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~ Pork Tenderloin Medallions w/Dijon-Cream Sauce ~

IMG_0070This time of year, recipes for easy-to-prepare weeknight meals are more important to me than ever. I affectionately refer to them as "flash-in-the-pan meals", because, in a flash, in one pan, with no stress, I am eating something delicious -- in the case of this recipe, it is elegant enough to serve to company as well.  It's one of those dishes that makes you feel like a bona fide French chef too -- medallions, shallots, wine, butter, cream, Dijon and capers.  If you want to add a few diced mushroom caps, they just add to the porcine fun.  Voila.  There is little left for me to say except:  get your "mise en place" because from start-to-finish, this dinner cooks up really fast!

6a0120a8551282970b015432d85dde970cBefore you start your 10-minutes of prep work and 10 minutes of actual cooking, decide what you want to serve this meal with.  My suggestions are couscous, noodles, rice or instant polenta.  They're all great, so choose whatever suits your fancy or what's on-hand in your pantry.  Once you decide, cook it up before you start to cook the pork medallions.  I'm serving my dinner with couscous tonight.

6a0120a8551282970b014e88f8307d970dI'm also making a double batch of everything and I am writing the recipe as such.  Even if you don't need to feed 6-8 people, once you taste this, you will want leftovers. To learn how I cook my couscous, click into Categories 4, 14, 15 or 20 and read ~ Couscous:  What it is and How to Cook and Use it ~.

IMG_98902  small 1-1 1/4 pound, vacuum-packed pork tenderloins, trimmed of all visible fat, each cut crosswise into 16 even-sized pieces, about 1/2"-thick each

freshly-ground peppercorn blend

IMG_98974  tablespoons salted butter

2  tablespoons olive oil

1/2  cup white wine, or chicken stock

1  cup finely-diced shallots, or, yellow or sweet onion

1  cup finely-diced baby bella IMG_9900mushroom caps

1 cup chicken stock

2 cups heavy or whipping cream

1/4  cup Dijon mustard

1/4  cup large-sized capers, well-drained

peppercorn blend, for seasoning finished dish -- no salt necessary, Dijon and capers will add enough

IMG_9914 IMG_9906                                         ~ Step 1. Generously season tops of medallions with freshly ground peppercorn blend and set aside.  (Note:  You can substitute black pepper, but, peppercorn blend is truly better.)  In a 14" skillet over low heat, melt the butter into the olive oil.  Increase heat to medium-high.

IMG_9929 IMG_9921Step 2. Working quickly, add medallions, peppered sides down, to pan.  Lightly pepper the second sides.  Saute for exactly 2 minutes per side, turning only once.

Medallions will be just starting to turn golden around the edges and tops, and, will just short of being IMG_9932cooked through to the center.

Working quickly, remove medallions from pan, placing them on a large plate or platter.  Lightly cover them with aluminum foil and set aside while preparing the Dijon-cream sauce according to the following directions:

IMG_9940 IMG_9944 IMG_9950 IMG_9960~Step 3.  Add the wine to the hot pan.  There will be a lot of steam.  Using a spatula, deglaze the pan by scraping loose all of the browned bits, less than 1 minute.  Add the diced shallots and mushroom caps.  Saute, stirring almost constantly, until shallots are translucent, mushrooms have lost their moisture and almost no liquid remains in the bottom of the pan, about 3 minutes.

IMG_9962 IMG_9968 IMG_9977 IMG_9978 IMG_0005~Step 4.  Add the chicken stock, cream, Dijon and capers.  Stir to throughly combine and bring to a rapid simmer, just short of a full boil. Continue to simmer rapidly, stirring almost constantly, until mixture has thickened enough so that when the spoon is pulled from the pan, you can draw a line through the sauce with your finger.  Depending upon how rapidly the mixture is simmering on your stovetop, this will take 4-6 minutes.

IMG_0011~ Step 5.  Turn the heat to as low as you can (I have an extra-low setting).  If the sauce is still simmering, turn the heat off, but let the pan remain on the burner.  

Return the medallions to the sauce in the pan.  I do not, at any point, immerse their tops in the sauce, but that presentation is your choice. Cover the pan and allow the medallions to heat through, about 1-2 minutes.  Do not overcook.

To serve:  Arrange 4-6 medallions around a mound of couscous, noodles, rice or polenta, drizzle with sauce, and... 

IMG_0088... enjoy an easy meal fit for a king!

IMG_0063Pork Tenderloin Medallions w/Dijon-Cream Sauce:  Recipe yields 6-8 servings.

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; chef's knife; 14" chef's pan w/straight, deep sides & lid; spatula; large plate or platter; aluminum foil; large spoon

6a0120a8551282970b019b0115604f970d-800wiCook's Note:  For another one of my favorite "flash in the pan dinners', also elegant enough to serve to company, click into Categories  3, 20 or 21 to get my recipe for ~ T.G.I. Five-Minute Filet Mignon w/a Cremini Saute ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2014) 


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