Sunday, December 6, 2009

This Little Piggy Went to the Market

An old roommate and dear friend of mine from my university days came to visit me this past weekend. It’s been months since I’ve badgered her to come down to Toronto, so I was delighted that she did finally visit despite her busy schedule.

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Back when we were roommates, our schedules were very different, she being a science kid and me being an arts kid. And while we lived in the same house, sometimes days would go by and we wouldn’t catch a glimpse of each other. The kitchen was one of the places in our house that brought us together. When we had a little down time in our schedules, we’d cook and eat dinner together. We’d host dinner parties together. She’d come downstairs and chat with me while I baked. Good memories were had in that kitchen of ours. So, in celebration of her visit, I wanted to make a special meal for her.

I decided to make pork tenderloin, since I knew it wouldn’t be a lot of work to make after a day braving the Christmas crowd at the mall. I seasoned it earlier in the day and all I had to do when I got home was pull it out of the fridge for a few minutes, pan-sear, and then finish it off in the oven. Served it with some chestnut wild rice (I sautéed the vegetables earlier in the day and threw them into my rice cooker with the rice, chestnuts, cranberries, stock and apple cider. All I had to do when I came home was press “Start” on my cooker!) and sautéed Swiss chard.

The pork was absolutely delicious—incredibly tender and perfectly cooked to medium. The quick sautéed apples I did was a nice accompaniment to the mild and savoury pork, and I think the dish as a whole came together nicely. This is one meal that’ll definitely impress family and friends without having you slave away all day at it!

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Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Sautéed Apples
Serves 2

1 pork tenderloin, about 1 to 1½ lbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Dried thyme
Fennel seeds
Ground cinnamon

For the apples:
1 large apple, cut into ¼-inch cubes
1 to 2 tbsp white wine
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper, to taste

Rinse the pork tenderloin and pat dry. Remove any excess fat and silver skin. Rub tenderloin with spices, place on a plate, wrap with plastic and refrigerate for three hours. Take out tenderloin 20 minutes before you are ready to put it in the oven.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a heavy, ovenproof pan, heat some olive oil over medium-high heat. Place the pork in the pan and brown on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Place in the oven and roast for about 20 minutes, or until the thermometer in the centre of the loin reads 155°F.

Remove tenderloin from oven and place on a cutting board. Cover loosely with foil to retain the heat. Let sit for a few minutes before cutting to allow the juices to redistribute in the meat.

Meanwhile, place the hot pan back on the stove over medium heat. Add the apples and heat for about a minute. Add a good splash of wine to deglaze the pan, scrapping up all the delicious brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Allow the apples to cook for a bit to soften, about 8 to 10 minutes. If pan becomes too dry before apples are tender enough, add a bit more white wine.

Slice pork. Arrange on a plate and serve with the sautéed apples, along with a side of rice or roasted potatoes, and vegetables.

2 comments:

hannah | honey & jam December 6, 2009 at 8:24 PM  

this is one of my very favorite meals, yours looks delicious!

Bonita December 16, 2009 at 8:11 PM  

Thanks! I usually don't cook a lot of pork, but this could easy become a favourite around here. So quick and easy, and super delicious!

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