ffwd: fresh orange pork tenderloin
This week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie is a main course: Fresh Orange Pork Tenderloin. Medallions cut from a pork tenderloin are pan-seared, then simmered in an orange sauce that makes use of all parts of the orange: juice, zest, and suprèmed segments.
I’ve roasted and grilled whole pork tenderloins in the past, but this way of cooking this cut was new to me. I was a little skeptical, especially after reading the conversation on the FFwD site during the week. In the end, the pork was perfectly cooked and deliciously tender plus I learned another technique to put in my bag of tricks. I’ve continue to learn so many from this cookbook.
Dorie said this meal was quick and easy enough for a weeknight meal. I’m not sure about that, mostly based on the time-consuming preparation of the orange components. Segmenting an orange is never a quick job, and the shredding of the orange zest was also a bit tedious.
Of course, you already know about the Howard/fruit/savory situation. I wasn’t sure how to adapt this meal for domestic harmony. It turned out to be easier than I thought. I went ahead and cooked the pork in the orange sauce. Serving him his pork sans sauce was a satisfactory compromise, though Howard did say the meat needed a sauce, just not an orange one for him.
I found the sauce itself was just so-so. The orange was refreshing, but not all that interesting. The sauce also included a bunch of scallions, finely sliced, and a few crushed cardamom pods, but the only flavor I could taste was orange.
I will definitely repeat the concept of this dish: browning pork medallions and simmering them in a sauce. I can imagine the pork in a mustard-white wine sauce. Howard suggested a port-reduction sauce. Lots of possibilities to try!
I rounded out this meal with Nigella Lawson’s Rapid Roastini and Tammy Circeo’s Sweet Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Nigella, you know. Tammy is another member of French Fridays with Dorie. The rapid roastini is a practically instant side: pan-fried gnocchi. I started with shelf-stable potato gnocchi this time and boiled them for about 5 minutes first. I was afraid they would be too gooey otherwise. When I’ve made it with fresh gnocchi from the refrigerator section, I don’t bother to precook. Tammy’s version of Brussels sprouts adds an extra dose of sweetness with a few spoonfuls of brown sugar mixed into the typical roasted Brussels sprouts recipe. The sugar boosts the caramelization and adds great flavor. Thanks for the recipe, Tammy!
As I sit here and type, I can see out the window that Nemo has arrived here in Lexington. Roads are quiet as schools and many offices are closed today in anticipation of the storm. I’m headed out to walk Bella in the woods before the heavy snow starts in a few hours. Hopefully, we will weather the storm without incident. The larder is full, so we won’t be hungry. At the very least, the storm will be an excuse to curl up under a warm blanket, sip tea, and read. If Nemo is coming to visit you this weekend, please keep yourself warm and safe.