Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pork Tenderloin with Butternut Squash and Dried Fruit

Pork tenderloin isn’t just one of the tastiest and most tender cuts of meat—it’s also one of the easiest to work with. Roasting a whole tenderloin takes less than 30 minutes, so when you start with gently pounded medallions about one-third-inch thick, the cooking time is literally about five minutes. Don’t overdo it—you’ll lose the tender in tenderloin.

Butternut is also one of the easiest squashes to work with. The long part is solid vegetable, so it’s very simple to peel and cube. Pan-seared in butter and oil, the squash becomes richly caramelized, and the sweet and tart flavors of the dates, cranberries, and raisins add just the right finish.

Tip: Pork tenderloins are naturally narrower on one end. To help ensure even pieces when cutting the medallions, cut off about a two-inch piece of the narrow end, stand it on the flat side between two sheets of plastic wrap (or wax paper), and gently pound it to about one-third-inch thickness. Cut the rest of the tenderloin into thinner medallions and gently pound to the same thickness. (Medallions cut from the thickest part of the tenderloin should be less than one-half-inch thick before pounding.)

Pork Tenderloin 
Trimmed Tenderloin 
Narrow End Ready to Pound
Pounded Narrow End
Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 to 3-1/2 cups small-cubed butternut squash (from about a 2-lb squash)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries or cherries
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1-lb pork tenderloin, trimmed, cut into 12 medallions (gently pounded to even thickness)
  • flour, for dredging
Squash and Dried Fruit 
Pork Tenderloin Medallions
  1. Heat a heavy (preferably cast-iron) skillet over medium heat and add the butter, swirling to coat. Add the squash and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring a few times, until the squash begins to brown in spots and is almost tender, 10 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and stir in all the fruit. Cook slowly, stirring a few times, until the squash is tender, 2-3 minutes.
Squash Beginning to Cook 
Cooked Squash with Fruit
  1. Meanwhile, heat another large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil, swirling to coat.
  2. Dredge the pork pieces in flour, shaking off excess. Season with salt and pepper and cook until browned on the bottom, 2-3 minutes. Turn and cook 2 minutes longer.
Pork Beginning to Cook 
After Turning
Plate the pork tenderloin and spoon the squash and fruit mixture alongside.

Pork Tenderloin with Butternut Squash and Dried Fruit

No comments:

Post a Comment