Friday, October 16, 2009

Fingerlings & Fennel

It is autumn in the Midwest. The leaves have turned to reds and yellows. Playoff baseball is on the set. Temperatures are lowering to the mid-40s. A warm and cozy porky comfort food is the perfect partner for a fall October day.

In this entree, the pork tenderloin takes a back seat to the side dish. Pork tenderloin medallions are paired with Fingerling Potatoes and Fennel, a marriage of flavor that would satisfy any food lover.

We start off prepping the side dish: Fingerling potatoes (about 7-8), one Fennel bulb, medium thinly sliced white onion, 1/2 cup of chicken broth, 3 springs of thyme, and 1/3 cup pitted Nicoise olives.

Cut the Fingerling Potates in half and brown for about 7 minutes in a 1.5 tablespoon of olive oil. When finished, set aside in a bowl.

Place chopped fennel bulb in a pot and brown for about 7 minutes then add the sliced onion for another 2 minutes. Give it a constant stir to prevent burning.

Slowly add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Nestle the Fingerling Potatoes in the pot and add the sprigs of Thyme. Cover, turn to low and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Add the Nicoise olives near the end of cooking time, uncover and cook off any remaining broth.

Time to prep the pork tenderloin. Cut medallions and season with salt & pepper.

I pan-fried the medallions for about 2-3 minutes a side on a smoking hot cast iron skillet. The outside will be crispy but the inside of the tenderloin will be slightly pink and tasty.

Garnish the pork with chopped thyme and reserved fennel fronds. And don’t forget to also garnish the meal with a Autumn seasonal Micro Brew.

Roasted Fennel is usually paired with fish but this time of year, Pork and Fennel and Fingerling Potatoes are a perfect combination for any special occasion and it won’t leave you unsatisfied.

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