The Literate Chef

Pork & Prunes – Yum or Yuck?

In General Articles on May 5, 2012 at 6:51 PM

I don’t know about you, but prunes make me smile. As a child I hated them, particularly as prune juice, which my mother felt was a sure-fire remedy for whatever ailed me. While I still have no love for prunes in their juice form, I have come to appreciate their fruity, dark sweetness, either the dry, finger-sticky kind, or the plump, juicy kind. It is the latter kind that I decided to recently experiment with. But either type will work. If using the dried type, be sure to soak them in boiled water first and then drain them, reserving a bit of liquid for the sauce.

I came across Pork Tenderloin in the local supermarket, and unlike most that you find, this one was not marinated. Pork tenderloin is usually sold vacuum packed with 2 one-pound tenderloins in the package. They are low in fat, about 10 inches long and narrow, maybe two inches wide. Because of their narrowness, they cook through in 10 to 15 minutes. The marinated type, which come in a myriad of flavors, are a great boon to mankind; merely rip open the package, throw them on the grill and 15 minutes later slice them up and dinner is ready. The un-marinated kind are a great boon as well.

As I was moving through the supermarket aisle thinking of how I was going to prepare the tenderloins, I recalled how last year I experimented with Pork Chops with Apples, Raisins and Calvados and also Pork Chops with an Apricot Mango-Chutney and Cognac. Some sort of fruit seemed like a good idea, and, I still had a bottle of Calvados at home.

When I saw a jar of prunes in liquid on the shelf, bingo, I had it! Slice the tenderloins, brown them in a fat, add the prunes and flame-off with the Calvados – Pork Medallions with Prunes and Calvados. The only hard work here, if you want to call it that, is pitting the prunes.

Hint: If using the wet prunes pit them while the medallions are browning and with a small salad as a side, dinner is truly ready in 15 minutes! If using the dried ones, soak them in advance.

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