Fresh Orange Pork Tenderloin

July 11th, 2013

There are more posts coming on our trip to France, but I felt the need to get back into the kitchen at Lake Lure and do some cooking.  I haven’t abandoned France all together because this recipe came from Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table.  Pork tenderloin is such a versatile cut of meat.  You can cook it whole on the grill, slice and pound it into medallions, or in this case just cut it into eight even chunks and saute it briefly with flavorings.

Family and friends stayed at our cottage while we were on our trip.  I had left a bag of oranges in the produce drawer of my refrigerator and for some reason they were still there when we got home.  Not wanting to waste them, I found this recipe that puts oranges to a good use.

This was a quick meal to pull together.  I served the tenderloin with couscous and broccoli.  The orange sauce flavored with cardamom was very refreshing.

I had many wonderful meals while traveling, but it is good to be back in my own kitchen cooking the kinds of food that make me happy.


FRESH ORANGE PORK TENDERLOIN (Adapted from Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan)

4 large navel oranges
1 large pork tenderloin, about 1 1/2 pounds
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon mild oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon cardamom
1 medium onion, finely chopped

Peel 2 of the oranges all the way down to the flesh, then cut between the membranes to release the segments.  Cut the segments crosswise in half.  Remove the zest from the other 2 oranges with a zester or vegetable peeler, being careful to avoid te white cottony pith if using a peeler; if you removed the zest with a peeler, slice the strips into lon thin strands.  Cut the zest into pieces 1 to 2 inches long.  Squeeze the juice from the 2 zested oranges.

Cut a large tenderloin into 8 pieces.  Try to get the thickness of the pieces as even as possible, so they will all cook in the same amount of time.  Pat the slices dry between paper towels.

Put a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter and oil.  When the mixture is hot, add the pork slices, without crowding, and brown them for 2 to 3 minutes on each side; season with salt and pepper and cardamom when you turn the pieces over.  Add the orange zest, juice, and onion, season everything with salt and pepper, and give the pan a stir.  When the sauce produces one little bubble, reduce the heat to low and cover the pan.  Cook the pork at the gentlest simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the orange segments, cover, and continue to simmer for 3 minutes more, or until the pork is tender and cooked through.

Remove the lid, and if you think the sauce needs to be cooked down a bit, transfer the pork and orange segments to a warm serving platter and boil the sauce until it reaches the consistency you want.  Taste for salt and pepper and serve immediately.  Garnish with fresh sage or parsley if desired.

Printable recipe


Pork Tacos with Spicy Black Beans and Pickled Onions

January 13th, 2013

While our family was visiting over the holidays my DIL Kristen made tacos for us one night.  She is a natural when it comes to flavorings and is especially fond of Mexican inspired dishes.  One of the condiments she made for us for her meal was pickled onions.  She marinated red onions in a combination of red wine vinegar, a little sugar and black peppercorns.  They make such a pretty addition to any number of dishes and look vibrant on tacos.

But the taco recipe I am using here is an adaptation of one that I saw in Food and Wine a long time ago.  It uses pork tenderloin which shreds nicely after only a short time in the oven.  It is flavored with lots of garlic, cumin, barbecue sauce and chicken broth.  The black beans make a flavorful topping and the red onions contribute their sweet and sour bite.  I wanted the tacos to look pretty and easy to pick up from a platter; perfect for those Super Bowl parties.  So I decided to form them into shapes by placing them in pieces of greased or sprayed foil.  About 10 minutes in the oven will ensure that they hold their shape, but will still be soft enough to eat.  Be sure you use a good quality corn tortilla.  I used Mission Artisan style Tortillas with Corn and Whole Wheat Blend.

When the taco shells are ready, you can either place just the meat in them and let everyone choose their own toppings, or go ahead and load them up with the onions, black beans, sour cream or any other condiment you wish.  We loved the flavor of these.  The barbecued pork makes them a little different.

I just remembered that I have some leftover pulled pork in the freezer from the holidays.  It would make a good alternative, although not as lean.  We are all about lean these days. Enjoy!  I am linking this to Tailgating Time-Super Bowl 2013 over at Seaside Simplicity.  Go on over and get some great ideas for the Super Bowl.



For the Pickled Red Onions:
1 large red onion
1/2 cup Red Wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
10 black peppercorns

In a small saucepan combine vinegar, water, sugar and peppercorns. Slice a peel red onion in half and then into strips.  Add to pan and bring mixture to boil.  Turn off burner and let onion sit in mixture for at least an hour.  Can be stored in a ball jar in the refrigerator until needed.

For the Black Beans:
2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic , minced
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 tomato, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium skillet, heat the oil.  Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 7 minutes.  Add the beans and the tomato, oregano and a little water to keep it moist.  Season with salt and pepper and simmer briefly until the ingredients are warmed through.

For the Pork:
1 pork tenderloin, trimmed of silver skin and fat. Cut in half
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup raspberry chipotle barbecue sauce or barbecue sauce of choice
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 habanero chile, seeded and minced (optional)
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Corn tortillas and condiments of choice

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.  In a small enameled cast-iron casserole, combine the broth with the barbecue sauce, garlic, peppers, bay leaf, cumin and salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer.  Add the pork tenderloin.  Cover and bake for about 1 hour, turning the pork once, until tender.  Transfer the pok to a plate and cover with plastic wrap until cool enough to handle.

Remove the bay leaf.  Shred the pork into strips and stir into the sauce.  Season with salt if needed.  Fill the tortillas with pork and serve with the black beans and red onions.

Printable recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.