Thursday, April 7, 2011

Make your plate a lovely shade of red with
Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb Compote

When spring rolls around, rhubarb starts to surface in supermarkets.
   I’ve got a recipe that puts its lovely ruby red stalks to scrumptious use.
   Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb Compote (click for the recipe) from Bon Appetit magazine is a fancy dish that is easy to make.
   The slightly-sweet compote is delicious over the slices of pork tenderloin crusted with crusted fennel seeds.
   With a side of rice and salad, it’s a perfect springtime meal.
   When I’ve been unable to find fresh rhubarb for the compote, I’ve used frozen rhubarb and it works perfectly. I’ve also made the compote with Splenda instead of sugar.
   The compote needs to chill for at least three hours before the dish is served, so making it requires some advance preparation.
   For best results, it is essential that the fennel seeds are ground finely for the pork’s coating. The recipe says to use a mortar and pestle or spice mill, but a mini food chopper would also do the job.
   It is also important that the dried sage used in the recipe is rubbed sage, or the powder form, rather than dried sage leaves.
   To make the compote, rhubarb pieces, sugar and water are brought to a boil, and are then simmered on medium-low until rhubarb is very soft, about 20 minutes. (If you cut back on the amount of compote you make for any reason, beware that it will cook more quickly. Keep your eye on it so it doesn’t burn.)
   The compote is refrigerated until chilled.
   To make the pork tenderloin, olive oil, black pepper, salt, dried sage and ground fennel are mixed together and rubbed all over two to three pork tenderloins, which are then left to stand for 20 minutes.
   The pork tenderloins are cooked in a skillet, then transferred to a cutting board. After a short five-minute resting time, the pork is cut into 1/2-inch thick slices and arranged on a platter.
   Serve the pork with the compote.

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