Tag Archives: Fruit

Sage-and-Pecan Pork Tenderloin Cutlets

24 Sep

YUMMM!! This is one of my favorite pork recipes to make! The first time I ever made this dish, it turned out perfectly! This time though, not so much. I had the heat up too high for as thick of pieces of pork as I was using (because I used cuts instead of a tenderloin), and I forgot to reduce the vinegar enough, etc etc. But that’s what I like about cooking (as opposed to baking) –  you can mess a few things up, and it can still turn out delicious, as this did! And I mean, hey, everyone has their off days!

Sage and Pecan Crusted Pork Tenderloin Cutlets w/Blackberry-Reduction Sauce

What you need:

  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons seedless blackberry preserves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin
  • 3/4 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 2 teaspoons rubbed sage
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • Fresh spinach leaves (optional)
  • Garnish: fresh blackberries

Directions:

1. Bring vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and cook 6 minutes or until reduced by half. Stir in blackberry preserves, and cook 5 minutes. Stir in salt.

This is the step that I most fumbled in, and resulted in the greatest change in the overall flavor. I boiled and then cooked the vinegar for six minutes, however, I forgot the whole “reduced by half” part. It most definitely was not reduced by half when I added everything else. I tried to add more preserves to compensate, but I couldn’t seem to add enough, and so there was a slightly stronger vinegar smell and taste to the sauce than there ever should have been. For me, this was not a terrible problem, but for my husband who hates vinegar, it was. He still enjoyed the dish, but after having to eat it for a few days, he was more than pleased to see it gone. The first time I made this, I reduced the vinegar by half, if not more, and the sauce was very fruity (yet still dry), as it should have been. Better to over-reduce than to not reduce enough in the case of this recipe, I’d say!

2. Remove silver skin from pork tenderloin, leaving a thin layer of fat covering meat. Cut pork into 8 slices. Place pork between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, and flatten to a 1/4-inch thickness, using a rolling pin or flat side of a meat mallet.

Again, I would stress the importance of that thinness, especially if you are like me: paranoid of under-cooking your meat. With pork being as dangerous as it is when undercooked, I tend to prefer it a little overdone, if I have to. Generally I manage to get it just right, but this time, my cuts weren’t thin enough (and I too lazy to flatten them), so the coating definitely browned way before the meat was anywhere near done, even though I had the heat down pretty low.

3. Stir together breadcrumbs, pecans, and sage in a shallow bowl.

4. Dredge pork in breadcrumb mixture, dip in beaten eggs, and dredge again in breadcrumb mixture.

5. Cook 4 pork slices in 2 tsp. hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat 8 minutes or until done, turning every 2 minutes. Repeat procedure with remaining pork and oil. Serve pork over fresh spinach, if desired. Drizzle with vinegar mixture; garnish, if desired.

Despite my mishaps, it managed to turn out alright. Though the coating was quite brown (as you can probably see in the picture), I managed to salvage it by turning the heat down even lower, and cooking them for what seemed like forever, managing to avoid any burned taste. So I guess, overall, a bit of a more complicated recipe that, when completed accordingly, is absolutely fabulous!

Oh, and I suggest serving this oover a bread of fresh spinach. It is a fabulous compliment, as the sauce ends up doubling as a dressing!

Nutrition:

  • Calories: 452
  • Fat: 22.4g
  • Saturated fat: 3.9g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 11.1g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 4.4g
  • Protein: 29.6g
  • Carbohydrate: 33.6g
  • Fiber: 2.5g
  • Cholesterol: 171mg
  • Iron: 3mg
  • Sodium: 516mg
  • Calcium: 68mg
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Chicken Cutlets with Fontina and Fresh Blueberry Sauce

2 Sep

Apologies for the slacking! I was working on my resume and applied to a few jobs this week, so I’e been focusing on that and not my cooking! NO EXCUSES THOUGH! XD So, I managed to make this dish the other day. My camera battery was dead (poor planning!) and thus, I have no pictures of my own. However, like the picture above (from a basic Google images search), this dish is beautiful. The blueberry sauce has a gorgeous dark violet hue to it that compliments the glossy melted Fontina cheese by painting the chicken in their wonderful, vibrant colors. My final product looked very similar to the image above, but imagine more gooey white cheese melted and sliding down over the edges of the chicken.

Blueberries are my absolute favorite thing to eat, period. I could eat them all day long. I have adored in the past the fruit + meat combination in regards to pork dishes. My favorite dishes I’ve ever made involved pork and some sort of berry (assorted, cheeries, blackberries, etc.), the sweetness and juiciness of the fruit just compliment pork SO well. Perhaps it was because of my extreme love of the taste fruit brings to pork, or my love for pork in general (no matter how ‘dangerous’ or unhealthy it may be), but I definitely had some reservations about pairing fruit with Chicken. It’s so rarely done that I was unsure about it. BUT, I am extremely curious in nature, so I HAD to try it! And I was not disappointed. It was not my husband’s favorite thing by any means, nor mine either, but it was still a pleasing dish.

What you need:

  • 1 tablespoon butter, divided (1 teaspoon / 2 teaspoons)
  • ¾ lb. chicken cutlets (about four cutlets) –  I suggest slicing them on the thinner side
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ cup (2 oz.) shredded Fontina cheese
  • 3 tablespoons apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (but I love them so I threw in extra!)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh thyme

1. Melt 1 teaspoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. IIIIII, on the otherhand, used the entire Tablespoon of butter at this step! Because I forgot to divide it!! So I’ve split it up for you here already. It still worked out though, and I don’t think it really mattered (aside from adding extra calories)! Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done.

2. Remove chicken to a serving platter; sprinkle with cheese. Keep warm.

3. Combine apple juice, vinegar, and mustard in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add apple juice mixture to pan; simmer 1 minute. Add blueberries and thyme; simmer 2 minutes. Stir in remaining 2 teaspoons butter. Spoon blueberry sauce over chicken. Serve!

One more note: for the butter, I use Smart Balance Organic. It looks like this:

It is THE best butter you will ever eat, hands down, period. IF you can find it, I swear… try it. It will change your life. I have no idea what it is about this butter, but it just has this certain taste to it that is way more delicious than the original or light Smart Balance, and definitely superior to any other butter or spread I’ve ever had. I do not eat it for that fact it’s organic and vegan (non-dairy – though those are both pluses, I supposed), I eat it for the taste alone. I don’t even remember how I came to buy it in the first place, but I started eating it when I lived in Austin, in 2008. I bought it all the time, until one day when it just DISAPPEARED from every single grocery store shelf in the greater Austin area. I could not find it ANYWHERE, try as I might. I moved back to Houston for a few months, where I still couldn’t find this butter; it seemed to have just disappeared from Texas altogether, with no trace. BUT when I moved here to Seattle, I found STORES OF IT at QFC. I almost had a heartattack I was so thrilled. I freaked out in the middle of the aisle, and David was like, “OH MY GOD WHAT IS WRONG?!?” I had to compose myself before I alerted him of my monumental find. Because, as I said, this butter changed my life; I ate it, and suddenly bread, cookies, anything – you name it – was never the same without it. I always became so depressed with every single trip to the store where I could not find it. And so I suggest you try it, too!

Nutrition (for the meal, not the butter!):
Calories: 199
Fat: 8.2g
Protein: 23.4g
Carbs: 7.2g
Fiber: 1g
Sugar: 5.2g
Cholesteral: 73mg
Iron: 0.8mg
Sodium: 491mg
Calcium: 89mg