Fall Feast: Pork Tenderloin

I like pork tenderloin, especially in the fall. It’s versatile, takes seasoning well, is easy to prepare, and is just a good comfort food.

When I decided to prepare my October “fall feast,” I had a tenderloin in the freezer, and I needed something to serve with the rice-stuffed squash and gingered green beans, so I decided to make this dish.

When I’m cooking for clients, I always ask what they want to have and then build the menu around that. But when I’m cooking at home, the menu is more often dictated by what is in the refrigerator or freezer. Or whether my husband is home, because he doesn’t like all of the same foods that I do.

Seared Pork Medallions
Serves 4-6
2 pork tenderloins (at least 1 pound each)
3 tablespoons curry powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
2-4 tablespoons butter
Sage-cream reduction sauce (see below)
Plum-ginger chutney (optional)

Mix together the spices and salt to create a dry rub. Then cut pork against the grain into medallions about 1.5 inches thick.
Tina’s Tip: The key is to make the medallions all the same thickness so they cook at the same speed. 

Season both sides of the medallions by rubbing the spice mixture on the pork.

Heat a cast iron pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the pan, and let it melt until bubbles subside. Place medallions in the pan, being careful not to crowd them. (You may need to cook the pork in a couple of batches, if so add more butter as needed.) Cook pork for 3-4 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees. The exterior should be golden brown and carmelized from the butter.

If you are cooking in batches, hold the cooked pork in a preheated 200-degree oven on an oven-proof plate or pan.

To make the sage-cream reduction sauce:
Pour 1 cup of cream into a saucepan and let it simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes or until it has reduced by half. (Be careful not to let it boil over, and reduce the temperature if necessary.) Add 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage, and simmer for about 2 minutes more. Then season to taste with salt.

To serve, make a pool of the cream sauce on each plate and gently set a pork medallion–or two–on top of the sauce. Then top the pork with a dollop of chutney, if you choose.
Tina’s Tip: I used a plum-ginger chutney given to me by a friend.

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