28 October 2007

bacon wrapped pork with cider sauce

We prefer natural to enhanced pork (pork that has been injected with a salt solution to increase moistness and flavor), though both will work in this recipe. Begin checking the doneness of smaller medallions 1 or 2 minutes early; they may need to be taken out of the pan a little sooner.

Serves 4 to 6
12-14 slices bacon (1 slice for each pork medallion)
2 pork tenderloins (1 to 1 1/4 pounds each), trimmed of fat and silver skin, cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces; thinner end pieces scored and folded (see steps 1 and 2 below)

Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1. Place bacon slices, slightly overlapping, in microwave-safe pie plate and cover with plastic wrap. Cook in microwave on high power until slices shrink and release about 1/2 cup fat but are neither browned nor crisp, 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towels until cool, 2 to 3 minutes.

2. Wrap each piece of pork with 1 slice bacon and secure with 2 toothpicks where ends of bacon strip overlap, inserting toothpicks on angle and gently pushing them through to other side, (see illustration of Bacon 'Twine' below).

3. Season pork with pepper. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add pork cut side down and cook, without moving pieces, until well-browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn pork and brown on second side, 3 to 5 minutes more. Reduce heat to medium. Using tongs, stand each piece on its side and cook, turning pieces as necessary, until sides are well browned and internal temperature registers 145 to 150 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 8 to 14 minutes. Transfer pork to platter and tent lightly with foil; let rest while making pan sauce, then serve.

Makes enough to sauce 2 pork tenderloins
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 cinnamon stick
4 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 4 pieces
2 large shallots , minced (about 1/2 cup)
1 tart apple , such as Granny Smith, cored, peeled, and diced small
1/4 cup Calvados or apple-flavored brandy
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves

Table salt and ground black pepper

1. Combine cider, broth, vinegar, and cinnamon stick in medium saucepan; simmer over medium-high heat until liquid is reduced to 1 cup, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and discard. Set sauce aside until pork is cooked.

2. Pour off any fat from skillet in which pork was cooked. Add 1 tablespoon butter and heat over medium heat until melted and foaming subsides. Add shallot and apple and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and add Calvados. Return skillet to heat and cook about 1 minute, scraping bottom with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Add reduced cider mixture, any juices from resting meat, and thyme; increase heat to medium-high and simmer until thickened and reduced to 1 1/4 cups, 3 to 4 minutes. Off heat, whisk in remaining 3 tablespoons butter, and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over pork and serve immediately.

20 October 2007

savory zucchini muffins

3 cups unpared zucchini, cut in quarters lengthwise, and thinly sliced)
1 c Bisquick baking mix
1/2 c grated parmesan or romano cheese
1 t seasoning salt
1/2 t basil
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t marjoram
dash white pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 c salad oil
1/2 c chopped onion
2 T chopped fresh parsley

Combine all ingredients except zucchini. Add zucchini and put immediately in well-greased muffin pans (oil or Pam), 1/2 c per muffin. If using silicone muffin pans, there's no need to grease the pans. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. You can also use mini-muffin tins, adjust cooking to 15-20 minutes.