Monthly Archives: March 2015

Pork Medallions with a Creamy Thyme-Mustard Sauce

Pork_Medallions_with_Mustard_Sauce (1 of 1)Pork tenderloin is my favorite cut of meat from the pig — it’s lean, tender and easy to work with. I often substitute if in recipes that call for pork loin (and even pork shoulder, which to me is so slimy, it’s kind of gross and hard to deal with). Tonight I used pork tenderloin to make this “medallion” recipe, where the meat is the star, but the delicious sauce gets 5 stars! This dish goes perfectly well with mashed potatoes and green beans — give it a try next time you’re in the mood for pork and let me know what you think!

1 1-lb pork tenderloin, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch thick pieces;  each piece then pounded to a 1/4-inch thickness
2 Tbsp butter, divided
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
8 oz sliced white mushrooms
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp ground black pepper, divided
4 green onions, thinly sliced (both white and green parts, separated)
2/3 cup white wine
1/2 cup beef or chicken stock
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 cup low-fat sour cream
1 heaping Tbsp Dijon mustard

Heat 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once foam from butter subsides, stir in mushrooms. Sauté until mushrooms are lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Remove mushrooms from pan and set aside.

Combine flour, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp ground black pepper in a large, shallow dish.

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp butter and 1 tsp olive oil over medium-high heat in pan used for the mushrooms. Dredge each piece of the pork in the flour mixture and place into the pan in a single layer (I used a very large pan and was able to accommodate all pork at once — you can do a couple of batches, if necessary). Cook pork until heated through, about 2 minutes per side.  Remove pork from pan — cover with foil and keep warm in an oven.

Add white parts of the green onions to the pan. Sauté 1 minute. Stir in white wine and bring to a boil. Deglaze pan as wine boils for 2 minutes. Stir in the stock, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp thyme and the sour cream. Bring back to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Let sauce simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in Dijon mustard, then remove from heat. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Spoon sauce over pork and garnish with the green parts of the green onions. Serve.

Serves 4

Chicken Simmered with Red Bell Peppers and Pine Nuts

Cicken_with_Red_Bell_Peppers_and_Olives (1 of 1)We were in the mood for Spanish food again last night, and happened to have the typical Spanish ingredients on hand (onions, garlic, olives, red bell pepper, sherry, tomatoes, oh and did I mention sherry?) to make this quick, delicious, after-work chicken dish. To me, the hint of sherry in Spanish dishes is what gives them their uniquely Iberian, wonderful depth of flavor. A note on pine nuts — make sure you use only European pine nuts. I learned the hard way that Chinese pine nuts cause “pine mouth,” which is a bitter aftertaste that throws off the taste buds for days. I even read that the pine nuts that grow in Asia are not even edible! Anyway, I hope you’ll try this dish after a hard day’s work some night!

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced once down the middle, then sliced cross-wise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp dry sherry
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 14-oz can chopped tomatoes
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/3 cup pitted black olives, sliced once lengthwise
2 Tbsp pine nuts, nicely toasted in a skillet over medium heat
3 Tbsp yellow raisins

Sprinkle 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp ground black pepper over chicken.

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and brown, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken with slotted spoon and set aside.

Add another 1 Tbsp olive oil to pan. Stir in onions, garlic and bell pepper. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in sherry and cook another minute. Stir in wine, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, olives, pine nuts, raisins and the chicken. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and serve with saffron rice.

Serves 4.

Spicy Lamb Stew in a Cashew Cream Sauce

Lamb_Korma (1 of 1)Here’s another dish that’s loaded with fantastic flavors. This is my take on Indian lamb korma. I’ve reduced the loads cooking oil with a couple of tablespoons of ghee, which add a wonderful depth of flavor. I’ve replaced almonds (which unfortunately I can’t eat 😦 ) with cashew nuts. I usually try to stay away from cream in my recipes, but the light cream in this dish is important. I’m also a fan of garam masala, so I add lots of that too! It all comes together wonderfully in the oven. I like to serve it with an assortment of Indian relishes and chutneys. Hope you’ll give it a try and let me know what you think!

8 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsly chopped
1 inch ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 oz toasted cashews
6 Tbsp plus 8 oz water
2 Tbsp ghee, divided
2 lbs lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes
10 cardamom pods
6 whole cloves
1 (2-inch) piece cinnamon stick
1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp salt
10 oz light cream
1/2 tsp garam masala

Preaheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place garlic, ginger, cashews and 6 Tbsp water into a food processor. Process to a very fine paste.

In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 Tbsp of the ghee over high heat. Add lamb and brown, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add another 1 Tbsp ghee. Cook liquid down, about 1 minute. Add cardamom pods, cloves and cinnamon stick and stir 30 seconds. Add onions and cook 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic paste, coriander, cumin and cayenne. Stir-fry for about 3 minutes. Add back meat and its juices. Stir in cream and the rest of the water (8 oz). Increase heat to high. Stir and bring to a boil. Deglaze pan. Cover, place in oven and bake 1 hour. Remove from oven and stir in garam masala. Season with additional salt, if desired. Serve with cumin-scented rice with peas.

Serves 4.