In which the world of culinary hedonism is explored with a cup and a half of curiosity, a heaping tablespoon of passion and a dash of clumsiness.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Forty-eighth Post ~ Almond-encrusted Pork Tenderloin Medallions topped with Apricot and Rosemary Glaze

Happy February 14! Whether you're celebrating Valentine's Day or Single's Awareness Day, it's a perfectly wonderful excuse for cooking something completely over-the-top! Which is exactly how this meal turned out - topped with minced sweet onion, apricot preserves, sea salt, rosemary, and grated vintage gouda, this was one of those meals where my only recipe guide was a spirit of "Why the Heck Not?"

Here's what you'll need for tonight's dinner - whether you're cooking for one or for two!

~ Pork tenderloin
~ Sweet onion
~ Apricot preserves
~ Fresh rosemary
~ Grated vintage gouda (optional, but does add a nice salty, caramelly kick!)
~ Balsamic vinegar

If you're roasting fingerling potatoes to go with this meal, start them in the oven while you get the rest of the meal put together. I pierced them, brushed them on all sides with olive oil and generously ground sea salt over them.

Slice the pork tenderloin into medallions (this isn't altogether necessary; I was just hungry and wanted it to cook faster; plus, the flattened shape allowed me to pile all the more goodness on top)...

Crush some almonds (I had some Marcona Spanish almonds in this week's cheese flight from Wegmans, so I crushed them up with a wooden spoon) and roll the edges of each medallion in it. Lay each round out on a piece of tin foil.

Finely mince some sweet onion. Add a scant amount to the top of each piece of pork. Next, top each with a hefty spoonful of apricot preserves. Add a bit of fresh rosemary to each and grind some salt over the top of the whole pan. Add just a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and then grate some vintage gouda over the whole thing. Pop it in the oven next to your potatoes and let it bake on 350 for about 20-30 minutes (provided it's cut into medallions). Enjoy the aromas of onion, rosemary and balsamic vinegar melding and baking into this tender meat!

Pour yourself a glass of chardonnay and enjoy some of the gouda with it. I am in love with vintage aged gouda from Wegmans - it's not cheap, but one slice lasts for a REALLY long time wrapped and sealed in a ziplock bag in your fridge. It's salty, caramelly, and oh-so rich! Nibble on a bit with a nice, oaky chard while you finish up your night's work.

When the timer goes off, let the meat sit for a few minutes so the juices have a chance to settle. I enjoyed tonight's meal with a bottle of chard that Megan and I found in this adorable winery that had taken up residence in an old church: South River Vineyard from Ohio's fabulous Grand River Valley wine region. It's just fruity enough, with hints of apple and citrus, with an oaky finish that's not at all contrived. All in all, a nice pairing!

Yours in the love of good food and wine and celebrating life,