A few months after moving to Washington State, I met a friend that shared many interests with me, such as cooking, home life, cooking, telling stories, baking, collecting cookbooks, cooking, kids, cooking … Oh, did I mention that she loves to cook?
After a while, we started getting together every Friday afternoon under the pretense of our kids hanging out. Really, it was so that WE could hang out and talk about … cooking ("among other things!" I add indignantly.) I've not asked her about using her name here so I'll call her (ooooh, my chance to name her myself!) … I'll call her Chonie! Yep, that's her new name. I've not heard of that name before either. Chonie used to be a personal chef so she has tons of recipes. And if you've ever seen MY cookbook collection, you just head right over to Chonie's Kitchen and check hers out. She puts me to shame! I wouldn't be surprised to know that she's cooked out of every single one of them, too. She's just the type to try EVERY SINGLE recipe in a cookbook before moving on to the next one on the shelf!!
Anyway … as a personal chef, she would sometimes prepare things ahead of time, using the freezer to keep prepared meals till her clients could prepare them themselves. I've mentioned before that freezer meals don't work too well for me because I forget to thaw them! However, Chonie shared some recipes with me and I used one last night, only I prepared it from start to finish with no freezing. Works just as well, my friend. And even better for me since I forget to get things out of the freezer.
I made a few modifications out of necessity, but very few. You know me … flex and roll, baby! (Humphh! Laughing! Garumphing!) (OK … so I'm still a work-in progress! Love me still!)
The main modification I made was that I didn't use pork tenderloin because I had purchased these gorgeous pork chops at the market and my pork tenderloin was frozen. See?
I think Pork Tenderloin would've been better and I actually prefer that cut myself!
This recipe calls for dried cranberries that are 'reconstituted' in boiling water, then you use the cranberry water to make a thickener for your sauce later.
The others in the Line Up:
Batting first, Shallots! (crowd roars!) Stepping to plate second tonight, Thy-y-y-y-y-m-m-m-m-e!
Ok, enough of that foolishness … port wine, balsamic vinegar, chicken broth, and cornstarch rounds it out.
Sauté the pork first:
Then make your sauce.
Because you are quite hungry by now, take a rather blurry picture of the finished product:
Pork Medallions with Port Sauce
Serve with rice and a steamed vegetable
- 1 c. dried cranberries
- 1 T. canola oil
- 2 lbs pork tenderloin, cut into 12 medallions, ¾ inch thick
- Salt and pepper
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 1 cup port wine
- ½ c. balsamic vinegar
- 1 ½ c. chicken broth, low fat (or homemade!)
- 1 t. thyme
- 2 t. cornstarch
In a small saucepan, combine cranberries and 2 cups water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes. Drain, reserving both the fruit and the cooking liquid. Set aside. Heat the oil over medium heat. Season pork with salt and pepper and add to the skillet; cook until browned on the outside and no longer pink inside, about 3 minutes per side. (If you are going to freeze it, cool the pork and put it in two one-gallon freezer bags.
Add shallots to the skillet and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Pour in port and vinegar and bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up any brown bits. Boil until reduced by half, 3-5 minutes. Add chicken stock and thyme. Reduce by half, 5-7 minutes. In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in 2 T. cranberry water. Whisk into the sauce and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened and glossy. Stir in the reserved cranberries and season with salt and pepper. (If you are freezing, place the sauce in two one-quart freezer bags. Place on top of medallions and freeze.
(To serve from frozen state: Thaw 1-2 days in refrigerator. Heat medallions in a skillet until warm and cooked through. Add sauce to skillet and heat. Serve medallions with sauce.)
Thanks, to my newly-named friend, Chonie, for such a wonderful dinner!
If you're thinking this dinner sounds familiar, it's because you tried a similar recipe that I gave you HERE.