It's been a frigidly cold week here on The Rock and I felt in the need for some serious warming up. Pork tenderloin was on sale last week at my grocery store and while I had no idea what I was going to do with it, I can't resist a good sale. That was last Thursday and when I opened my freezer Wednesday morning to see what I might cook for dinner, the pork loin I had bought last week looked at me all lonely and forlon. I took it out of the freezer and placed it on a plate on my counter, still unsure as to how I was going to prepare it. As the day went on, I realized I had to make some decisions as to how I was going to prepare the pork tenderoloin and what I was going to serve it with. For whatever reason, whenever I think of pork, I hear Peter Brady's voice saying, 'Pork Chopsh and apple Schauce'. Admittedly, apples go fantastic with pork, but what about twisting it up a bit by using some other fruity flavour? How about a orange/citrus sauce?
Skimming my book of recipes I've seen that I intend on trying, I came across an almond crusted pork tenderloin with an apple cider glaze. What about roasting the pork tenderoloin, topping it with some other kind of nutty crumble and then having a citrus sauce? Sounded pretty good to me! But what would I serve on the side? I had some fresh asparagus spears and a bag of petite red, white and blue potatoes, all of which I love best when roasted. With that, the lightbulb went off: I could roast the potatoes in the same temperature as it would take to roast the tenderloin, which coincidentally was the same temp that the asparagus would need. The cooking time for the asparagus and pork tenderloin would be pretty much the same, so why not just roast them in the same pan?
I scrubbed and washed enough petite medley potatoes for Stephen, Mackenzie and I, about 2 cups, cut the larger ones in half, pricked the smaller ones with the tip of my knife and tossed the works with some extra virgin olive oil and then seasoned with some freshly ground sea salt and black pepper. Looking at my dry herbs I decided to give them a pinch or two of dried tarragon for some extra flavour. I heated my oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and after placing the potatoes in a nonstick pie plate, placed them in the oven. The potatoes would take about 40 minutes and I figured the pork loin and asparagus would take about 15-20 minutes.
I prepped the pork tenderoloin by removing any excess fat, seasoned it lightly with freshly ground sea salt and black pepper and then seared it off in a hot skillet with about a Tbsp olive oil on high heat, just until browned on all sides. I then placed it on a foil lined baking sheet. Next, I cracked the woody ends off of a bunch of fresh asparagus, tossed them with a little olive oil, freshly ground sea salt and black pepper and placed them on the same baking sheet as the pork loin. With 20 minutes left on the timer for the petite potatoes, I flipped the potatoes so that they browned evenly, placed them back in the oven and placed the baking pan with the pork tenderloin and asparagus in there too.
For my nutty crumble I didn't have any almonds but I did have pistachios, so I chopped up a 1/4 c. pistachios, put the in bowl with 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh Italian parsley and about 2 tsp of freshly squeeze lemon juice. I tossed everything together and set it aside until I was ready to sprinkle the crumble on top of the roasted tenderloin
I heated the skillet that I had browned the pok tenderoloin in over medium heat and added i about 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 mediium shallot, finely chopped, 1 clove garlic, minced and 1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger and sauteef that until the shallot was tender and the garlic fragrant, about 2 minutes. I then added a healthy splash of Triple Sec, (I'd say about 1/8 c.), to deglaze the pan, scaping up all the lovely brown bits. I let that cook down until the Triple Sec was just about evaporated. I then added 3/4 c. no salt added chicken broth, 1/2 c. orange juice, 1 tsp Dijon mustrd and 1/2 tsp grated orange zest, and whisked it all in. I let the saue simmer and reduce until I was ready to spoon it over the roasted pork tenderloin.
When the timer went of for the oven, I removed the pork tenderloin, placed it on a serving plate and tented it with aluminum foil to let the pork rest before slicing it. I kept the potatoes and asparagus warm in the oven with the door open, heat off. After the pork had been resting for about 5 minutes, I sliced it horizontally, placed individual asparagus spears between each slice, topped the works with the pistachio/parsley/lemon crumble and then spooned the Warm Citrus Sauce over everything.
Looks pretty don't you think? Why...I'd even go so far as to say this dish could impress the heck out of even the most skeptical of mother-in-laws!
Pretty fancy schmancy looking plate hey? Hard to believe it only took 45 minutes from start to finish with most of that being hands free, pour yourself a glass of wine, sit back and relax time! Pork tenderloin is lean yet flavourful and an easy way to healthy-up your mel. By roasting the asparagus and the potatoes at the same time as the pork, not only wa the cooking simplyfied but the flavours of both are greatly enhanced!
The pistachio/parsley/lemon crumble added a beautiful, bright and fresh textural component to the moist pork tenderloin and smoky sweet roasted asparagus with it's flavourful balanced warm citrus sauce. The roasted potatoes, as always, were the perfect side dish and added the necessary starch to the plate. This recipe is a definite keeper for any night for any night of the week but especially for those times when I want a low fuss/high flavour meal for dinner guests.
But not only did this meal deliver on flavour, it's also lean and light. By using minimal salt, no salt added broth, less than 3 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, fresh vegetables and lean pork tenderoloin, it's also healthied-up! I estimate the total cost of this meal, sufficient for 4 easy, was approximately $3.72 per person.....you won't find that kind of a deal in the drive-through lane!
Pork Tenderoloin with Roasted Asparagus and Warm Citrus Sauce and a side of Roasted Petite Red, White and Blues.....easy, healthied-up, inxpensive AND delicious!