Pork with Fennel and Potatoes

Pork with Fennel and Potatoes

Pork with Fennel and Potatoes

This morning I found a package of boneless pork chops in the freezer that had been in there for a while and needed to be used.  The usual question arose—how shall I cook them?  Boneless chops can be quite dry since they have little or no fat on them, so I wanted something that would make a sauce or gravy for moisture.

In looking through my file of “pork recipes” I came across this one that called for using pork tenderloin that by serving time would be sliced anyway,  so why not substitute the chops  instead?   So—that’s what I did.  As I hoped, this dish turned out to be very flavorful with thyme as the seasoning of choice, and moist with its sauce made of chicken broth and heavy cream.  YUM!

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The potatoes and vegetable get cooked along with the pork making this almost a one-pot meal.  I sautéed some sliced apples in butter to serve with it.  An added bonus is that one serving equals 482 calories.  Not bad!  It tastes richer than that.IMG_5659

PORK WITH FENNEL AND POTATOES

Yield:   Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1  1/2 pounds pork tenderloin (1 large or 2 small) trimmed

    Pork chops, fennel and red-skin potatoes, a good blending of flavors.

    Pork chops, fennel and red-skin potatoes, a good blending of flavors.

  • 1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme or 3/4 tsp. dried
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large fennel bulb, cut into wedges
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound small red-skinned potatoes quartered
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (or equal amount chicken broth)
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. roughly chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 425*F.  Halve the pork tenderloin crosswise; sprinkle with 1 tsp. thyme (1/2 tsp. dry thyme) and 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper.  Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the pork and cook, turning, until browned all over, about 5 minutes.

Browning up the chops.

Browning up the chops.

Transfer to a roasting pan, roast until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork registers 140*,  12 – 15 minutes.  I cooked the chops for 12 minutes.

2.  Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the fennel, garlic, potatoes, wine and 1 cup water; season with salt and pepper.  Stir, then cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are almost tender, 15 minutes.

Add fennel and potatoes to the skillet.

Add fennel and potatoes to the skillet.

3.  Uncover and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.  Add the broth and the remaining 1/2 tsp. thyme (1/4 tsp. dried thyme).  Simmer until slightly reduced, 1 minute.  Add the cream; increase the heat and gently boil until slightly thickened, about 1 more minute.

Add in the heavy cream and cook to thicken a bit.

Add in the heavy cream and cook to thicken a bit.

Season with salt and pepper.  Slice the pork and serve with the vegetables and sauce.  Top with chopped parsley.

Served with sautéed apples, a wonderful week night meal.

Served with sautéed apples, a wonderful week night meal.

SOURCE:  Cooking Light

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

I just love to roast pork at this time of year.  Probably because there are so many vegetables and fruits that pair well with it.  This meal was outstanding served with baked sweet potato wedges,  steamed broccoli, and apple sauce.

I got the recipe for the pork tenderloin recently from another blogger’s web site, one that I follow: RantingChef.com.  Please make an effort to visit his site.  I’m sure you will be pleased with some of the recipes you’ll find there.

What you do is cut a large tenderloin into 4 pieces.  Then wrap  (gift wrap :-)), the pieces in sliced bacon.  I Know!  A little bacon makes everything better, but lots of bacon makes it crazy good.  This is so easy to do.  Pour the marinade over it all, then you refrigerate it at least 2 hours, but I left mine for almost 24 hours—it only gets better–then throw it into the oven set for 300*F, and let it slow roast for 2 hours.  Your kitchen will smell so good, everyone will be asking “what’s cooking, what’s for dinner?”   Guys will definitely love this, but you ladies are going to think it’s pretty good, too.   Makes a great Sunday dinner!!

Is this beautiful, or what?

Is this beautiful, or what?

BACON WRAPPED PORK TENDERLOIN

Yield:  about 8 servings

Ingredients:IMG_5349

  • 3 – 4 pound boneless pork tenderloin
  • 1 pound package sliced bacon
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce,  Low sodium, preferred
  • 1 Tbsp. minced dried onion
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • dash pepper
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

Directions:

1.  Cut the tenderloin into 4 pieces.  Wrap each with bacon strips.  Place in a greased 9 x 13″ baking pan.

Wrap each piece of pork in bacon.

Wrap each piece of pork in bacon.

2.  Poke holes in the meat with a long-tined fork.  Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl or large measuring cup and whisk together until well blended.  Pour over the meat.  Refrigerate uncovered for 2 – 3 hours or as long as overnight.

Pour the marinade over the pork.

Pour the marinade over the pork.

3.  Bake at 300*F for about 2 hours, or until internal meat temperature reaches 145*.  For the last 5 minutes or so, turn on the broiler to crisp the bacon.

If you think it looks good, you NEED to taste it!

If you think it looks good, you NEED to taste it!

4.  Remove from the oven and let rest about 5 minutes.  Slice, and serve with pan juices.

That marinade penetrates the meat making it salty, sweet, smoky, dee-lish!

That marinade penetrates the meat making it salty, sweet, smoky, dee-lish!

SOURCE:  The Ranting of an Amateur Chef.com

Pork Scaloppine with Mustard Pan Sauce

Pork Scalopine with Mustard Sauce

Pork Scaloppine with Mustard Sauce

Back in my youth when my mom did most of the cooking, we often had baked pork chops in a mushroom gravy,  This was made using canned cream of mushroom soup for the sauce. Very easy to make; just pour a can of undiluted cream of mushroom soup over pork chops in a baking dish.  Put into the oven and bake;  as the soup melted down it got mixed with the pork pan juices to create a flavorful gravy.  Served with baked or mashed potatoes, I loved it.

Now I wouldn’t dream of cooking like this.  Why?  Because we have since learned about the high sodium content of canned soups (and other additives, we may know nothing about),  These days I want to control the amount of fat and sodium and know exactly what goes into the food I eat and feed to my family.  No white stuff in a can for me!IMG_5110

However, I still love pork chops with gravy, so when I found the recipe for this dish, I knew immediately that I would make it, and that I would like it.  Tender slices of boneless pork loin ( either tenderloin or chops), briefly cooked to just barely done, then smothered in a mustard-sour cream gravy flavored nicely with shallots, garlic and chicken broth.  This came close to my mother’s baked pork chops, without the concern about sodium, or other unknown ingredients.  I’m so glad I found this recipe.  I know I’ll be making it again.   It’s quick to produce and so good.  I think you will like it, too.

PORK SCALOPPINE WITH MUSTARD PAN SAUCE

Yield:   Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed, cut crosswise into 12 pieces, and pounded to 1/4-inch thickness.  ( I used boneless pork chops, cut each one  in half and pounded them out to about 1/4-inch thickness.  That worked very well as a substitute.)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper

    Not many ingredients.

    Not many ingredients.

  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot  ( 1 large shallot)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic  ( 1 large clove)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock
  • 2 Tablespoons grainy mustard ( Dijon preferred, but honey mustard might produce a different, sweeter, flavor.)
  • 3 Tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

1.  Sprinkle pork with the salt and pepper.   Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1 teaspoon canola oil, swirl to coat.  Add 6  cutlets;  cook 2 minutes or each side or until done.  Remove from pan, keep warm.  Repeat procedure with 1 teaspoon canola oil and remaining pork.

2.  Return skillet to medium-high heat.  Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan, swirl to coat.  Add shallots and garlic to pan;  cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add chick stock and mustard, cook 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.

Saute shallots and garlic, then add mustard and chicken stock.

Saute shallots and garlic, then add mustard and chicken stock.

Stir in sour cream; cook 1 minute.

Add sour cream and stir in.

Add sour cream and stir in.

Serve pork with sauce.  Sprinkle with parsley.

Pork cutlets in a tasty cream gravy to serve other rice, noodles, or potatoes.

Pork cutlets in a tasty cream gravy to serve other rice, noodles, or potatoes.

The sauce is very good over rice or noodles.  In fact you could double the quantity of sauce if you want to serve it that way.  Roast baby carrots are a nice accompaniment to this dish also.

Baby carrots, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Bake at 400*F for 20 minutes.

Baby carrots, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 400*F for 20 minutes.

Pork Scalopine with Mustard Sauce

Pork Scaloppine with Mustard Sauce

SOURCE:   Cooking Light

Herb-Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Herb-crusted Pork Tenderloin with Roast Vegetables.

Herb-crusted Pork Tenderloin with Roast Vegetables.

After being disappointed in how my pork tenderloins were turning out I was about ready to give up trying to prepare one that was enjoyable, when I came up with the recipe for Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom Sauce.  Since I first posted that recipe back in February I have found another recipe that we like so well, that I have made it twice already.   This one keeps all the meat juices inside, by sealing the outside with a layer of mustard, and a coating of well-seasoned bread crumbs.

I’ve used Parmesan cheese in place of the Romano, and honey-mustard instead of Dijon, and it is great either way.  A traditional way to serve it would be with mashed potatoes and a salad.  However I like to add a mixture of compatible vegetables into the pan with the pork and roast everything together as a one-pan meal, and then serve a side salad.

Succulent is the best description for this pork tenderloin.

Succulent is the best description for this pork tenderloin.

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HERB-CRUSTED PORK TENDERLOIN

Yield:    4 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup Panko crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons grated Romano cheese
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1  ( 1-lb. ) pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • cooking spray

1.  Preheat oven to 450*F     Lightly spray a shallow baking dish, large enough to hold the pork.

2.  Combine Panko, parsley, cheese, and thyme in a shallow dish.  Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper.

3.  Combine Dijon mustard, fennel seeds, and garlic in a small bowl. Rub pork all over with the mustard mixture, then dredge with the crumb mixture,  patting to make it adhere.

"Frost" the pork with the mustard mixture, then cover with the seasoned crumbs.

“Frost” the pork with the mustard mixture, then cover with the seasoned crumbs.

4.  Place pork in the prepared pan, and bake at 450* for 25 – 30 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160*  (slightly pink).  Let stand a few minutes before slicing into 1/4-inch thick slices.

Note:   To roast vegetables in the pan with the pork, use a deeper baking dish, and lay the vegetable mixture into the dish.  An example mixture might be carrots, sweet potatoes, onion, and fennel all cut into chunks that will cook in the same time as the pork.

Mixed vegetables in the casserole.

Mixed vegetables in the casserole.

Once in the baking dish I drizzle all over with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and an herb mixture.  Toss to coat evenly, add about 1/2 cup water to the bottom of the dish, then place the seasoned pork on top of it all.

Place the pork on top.

Place the pork on top.

When I made this meal just recently, my husband declared it to be “fabulous”.  For dessert, I made  Blueberry Corn Cakes with Lemon Sauce.  Stop back tomorrow when I will be describing how to make that perfect ending to a perfect meal.

A feast, indeed!

A feast, indeed!

SOURCE:  Cooking Light

Pork Tenderloin with Cheesy Polenta

Pork Tenderloin and Mushroom Sauce

Pork Tenderloin and Mushroom Sauce

With a name like pork tender loin you would expect this cut of meat to be tender, right?   I may be in the minority here, but I’ve had the experience where it wasn’t tender at all;  more like dry, stringy, tough.  Did I do something wrong that ruined it,  or was it the cut of meat?   Most of the recipes I see for pork tenderloin have you cooking it (in the oven) at a very hot temperature, for a short time.  This may be the method of choice, but it doesn’t give me the results I want.

One thing I know about cooking most meats, is that the outside of it needs to be sealed in some way in order to contain its juices within.  This is what makes a cut juicy.  Without this step, cooking it at a high temperature will only dry it out,  and that equals tough!

So, with that in mind, I experimented with a pork tenderloin that weighed about a pound.  The recipe that follows describes what I did, and I’ll tell you right now that I got the results  I wanted:  a juicy, tender piece of meat with the added benefit of deep umami flavor thanks to the browning of the meat and the mushrooms used in the sauce.  Served with a cheesy polenta to spoon the sauce over,  this meal was outstanding.  In the words of my husband, it was “plate-licking good”.

A moist cut of pork with mushroom sauce to spoon over polenta.

A moist cut of pork with mushroom sauce to spoon over polenta.

PORK TENDERLOIN with CHEESY POLENTA

SERVINGS:   about 4

  • 3 Tablespoons EVOO, divided
  • 1 pork tenderloin, about 1 pound weight
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 small – medium shallots, finely chopped
  • 1  8-ounce pkg. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup cream, light cream or half and half
  • 1 cup polenta ( cornmeal that cooks in 3 minutes)
  • 6 ounces shredded semisoft cheese, such as fontina, gouda, or jarlsburg
  • chopped flat-leaf parsley, or dried parsley, for garnish

1.  Preheat the oven to 375*F, and lightly spray a baking dish appropriately sized to the meat.

2.  In a large skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon oil over medium heat.  Season the meat all over with salt and pepper, and cook in the skillet, turning until browned, about 10 minutes.  Do not skimp on this step, it’s what produces the sear to keep the juices inside.

3.Transfer meat to the prepared baking dish.  Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat.  Put into the oven and roast until the temperature registers 145*—-about 12 – 15 minutes.  When temperature has been reached, remove from the oven, cover with foil to keep warm and let rest while you continue.

4.  In the skillet, add the remaining 2 Tablespoons oil, and over medium heat cook the shallots and mushrooms until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the chicken broth and simmer until reduced, about 3 minutes.  Cover and remove from heat.

5.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring 3 1/4 cups water and the cream to a boil.  Whisk in the polenta.  Lower the heat to medium-low and cook, whisking, until thick, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the cheese;  season with salt and pepper.  Cover and keep warm.

6.  Transfer the pork to a cutting board and slice on an angle.  Arrange on a serving dish, top with mushroom sauce and garnish with parsley.  Serve with polenta.

Slice pork, pour mushroom sauce over top.

Slice pork, pour mushroom sauce over top.

Cheesy Polenta

Cheesy Polenta

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This meal can be completed by the addition of a green vegetable, such as green beans or broccoli.  In the event polenta does not appeal to you,  substitute mashed potatoes or rice to spoon the sauce over.  It will be very good however you serve it.

SOURCE:  A Carolyn Original

Down on the Bayou

New Orleans, Cajun Cooking, Emeril Lagasse.  This part of the country, and this type of cuisine have held my interest for a long time.  Someday I hope to go there and experience it first hand, but for the present I must enjoy it vicariously, through the foods I prepare.  Unfortunately I cannot eat overly spicy foods, but my husband  loves them so I try to incorporate a little “heat” whenever I can.  This rub mixture came about as a result of my attempts to achieve that.  It is somewhat spicy but not overly so.  You can certainly “kick it up a notch”, by increasing the amount of cayenne pepper to suit your taste level.

Pork tenderloin cooks very quickly, so in preparing the potatoes be sure to cut them into pieces that will cook quickly as well.  This is a very easy and fairly quick meal to put together.  Once your meat and potatoes are seasoned and ready for the oven, you can spend the time while they cook making a salad or coleslaw.  In less than an hour your meal is ready.  Leftover pork thinly sliced with a little coleslaw on top makes a great sandwich.

CAJUN SEASONED ROAST PORK AND POTATOES

Serves  4

  • 1 Tablespoon Bayou Blast Rub Mix  (see recipe below)
  • 1 large pork tenderloin–about 1 1/2 pounds
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 3-4 baking potatoes cut into wedges
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.    Sprinkle pork with 1/2 teaspoon salt and rub with about  2  teaspoons  rub mixture.  Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat.  Add the pork and sear until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.  
  2. Sprinkle the potato wedges with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and about 1  teaspoons rub mix.  Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil, and toss to coat well.  Add to skillet with the pork if there is room, or bake in another baking dish alongside the pork.
  3. Transfer to the oven and roast until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 145 degrees, about 18 minutes.  Transfer the pork to a cutting board, tent with foil, and allow to rest a few minutes before slicing.
  4. Meanwhile allow the potatoes to continue cooking in the oven until they test done.  Probably only a few minutes longer.  You want them tender on the inside, but crusty and brown on the outside.
  5. Slice the pork,  surround it with the roast potatoes, and serve with a cool crisp coleslaw.

BAYOU BLAST RUB MIX

  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Combine the above ingredients and stir until will blended.  Store in a container with tight fitting lid, or zip-lock bag.

This mixture may be used  to enhance pork, chicken or fish as a rub;  apply just before grilling or cooking.

SOURCE:   A Carolyn Original