Coriander-Crusted Pork Tenderloin

I love pork tenderloin. It’s an easy cut of meat to prepare and pairs well with a wide variety of flavors. It’s also possible to cook quickly and still end up with tender, juicy meat. Because there are only two tenderloins per pig, it can be difficult to source this cut from an ethical ranch. That’s why I was delighted to find some at New Seasons, our local grocery market. This recipe was a great way to celebrate!

the timing of toasting spices depends on their oil content

the timing of toasting spices depends on their oil content

Although the recipe doesn’t call for toasting the coriander seeds and peppercorns, I know that the flavor of spices is significantly enhanced by taking this extra step. It only takes a few minutes in a hot, dry pan to create fragrant whole spices. I ground the spices with a mortar and pestle, then rubbed them into the dijon mustard on the tenderloin. This recipe follows a pretty standard preparation of browning the meat in a skillet and finishing it in the oven. My one amendment to the recipe is to take the pork out of the oven when the internal temperature reaches 145 F. If you wait until it reaches 155, it will be well done and possibly quite tough.

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I served this with a side of kale, which I quickly blanched and then sautéed with onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper, and a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice just before serving. It felt like a weekday feast, without the fuss. Enjoy!

Coriander-Crusted Pork Tenderloin by Ellie Krieger

Fine Cooking            Issue 102

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Spicy Pork Stew with Peppers and Potatoes

Okay, I admit it. This is an exception to my month of fast and simple recipes. Don’t worry—there are plenty of quick weeknight meals headed your way in the weeks to come. I just couldn’t help myself! Last weekend snow started falling in Portland and didn’t stop for four days. While this may not be true winter weather for much of the country, it was enough to keep many Portlanders homebound, myself included. After a few days indoors, this stew was the perfect project to occupy my stir-crazy self. Fortunately this hearty winter stew makes six servings, so it actually is a time-saver in the long run. It’s also delicious and, like most stews, tastes even better after it sits.

my dog in the snow

my dog in the snow

For this stew I chose to use my cast-iron pot. If you’re adept at carving meat, by all means buy a pork shoulder and cut it into stew-sized bites yourself. Otherwise, pre-cut stew meat from your butcher will work just fine. It’s important not to stir the meat, but instead to let it sear on each side. Once it’s seared it shouldn’t stick to the pan at all, so if it’s sticking it might not be browned enough yet. This recipe uses chipotles in adobo, which add a little heat and smokiness. Not all brands are gluten free, so read labels carefully. The other potential source of gluten in this recipe is beer. Since I enjoy dry hard cider, that’s my substitution of choice. This time I used Wanderlust from Wandering Aengus, but I also love Anthem’s Dry Hopped Cider because it combines the hoppiness of beer with the lightness of cider.

chopped garlic and chilis in adobo

chopped garlic and chilis in adobo

cider

cider

Before placing the stew in the oven, cover it with a parchment paper lid. This method is a French technique called cartouche. I used the actual lid of the cast-iron pot to cut out a circle of adequate size.  Once the stew is in the oven, the hard work is done. All you need to do is standby to add potatoes and shallots after the first half hour, then roasted red peppers after the second half hour. When it comes out of the oven, stir in the fresh cilantro. At the end of cooking be sure to follow the instructions for degreasing! This important step will give you a healthier, more flavorful result.

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I will make this stew again and again. The flavors meld together perfectly to create something slightly spicy, smoky, and rich tasting, but not heavy feeling. Just right for a snow-day.

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Spicy Pork Stew with Peppers and Potatoes

Fine Cooking            Issue 121

Double-Fennel Pork Chops

In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving my goal is to cook satisfying meals without spending too much time in the kitchen. That’s how I came across this recipe for double-fennel pork chops. I have a recipe for pork tenderloin with braised fennel that I adore, but it’s too labor intensive for my mood this week. Pan-seared chops seemed like a cheater’s version—almost all the same ingredients in half the time.

Be sure to buy fennel that still has some of the fronds on top. It’s not just a pretty garnish—it enhances the flavor of anise. I was tempted to add the garlic and white wine that my other pork and fennel recipe calls for, but refrained since this was my first time making this recipe. If I do add them next time I would add the garlic near the end of browning the fennel and substitute a dry white wine for the last ¼ cup of broth. This time the only change I made was to squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over the fennel at the end of cooking. Lemon just brightens the other flavors up a bit, and I would definitely use it again.

braised fennel awaiting pork

braised fennel awaiting pork

I paired this meal with steamed broccoli and purple potatoes. I steam my broccoli with a little metal steamer in the bottom of the pan and I drizzle some oil, salt, and pepper on before cooking. That way when they’re done cooking, they are ready to eat! The purple potatoes I just couldn’t resist. I treated them like fingerlings—I cut them in half or quarters, depending on the size, and boiled them until just cooked. Then I drained them and put them back in the pan with a couple of tablespoons of butter, salt, pepper, and chopped fresh parsley.

purple potatoes before boiling

purple potatoes before boiling

Although I enjoyed this dish and found it easy enough to prepare, I missed the tenderness of the tenderloin. That said, this is a great, easy weeknight meal. Enjoy!

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Double Fennel Pork Chops

Fine Cooking                         Issue 96