CRANBERRY-APPLE-BALSAMIC PORK TENDERLOIN

Over the years, this recipe has probably been the most requested by family and friends. It has it all–ease of preparation, beauty, taste, taste, and taste. Junior Too says it’s the balsamic, I think it’s the Craisins and balsamic, and Senior is too content enjoying it to waste time picking it apart. Regardless, last night it was once again well received by our wonderful guests who helped us scrape the casserole dish clean. More than the usual thumbs up 🙂

Cranberry Apple Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

2 tbsp olive oil

2 lbs pork tenderloin, sliced into 1/2″ thick rounds

3/4 cup white cooking wine

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (I used cherry balsamic this go around but I think I prefer basic balsamic–one too many notes)

1 tbsp cornstarch

1/2 cup Craisins

1 apple (I used Gala), diced (Note: this ingredient is optional but a lovely addition)

1 tbsp parsley

1) Preheat oven to 200 degrees (for warming)

2) In shallow bowl, mix flour, salt, and pepper; set aside

3) To large skillet (quite large or you may have to prepare in 2 batches) add olive oil and heat over medium-high

4) Meanwhile, dredge pork tenderloin rounds in flour; place in skillet and cook 4-5 minutes each side until browned and no longer pink; remove rounds from skillet (leave all those tidbits in the bottom for the sauce to come) and lay side by side in large casserole dish; place in oven to keep warm

5) Reduce skillet heat to medium and add cooking wine and water; in small bowl, mix balsamic vinegar and cornstarch and stir into wine; stir in Craisins and apple and cook 5 minutes until sauce thickens; remove from heat

6) Remove pork tenderloins from oven and pour Cranberry-Apple-Balsamic sauce over the top; sprinkle with parsley and serve

Servings: 4-6

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APPLE CHICKEN SAUSAGE-MOZZARELLA-POTATO FRITTATA

Frittatas have become one of my go-to meals. Not only are they relatively quick and easy to make, but the variations are endless. Though I used Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage in this frittata, you can easily substitute bacon, ham, prosciutto, or forego meat altogether. Don’t have fresh mozzarella? Substitute cheddar or swiss or…how about brie? Regardless, count on a delicious and filling meal.

Apple Chicken Sausage-Mozzarella-Potato Frittata

3 tbsp olive oil, divided

12 oz sweet apple chicken sausage (I used Al Fresco brand), diced

4 cups frozen Southern-style diced potatoes, thawed

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

3 scallions, sliced thin on the diagonal

1 cup diced fresh mozzarella

6 large eggs

1/4 cup milk

1) Preheat oven to 4oo degrees

2) To large skillet (I used cast iron) add 1 tbsp olive oil (reserving 2 tbsp) and heat over medium-high heat; add sausage and cook, stirring often, 5-6 minutes until browned; transfer sausage to a bowl and set aside

3) Add reserved 2 tbsp olive oil to skillet and heat over medium-high heat; add diced potatoes, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring often, 7-8 minutes until browned; remove from heat

4) Scatter sausage, scallions, and mozzarella over potatoes and set aside

5) In medium-sized bowl, lightly beat eggs with milk; pour over potato-sausage mixture; cover frittata with aluminum foil and bake in oven 20 minutes; remove foil and bake additional 12-15 minutes until eggs are set and frittata is golden brown; serve immediately; going, going, gone!

Servings: 4-6

CARAMELIZED APPLE-HAM-PROVOLONE GRILLED CROISSANT

Shrimp and noodles was on the menu tonight. However, when I was tempted by fresh-baked croissants and crisp Fuji apples, I took a detour and paired them with black forest ham and provolone cheese. Granted, pressed and grilled croissants lose some of their lofty beauty, but–goodness!–talk about delicious. Can I see a show of thumbs? Oh, yes!
Caramelized Apple-Ham-Provolone Grilled Croissant

4 tbsp unsalted butter, divided

2 apples (I used Fuji), cored and cut into 1/2″ thick slices

3 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

4 croissants, sliced sandwich-style

4 slices provolone

4 oz thin-sliced black forest ham

1) In large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp butter (reserving 2 tbsp); add apple slices and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally; sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon and, stirring often, cook 4-5 minutes until sauce thickens; remove from heat

2) Assemble sandwiches as follows, dividing ingredients between 4 croissants: bottom slice of croissant, provolone, ham, caramelized apples (extra sauce drizzled over apples), and top slice of croissant

3) In large skillet over medium heat, melt reserved 2 tbsp butter; place croissant sandwiches in skillet and grill 3-4 minutes each side until cheese melts and croissant is lightly crispy; serve with a salad (or some such)

Servings: 4

APPLE BUTTER PORK LOIN CHOPS

As of this writing, I believe there is no better way to enjoy pork chops than smothered in an apple butter and red onion sauce. Though my waistline certainly wouldn’t appreciate it, I could seriously overindulge in this entree. Oh, and my guys really liked it too.

Apple Butter Pork Loin Chops

1 tbsp olive oil

4 boneless pork loin chops (about 1-1/2 lbs)

sea salt

ground black pepper

1 large red delicious apple, cored and sliced thin

1/2 large red onion, sliced thin

1-1/4 cup apple butter

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 tbsp chopped parsley

1) Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat; add pork loin chops, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill each side 2-3 minutes until nicely browned; remove chops from skillet and set aside

2) Lower skillet heat to medium; add apple and onion to skillet; cook five minutes; stir in apple butter, vinegar, mustard, and cumin; cook 3 minutes, stirring often; push apple-onion sauce to the side and return chops to skillet; spoon apple-onion sauce over chops; put lid on skillet and cook 5-6 minutes until center of chops are no longer pink; plate chops, spoon apple-onion sauce over tops, sprinkle with parsley, and serve

Servings: 4

PINE NUT-APPLE-CRANBERRY SALAD WITH BACON-WRAPPED GOAT CHEESE

Have I mentioned I really like goat cheese? No? Well, if it isn’t obvious yet, it’s bound to become so the farther out I take this blog. In fact, as I was putting together this salad, I wondered if anyone has made a cheesecake using goat cheese in place of cream cheese. Now that. . . Okay, back on track. This salad tasted amazing–and was eye-pleasing too! 8 oz goat cheese, sliced into 8 pieces and formed into 1/2″ thick squares 8 slices bacon (I almost always use turkey bacon) 1 tbsp olive oil 6 cups romaine lettuce, torn 1/4 cup pine nuts 1/4 cup pistachios 1/4 cup Craisins 1 crisp red apple, diced 1 avocado, sliced thin 1) Cut each bacon strip in half; wrap goat cheese in bacon using two halves for each piece to make little “packets” 2) Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat; place bacon-goat cheese packets seam-side down in pan; cook approximately 3 minutes each side; remove from stove and gently transfer to a plate and let “set” while you put the salad together 3) Divide lettuce between 4 plates; scatter pine nuts and pistachios over lettuce; place 2 pieces of bacon-wrapped goat cheese on salad (yes, the picture shows 3–Junior wasn’t home so his portion was divided between Senior and Junior Too); scatter Craisins, apple, and avocado over salad; serve with dressing of your choice (we used Ken’s Steakhouse Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette); Enjoy! Serves: 4