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Versatile pork tenderloin.

The choice muscle inside the ribs, pork tenderloin, is often an exceptional value--particularly when compared to its counterpart in beef. Priced at $2 to $k a pound, the boneless tender meat is very lean, it cooks quickly, and its delicate flavor takes well to a variety of seasonings.

With current meat-processing methods, most pork is cut into large basic parts, then shipped to supermarkets and meat markets to be divided into roasts or chops. Because the small, slender, tapered tenderloin is a basic unit in itself, it is often sold singly or in paris, sealed airtight in plastic right from the packer. Each tenderloin weighs 1/2 to 1 pound and is ideal when you want to make just a few servings; a small one will serve 2, a large one 3 or 4.

Barbecued tenderloins cook quickly; for safety, the internal temperature should reach 140[deg.]; for juiciness and best flavor, don't cook past 155[deg.]. Sauteed medallions are done when just past pink in the center; paper-thin scaloppine cooks almost as fast as you can turn it in the pan.

Pork Tenderloins Crusted

with Mustard Seed 2 pork tenderloins (each about 3/4 lb.) 1 teaspoon coarse-ground pepper 5 to 6 tablespoons mustard seed 1 tablespoon melted butter or margarine, optional Dijon mustard Salt

With a small sharp knife, trim surface fat and the thin silvery membrane from tenderloins; rinse meat and pat dry. Sprinkle evenly with pepper. Put mustard seed in a pan longer than either of the tenderloins; roll meat in seed until heavily coated. (If made ahead, cover and chill up to overnight.)

Place seed-coated meat on a grill 4 to 6 inches over a solid bed of hot coals (you shouldn't be able to hold your hand at grill level for more than 3 seconds). Cook meat until no longer pink in center of thickest part (cut to test) or until meat thermometer, inserted in thickest part of tenderloin and set parallel to length, registers 155[deg.], 15 to 20 minutes. Turn often to keep browning even. Transfer to a carving board; brush seeds with butter to make shiny. Slice meat across grain; serve with mustard and salt to taste. Serves 4.

Pork Medallions with Prunes About 1 pound pork tenderloin 3/4 cup madeira 1/2 cup regular-strength beef broth 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 2 teaspoons cornstarch 3 whole cloves 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 12 pitted prunes 1/3 cup chopped shallots or green onions Watercress sprigs Salt

With a small sharp knife, trim surface fat and the thin silvery membrane from the tenderloin. Rinse meat, pat dry, and cut across the grain into 1-inch-thick slices. Place each piece between sheets of plastic wrap and pound gently with a flat-surfaced mallet until about 3/8 inch thick. (If made ahead, roll up in plastic wrap, cover, and chill up to overnight.)

Mix together madeira, broth, vinegar, cornstarch, and cloves; set aside.

Melt butter in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat. Add pork to pan without crowding (it shrinks quickly), and cook meat until lightly browned; turn over and cook just until bottom is browned and meat is no longer pink in center (cut to test), 4 to 6 minutes total. As meat is cooked, transfer to a platter; keep warm. When pan is almost empty, add prunes and turn in drippings as they warm. When the last of the meat is out of the pan, add shallots; stir until limp. Add madeira mixture and any juices that have accumulated with the pork; stir until boiling.

On 3 or 4 warmed dinner plates, place an equal portion of pork and prunes. Spoon sauce onto meat; garnish wit watercress. Add salt to taste. Makes 3 or 4 servings.

Sage and Fennel Pork Scaloppine 3/4 to 1 pound pork tenderloin 2 teaspoons dry rubbed sage 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed 1/4 teaspoon coarse-ground pepper 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 1 cup dry vermouth 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/4 cup whipping cream, optional Lemon slices

With a small sharp knife, cut surface fat and thin silvery membrane from tenderloin. Rinse meat, pat dry, and cut across the grain into 1-inch-thick pieces. Place each piece between sheets of plastic wrap and pound gently but firmly with a flat-surfaced mallet until very thin, about 1/16 inch. (If made ahead, roll up in plastic wrap, cover, and chill up to overnight.)

In a blender, or mortar with a pestle, coarsely crush sage, fennel seed, and pepper. Peel plastic wrap off meat and sprinkle evenly with seasonings.

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Fill pan with meat but do not overlap (pieces shrink quickly); turn meat when edges are white, and cook until bottom is lightly browned, 20 to 30 seconds total. When cooked, transfer meat to a platter; keep warm. Continue until all meat is cooked; add butter as needed to prevent sticking.

Pour vermouth, lemon, and cream into pan, stirring to free browned bits. Boil on high heat, uncovered, until reduced to 1/4 cup; pour any juices accumulated with meat into pan. Garnish meat with lemon slices and serve with sauce to spoon onto individual portions. Serves 3 or 4.
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Mar 1, 1986
Words:880
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