supposed to be 60 degrees in December.  But the lights are twinkling outside, the decorations are waiting for me to dust in the morning before they are placed around the house and the tree will have lights one of these nights when I can take Benadryl before bed.  If you see me barely functioning later this week, you'll know why.  It's the drugs.  Whatever it takes to breathe.  Kind of important.

Anyway, by the time we got back with the tree we were really hungry and ready for me to cook while Greg moved the tree into the house.  I bought a 25th Anniversary issue of Cooking Light last month and leafed through it while we watched all the NFL games yesterday.  I had a pork tenderloin in the freezer and decided that instead of roasting it whole, I'd make the medallions or slices of tenderloin instead.  Turns out that was a brilliant plan since we got home at 7:00.  I was pretty sure anything with a good compliment of spices, covered in apples sauteed in butter and finished in cider would be delicious.  This one exceeded my expectations.  Greg and I both loved it.  I made my favorite kale salad yesterday and it went beautifully with this dish.  So here's a quick one that's just amazing.  And somehow technically light.  If you don't have a cast iron or enameled cast iron pan (Le Crueset), you'll be fine with a regular skillet.  The heavier pans make browning easier and scraping bits up for a sauce easier, but no worries.  Enjoy!


Yes, it tastes as good as it looks!

Spiced Pork Medallions with Sauteed Apples

1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 12 medallions
1 T olive oil
2 T unsalted butter
2 C thinly sliced unpeeled Braeburn of Gala apple (I used two galas which netted more than 2 C slices, but that's the best part if you are like me)
1/2 C thinly sliced white onion
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 C apple cider
1 heaping tsp fresh thyme leaves

Heat a large cast-iron or enameled cast-iron pan over medium high heat.  Combine first 5 ingredients and sprinkle spice mixture evenly over cut pork.  Add olive oil to your pan and then add the pork to brown and cook through (3-5 minutes per side).  Do not overcook.  Remove pork from pan and place on a heated plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
Melt butter in same pan and swirl to coat.  Add apples slices, onion and 1/8 tsp salt.  Saute 4 minutes or until apple slices begin to brown.  Add cider to pan and cook for 3 minutes or so until apples are crisp tender.  Stir in thyme leaves.  Serve apple mixture over the pork medallions.

Serves 4

cooked pork medallions

adding apples and onions to the pan

all sauced up with the cider and thyme

Empty Nester tree adventures under the cover of darkness


No comments:

Post a Comment