Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sauteed Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Apples and Sage Cream Pan Sauce

NOTE: Five years of food blogging, later, my photography has come a long way! This photo isn't very pretty, but I can promise you that the recipe is delicious. I hope you try it.

Pork tenderloin is a staple in my fridge. I love it, because it's a lean cut of meat. Like chicken, it's so versatile and quick to work with. On busy week nights, I season it with herbs, salt and pepper and sear it till it has a beautiful golden crust. I put the entire skillet into my oven to roast it and I make a simple pan sauce. I love pan sauces, because they're so simple yet impressive to make.
For my birthday, this year, I took a class at the Culinary Institute of America in the Napa-Sonoma area. Like a kid in a toy shop, I meandered through their cooking store. Talk about a fantastic birthday! Me, the gadget addict, found a silicone coated meat pounder. I figured it would be something I would use for just the type of recipe like this one. I love this gadget! I laid plastic wrap on top of each "chuck" of pork tenderloin. Whack! It was pounded beautifully thin. This was so much easier than using a heavy pan!

I discovered this quick dinner recipe on Cooks Illustrated. I've shared this recipe with a few friends, who say that they've made it more than once. As "fancy" as this dish looks, I can have it on the table in 30 minutes. Tonight, I served this with my "Cracked Fingerling Potatoes" and peas (yes, that's a few carbs but I was craving them and I like the pretty color on the plate).

Sauteed Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Apples and Sage Cream Pan Sauce
Serves 3 .
To promote even cooking, cut your slices to a uniform thickness. If it helps, lay a ruler in front of the loin and slice at the one-inch marks. If you’ve got one, cover the pan with a splatter screen to prevent splattering.


Sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides of pork slices.

Heat oil until shimmering in heavy-bottomed pan, at least 10 inches across bottom, over medium-high heat, swirling pan to distribute oil.

Working in batches of no more than six slices to avoid overcrowding, sear medallions without moving them until brown on one side, about 80 seconds (oil should sizzle, but not smoke). Turn medallions with tongs to avoid scraping off the sear; sear until meat is mostly opaque at sides, firm to the touch, and well browned, about 80 seconds. Transfer pork to plate.

Melt butter in pan in which pork was cooked over medium-high heat, swirling to distribute. Add apple and onion; sauté until apple starts to brown, about 4 minutes. Add cider and applejack or brandy; boil, scraping pan bottom with wooden spatula to loosen browned bits, until liquid reduces to a glaze, about 2 1/2 minutes.

Increase heat to high; add stock or broth, sage, and any accumulated pork juices; boil until liquid reaches consistency of maple syrup, about 3 minutes. Add cream; boil until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium; return pork to pan, turning meat to coat. Simmer to heat pork thoroughly and blend flavors, about 3 minutes. Adjust seasonings, adding salt and pepper to taste. Transfer pork to serving plate and spoon sauce over meat. Serve immediately.

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