I frequently come across recipes pairing pork with sweet sauces or sides. Pork chops with applesauce. Orange glazes on ham. Brown sugar and brandy sauce with a tenderloin. The sweet and savory is a winning combination. Cherries offered an interesting new twist.
adapted from a Better Homes and Gardens recipe
1 lb pork tenderloin
nonstick cooking spray
3/4 cup cranberry juice or apple juice
2 tsp spice brown mustard
1 tsp cornstarch
1 cup sweet cherries, pitted and halved or 1 cup frozen pitted dark sweet cherries, thawed
Trim fat from pork. Cut pork crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices. Place each slice between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. With the heel of your hand, press each slice into a 1/2-inch-thick medallion. Remove plastic wrap. Sprinkle lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Coat an unheated large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork; cook for 6 minutes or until pork is slightly pink in center and juices run clear, turning once. Transfer to a serving platter; keep warm.
Combine cranberry juice, mustard, and cornstarch; add to skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Stir cherries into mixture in skillet. Serve over pork.
We opted for apple cider in the sauce and frozen cherries in lieu of fresh. The frozen cherries may be a small time saver, however I doubt the dish made with frozen fruits can hold a candle to a sauce made with fresh cherries. I also diminished the amount of mustard by half, for the sake of the mustard-phobe in the house.
Simple and fast are two key qualities that ensure a recipe will find a place in our regular repertoire. This recipe has the advantage of adaptability as well. In a pinch I was able to throw this together from the contents of our freezer with a side of couscous and some frozen veggies. Sun ripened cherries, a cut of pork from a local farm and a simple seasonal salad easily push this meal into the realm of simple gourmet.