Nights have been busy here. Dishes have been piling up. Laundry strewn on the floor and I am very tired. About a year ago, in a moment of madness, I decided to undertake a challenge to sit for a finance industry exam. It meant reading through thousands of pages of accounting, quantitative analysis, portfolio management theory, oh and did I mention the pass rate is roughly 40% for each test. There are three levels. Also if I fail to pass one level I'll have to wait an entire year for another shot. What do I get out sitting for this exam? Perhaps a pretty piece of paper to post on the wall, maybe my name in The Wall Street Journal and some personal satisfaction. I am sadistic. Yes, I admit it.
With less time and energy on my hands, I've had to carve out creative ways to put food on the table. But this has not meant sacrificing flavor...not yet at least. Cooking big meals and surviving the week on leftovers have been our strategy. Plus some of our all time favorites take very little time to prepare. This twice-cooked pork tenderloin takes no more than half an hour from start to finish. The tenderloins are seared to a crisp, sliced into medallions for a second sear, and then coated with a delicious creamy mustard sauce. The simplicity of this recipe is what makes it brilliant, allowing one of my favorite cuts of meat to stand on its own. Good enough for a special meal, this recipe also makes an excellent last ditch effort to put food on the table.
Twice-Cooked Pork Tenderloin
From the NY Times
- 1 boneless pork tenderloin, about 1 pound
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons butter, extra virgin olive oil, or a combination
- 1/4 cup cream
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, lemon juice or Calvados, optional
- Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish, optional
- Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper. Put a large skillet over medium-high heat; a minute later add 2 tablespoons butter and/or oil. When butter foam subsides or oil dimples, add meat (curve it into skillet if necessary). Brown it well on all sides, for a total of 4 to 6 minutes. Turn off heat, remove meat from pan, and let it sit on a board. When skillet has cooled a bit, proceed.
- Cut meat into 1-inch-thick slices. Once again turn heat to medium-high, add remaining butter and/or oil and, when it's hot, add pork slices to pan. Brown on each side, about 2 or 3 minutes each. Turn heat to low and remove meat to a warm platter.
- Add 1/2 cup water to pan, turn heat to high, and cook, stirring and scraping, for a minute. Lower heat slightly, add cream and cook until slightly thickened. Stir in mustard, lemon juice or Calvados, if you're using them, then taste and adjust seasoning. Serve meat with sauce spooned on top, garnished, if you like, with parsley.