December 22, 2010

Sweet and Spicy Pork Tenderloin with Lentils

December is going to be a short month for us, blog-wise, since we're headed out tomorrow for our annual east coast holiday tour. There's sure to be plenty of good food, but we will be spoiled, since we'll either be dining out or cooked for (and there are many talented cooks in both of our families). So as our parting post this month we leave you with one of our favorite winter dishes. This meal really hits the spot on a cold day; it's satisfying and filling without being overly heavy, and has just the right combination of sweet and spicy. We usually serve ours with mashed potatoes.

Sweet and Spicy Pork Tenderloin with Lentils (Serves 2)
Adapted from Michael Schlow, Bon App├ętit September 2003

- Cooking oil
- About 1/2 of a carrot, chopped
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- 1 small celery stalk, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1/2 cup dried lentils
- 1 cup stock or water
- Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, and when it's hot add the carrot, shallot, celery, garlic, and rosemary (exact amounts of these vegetables does not need to be precise, and you could certainly leave one out or add onion or bell pepper instead; they're here to add flavor to your lentils). Cook until the vegetables have softened (about 3-4 minutes), then add the lentils and stock or water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the lentils are tender and have absorbed all the liquid (about 30 minutes).

- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3/4 pound pork tenderloin
- Cooking oil
- 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 tsp butter
- Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, vinegar, curry, and cayenne. Heat the cooking oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the pork until brown on all sides. Brush the pork with some of the honey mixture and put the skillet with the pork in it in the oven. Roast for about 12 minutes (or until cook to your liking), turning it over halfway through.

Put the skillet back on the burner and add the rest of the honey mixture and the stock into the skillet. Turn the heat to high and boil until the sauce has thickened and reduced, then stir in the butter and add salt and pepper.

Serve the pork over the lentils and pour the sauce on top (make it even better by starting out with a layer of mashed potatoes under the lentils and adding side of roasted brussel sprouts).

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