Introducing Kung-Fu-Kitchen-Panda, KFKP.
KFKP is a real person. She’s a college student. We meet 3 years ago when we worked at the same restaurant. While I’m not sure the actual amount of Kung-Fu knowledge she has, she is a black-belt and often competes in those type events. Besides all that, and all the other stuff that makes KFKP awesome that I didn’t mention, she likes food. Like to try new food and like to eat food. So, you can imagine how thrilled I was when she told me she wanted to start doing a lot more cooking–With me. Um, thrilled, yeah-that’s me. I have a friend who like to eats and wants to cook and get this she even helps me take photos. AMAZING!!
A few evenings ago we got together to cook, and eat, and maybe have a glass of wine. Earlier in the day I sent a text to KFKP to see what she had in mind to make. The reply: pork, ‘something pork’ to be exact. While I’m not as a bad as Pork Hater, I don’t consider myself a fan. So ‘Yuck’, was the first thing that came to mind. I tossed the idea around a little and came to the conclusion that I finally had someone who wants to cook and eat, I could choke down some pork to keep this relationship. I filtered through my food-brain Rolodex and stopped on Rosemary Roasted Pork Loin with Dijon Cream Sauce. It’s some good stuff but I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted something different, something more….fruity. So, this is what we wound up with: Roasted Herb Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Fennel. It was good-I liked it, I think Pork Hater would have even liked it. I want to make this again, next time I will match stick the apples. I think this will help the sauce be more of a condiment to the pork, and less of a side dish.
Roasted Herb Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Fennel
2 Tbl. Dried herb blend , more or less depending on the size of your roast
1 cup Fennel, thinly sliced
1 cup Apple, thinly sliced, I used a Fuji
2 Tbl. Olive oil
1 ½ cup White Wine
1 Tbl. Apple cider vinegar
1 ½ Tbl. Honey
2 Tbl. Dijon Mustard
Heat oven to 400˚
In a large, oven-safe pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
While the pan is heating up, cover the pork loin in herbs and throw on a little salt and pepper for good measure.
Sear the herb-crusted pork loin in the oil. Remove the pork for the pan and set aside for a few moments.
Add a little more oil to the pan if needed.
Add the fennel and the apples to the pan.
Sauté them for 7 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the white wine, vinegar, honey and mustard. Season with salt and pepper.
Whisk everything together until the mustard and honey dissolves into the sauce.
Reduce the heat to medium, and reduce the sauce for 5 minutes.
Place the pork back into the pan, nestled into the apple-fennel sauce. Use a few spoonfuls of the sauce to coat the pork.
Put the pan, un-covered, in the over for 30 minutes, or until pork is done.
When pork is done remove it from the pan and allow it to set for 5 minutes before slicing. The wine, apples and fennel will have cooked down into a compote. Serve slices of pork with a few spoonfuls of the apple and fennel.