in the kitchen

in the kitchen

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pork Medallions w/ Pine Nuts and Dates

Here is another quick and tasty dinner that is easy enough for every day but elegant enough for entertaining. I think you will love it.
Pork Medallions w/ Pine Nuts and Dates
2 pound pork tenderloin
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoon butter, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
1 cup water
1/2 cup sliced dates
1/2 teaspoon chicken stock paste
1/2 teaspoon beef stock paste
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Pat tenderloins dry with paper towels. Using a sharp knife, slice pork across the grain into 3/4 to 1 inch thick medallions (there will be approximately 9 to 12 medallions). Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. When it is hot, pour in olive oil and add 1 tablespoon butter. Sprinkle both sides of medallions with salt and pepper. With tongs, place them in the hot fat. Allow to brown, undisturbed for 2 minutes. Turn with tongs and sear other side for another two minutes. Remove to a oven proof dish in a single layer and place in the oven. Turn heat to 400 degrees. Place pine nuts in skillet and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until beginning to brown. Add rosemary and stir and cook for another minute. De-glaze the pan with the water, scrapping the bottom of the pan to loosen the fond. Lower the heat to medium. Add the sliced dates, stock pastes and mustard. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until liquid has reduced by 1/3 to 1/2. Remove from heat. Remove medallions from oven. Cut remaining butter into chunks and whisk in to sauce. Pour sauce over medallions and serve.

Hints: Putting a good sear on the meat and finishing it in the oven is a great technique to know. The thickness of the medallions will determine the level of pinkness in the finished medallions. Pork can be consumed safely with a slight pink tinge. They are ideally a bit juicy. You can cut one when you take them out of the oven to make sure they are cooked through, (remember that they will continue to cook a bit). The sauce will thicken up from the dates and will be just a bit sweet. This medallion recipe is another good one that is not sweet, but herbed and lemony. If you need to hold this dish for a few minutes, do so before you finish the sauce with the butter. Just remove from the meat from the oven and the sauce pan from the heat. When ready to serve, reheat the sauce to a simmer, remove from heat and whisk in butter. If you add the butter while the sauce is on the heat, the butter will separate and there will be a layer of oil on top.
Don't over fill the pan or the sear will not be good.
The dates should be slices 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.
Dinner on the table in 20 minutes. Nice one to have in your repertoire. Inspiration for this sauce was a bit different. I opened the door of my fridge and saw the bag of pine nuts next to the bag of dates. A flavor combo was born, although dates and nuts together are nothing new, pairing them with the pork may be. Love cooking with what's on hand.  

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