Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pork Tenderloin, Fig and Sweet Onion Compote

Wow, it seems like I've cooked a lot of pork since I first began posting, but not yet a pork tenderloin.  Figs are still out in the markets, so I started thinking of other ways to use it.  Pork is always good accompanied by something a little sweet.  So, tonight a variation on a pork tenderloin I first had at Chris' parents house.  What I love about pork tenderloin, is well, it's tender, of course and it's not difficult to achieve a finely cooked result.  Just don't cook it too much.  Growing up, I remember always the warning of cooking pork to well done to kill off any possible parasites or food poisoning.  Nowadays, you can cook pork to medium rare, which I love, and be perfectly confident there will be no adverse effects.
Pork Tenderloin with Garlic and Herb Crust
1.5 lbs of pork tenderloin
2 garlic cloves, finely minced, or grated with a microplane
1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, minced
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
3 tsp olive oil


Mix garlic, rosemary, thyme, parsley, salt, pepper and olive oil together to make a paste.  I  had a 2 pack of tenderloin that weighed just over 2 lbs all together.  I decided to trim each end of the tenderloins in order to make a more uniform shape to achieve even cooking.  The small tail end is always too cooked and can become a bit dry, so I figured, it's best to leave to off anyway.  I wrapped and froze the end pieces to save for another use.  Perfect for Chinese cooking as often just a small bit of pork is needed.  There is usually a thin piece of silvery sinew covering part of the tenderloin.  Make sure you remove that with a sharp filet knife.  Coat the tenderloin with the paste, cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours.  Grill over medium high heat on a gas grill to medium rare or medium.


Fig and Sweet Onion Compote
1 Vidalia onion, or Mayan Sweet onion, quartered, and very thinly sliced
1 cup figs, finely diced
1/3 cup red or white wine, I've used both and they both work fine.  Tonight I used red.
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar


Melt 1 tbsp butter over medium heat and add onions.  Saute the onions and let them cook for about 7 minutes.  Once softened, add in wine, then vinegar and sugar.  Turn heat down to low and slowly cook, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is evaporated and onions are quite soft, about 20 minutes.  Add in figs and saute over medium until they are well incorporated.  At the last moment, I decided to add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to give it a little more depth.  Finish with another tablespoon of butter.  Serve hot or at room temp.  
Another party in your mouth, as coined by the kids.  

5 comments:

  1. So, what are the yummy morsels in the upper right of the picture? They look like patatas bravas.

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  2. Yes, potato, but not fried. Yukon gold potatoes from the garden, peeled, boiled for 7 minutes, then roasted in oven with a little fat at 425f until golden. One of my favorite potato recipes. Simple and you can really taste the potato. Soft fluffy center, crispy, salty outer.

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  3. Aah... thanks for the info on the potatoes Mary. I'll try that tonight!

    Do ya' think I could use dried figs for the compote? I can't find fresh ones here.

    Thanks again!

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  4. Oh - and if dried will work, which would you use - mission or calimyrna? Change the amount? Or just own't work?


    Thanks again

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  5. Dried figs would definitely work. I would use maybe just 1/4-1/3 cup of dried and add them earlier in the process so they have time to soften. Perhaps just add them when you add the wine, and maybe increase wine by a couple tbsp. Use black mission, that is the kind of fresh ones I used.
    Let me know how it turns out!

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