I am always happy when it’s grill season, but happier when it’s time for a hearty winter menu. It’s all about something simmering on the stove or baking in the oven for me. Right now there is a family of wild turkeys in my front yard. I am thinking turkey soup. No? Now that my nest is almost empty I find myself cooking differently. I still cook several things on Sunday for the upcoming week. My weeknight meals are easier, simpler and delicious.
I stumbled upon this recipe in the New York Times Food section. It’s a treasure of delicious recipes. I like the simple, few-ingredient ones. Why buy ingredients that you will probably never use again? I have to clean out my fridge of half-used bottles of one-time used ingredients. Some of the recipes were good, some were failures.
This pork recipe by Mark Bittman is easy and delicious. Definitely a keeper. It’s called “Twice -Cooked Pork Tenderloin”. I was afraid it would be dry, but it was anything but dry. You could make this as a weeknight meal, or entertain with it on the weekend. It looks fancy on a platter. I like to serve it with roasted red potatoes and green beans. Delicious. I love red potatoes because there is no peeling involved. Hallelujah! My Oxo peeler gets a rest! If you need apples with your pork, make an apple pie! Apple pie is the epitome of Fall cooking!
1 boneless pork tenderloin (about 1 pound)
salt and pepper
4 tablespoons of butter, extra virgin olive oil, or a combination
1/4 cup cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper after you pat it dry with paper towels. Put a large skillet over medium high heat for a few minutes. To test if the pan is hot enough, run your fingers under your faucet and splash water onto the hot pan. If the water rolls and evaporates, it is ready for cooking! Add 2 tablespoons of butter and/or olive oil. When butter foam subsides, or oil dimples, add meat. Brown it well on all sides. Those bits of color in your pan is flavor for the sauce! Turn off the heat, remove meat from pan, and let it sit on a cookie sheet or large plate. When skillet has cooled a bit, proceed.
Cut meat into inch-thick slices.The center of the meat will be pink. That’s what you want. Once again, turn heat to medium-high, add remaining butter and/or olive oil and, when it’s hot, add pork slices to pan. Brown on each side, about 3 minutes each. You can slice into a piece to check if it’s done. It should not be pink. Turn heat to low and remove meat to a CLEAN, warm platter.
Add 1/2 cup of water to pan, turn heat to high, and cook, stirring and scraping, for a minute. You want to loosen all those delicious flavor bits from the bottom and sides of your pan. Lower heat slightly, add cream and cook until sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in mustard, then taste and adjust seasoning. Serve meat with sauce spooned on top and garnish with parsley, if you wish.
Note: I like to use a dark pan like cast iron. The sauce gets darker and richer looking.