Friday, November 07, 2008

Flavors of Fall

When I think of fall, here in North Carolina, I think of apples. The Appalachian’s are famous for the varied orchards of this fall fruit.

This particular recipe straddles two different cuisines … French because of it’s simplicity – and German because of the vinegar. When reading about this recipe there were numerous comments by cooks who hadn’t liked the vinegar. It reminded me of sauerbraten (minus the raisins and cloves). But if you’re not a fan of sweet/sour, I’d suggest tasting the sauce before adding the vinegar – and then add to your taste.

I also think this is a great weeknight get together dish, it is quick to put together – and easy to do. You could add some egg noodles and a salad and have a complete meal.

Roast Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Cider Sauce

  • 2 (3/4-pound) pork tenderloins

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter

  • 2 (1/2-pound) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and each cut into 16 wedges

  • 1 cup low-sodium fat-free chicken broth

  • 2/3 cup unfiltered apple cider

  • 1/2 teaspoon arrowroot

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.

  • Pat tenderloins dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown tenderloins on all sides, turning with tongs, about 5 minutes total. (If the handle of your skillet is not ovenproof, wrap handle in a triple layer of foil, shiny side out.) Transfer skillet to upper third of oven and roast until a thermometer inserted diagonally into center of meat registers 155°F, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let stand, loosely covered with foil, 15 minutes before slicing.

  • While meat is standing, heat butter in same skillet (handle will be hot) over moderately high heat until foam subsides. Add apple wedges and sautĂ©, turning occasionally, until tender and golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer apples to a plate, then add chicken broth and cider to skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat and meanwhile whisk together arrowroot and water in a small bowl. Whisk arrowroot mixture into sauce and boil until thickened and reduced to about 1 cup, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar, measured salt and pepper, and any juices that have accumulated on platter.

  • Cut meat into 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve topped with apples and sauce.

I cannot stress how important it is to have an instant read thermometer – and to use it – and ignore your own urges when cooking this dish. The pork really does continue to cook as it rests. I’m always shocked by how many people tell me they don’t like pork chops or tenderloin, only to have them sit at my table and marvel over how tender and juice the meat it. OF COURSE IT IS … I roast/cook/grill it to medium rare – which allows the meat to preserve those characteristics. The days of worrying about trichinosis are over as long as you’re not eating wild bear meat or pigs raised in third world countries.

We pared this dish with a delightful bottle of Gewurztraminer from Moltes. It was light and crip and clean – as most Alsace wines and paired perfectly with the roast potatoes, meat, and salad.

Here’s to crunchy leaves, flaring colors, renewed friendships and dinner around the autumn table.


G Liz said...

This sounds delicious!!!!!! But then again, all the food you talk about does!

I thought about you and all of your good food last night, watching Last Vacation. :-)

I have been successfully (so far) fighting off being sick this week and plan to take it easy through the definitely don't take it personally if I need to wait until later in the week to come on over!

Anonymous said...

Yummmmmmmmmm!!! You made extra for me, yes?


mamie said...

Hey, Mit, did you know that my daughter is giving away one of the NaBloPoMo prizes? You can see her books here. Hope you win this one.

Word verification: catick - a bloodsucker partial to cats....