Monday, October 11, 2010

Recipe Review: Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Sautéed Apples

I hadn't been grocery shopping in over two weeks (this seems to be a trend lately...), so I decided to spice my Saturday dinner up. I picked up ingredients for the Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Sautéed Apples recipe from my October issue of Cooking Light.  The recipe suggests a spinach side salad, but I simply could not turn down the yummy looking brussel sprouts.

Recipe and more commentary after the break!

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Sautéed Apples
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 12 pieces
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups thinly sliced unpeeled Braeburn or Gala apples
1/3 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup apple cider
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Combine first five ingredients; sprinkle spice mixture evenly over pork. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan; cook three minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.  Remove pork from pan; keep warm.

2. Melt butter in pan; swirl to coat. Add apple slices, shallots and salt; sauté four minutes or until apple starts to brown.  Add apple cider to pan, and cook for two minutes or until apple is crisp-tender. Stir in thyme leaves. Server apple mixture with the pork.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 pork medallions and about 1/2 cup apple mixture)

Nutrition Information
Calories: 234
Fat: 9.7g (sat 5g, mono 3.2g, poly 0.7g)
Protein: 24.4g
Carb: 12.3g
Fiber: 1.5g
Chol: 89mg
Iron: 1.7mg
Sodium: 468mg
Calc: 18mg
I should start by pointing out that I do not make pork dishes often; chicken is more my style. So upon my arrival at the meat department at the  local grocery store, I was greeted with several different cuts of pork tenderloin. I was a little confused as to which particular cut to buy, because the recipe does not specify. I assumed that it should be the center cut because it is the leanest and most tender (thank you for that knowledge, On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen).

The recipe indicates that the pork should be trimmed of visible fat but I opted to leave it on to preserve some of the tenderness.  I normally just trim it off on the plate after cooking and hand it to Eric who firmly believes that pork fat is the best thing on Earth.  I also switched up the side dish and went with brussel sprouts instead of spinach. I quartered them and tossed them into the pan after the pork was done cooking to brown up the edges.

Overall, I give this recipe an A. The spiced pork tenderloin is delicious when you get it with a bite of the sautéed apples. It's marked as quick and easy, but I hate to give commentary on how long it takes to prepare. I'm just your garden variety kitchen cook and my knife skills are sorely lacking but I make up for it with methodical slowness to achieve the result I'm seeking. Subsequently, anyone who is less methodical or who has more knife skills than me could prepare it more quickly.