Pork tenderloin, also known as pork fillet, is the leanest, most tender part of the pork loin. It is often cut into medallions, which are oval shaped steaks, made even more tender by trimming away excess fat. Pork tenderloin medallions are a versatile cut of meat, suitable for a range of different occasions. Their tender texture makes them perfect for a special dinner, but because they require short cooking times, they are quick and easy to prepare, making them an excellent choice for weeknight dinners, too.
For these honey orange medallions I’m using an ingredient called hoisin sauce. This is a Cantonese sauce that is often used both as an ingredient in dishes and as a table condiment.
Hoisin is the English version of the sauce’s Chinese name: haixian, which means seafood or sea delicious. The word hoi translates to sea and the word sin translates to fresh or delicious. The name is somewhat misleading since hoisin sauce contains no seafood and is not typically used in or on seafood dishes though there is some evidence that the earliest versions actually did contain fermented fish. When Hoisin sauce still contained seafood, it was considered a luxury food because of this fact.
Hoisin sauce ingredients typically include soybeans, garlic, and sugar along with sesame oil and chilies. The number of ingredients and the ingredients themselves can vary from brand to brand; however, the flavor profile is generally the same. It has a similar appearance to American barbecue sauce but is much denser.
This is such a nice meal served over steamed rice or Chinese noodles.
Honey Orange Pork Medallions
In a small pot, heat oil & garlic over medium low heat for just a minute or so until the garlic has softened but not browned. Add all of the remaining ingredients for the sauce & simmer until the sauce reduces to the consistency of a glaze. Keep warm on minimum heat while the pork gets fried.
Sift together the flour, salt, pepper, ginger & five spice powder.
Beat together the eggs and water to make an egg wash.
Heat 1/2 inch oil over medium heat in a large heavy skillet.
Season the pork medallions lightly with salt & pepper. Coat the pieces in the flour mixture before dipping them in the egg wash & then back into the flour mixture again. Drop into the hot oil and cook for about 3-4 minutes, turning once, until golden brown & crispy.
Toss the cooked pork medallions in the sauce, along with the vegetables of your choice. Serve over steamed rice or Chinese noodles.
Today, March 21st, our family honors the memory of my father. He passed away at the age of 92, sixteen years ago. As a teenager, I never realized what a special privilege growing up as a farmer’s daughter really was. Coming home on the school bus and having to do ‘chores’ seemed so boring as opposed to being able to spend after school hours with your friends. As I look back on those times now, it all comes clear as to how treasured and valuable those life lessons were.
To be a successful farmer takes a tremendous amount of strength and courage. I think back to those days with great admiration and appreciation of the special man he was.
If you follow my blog, you’ve probably noticed I love ‘all things stuffed’. I have always been under the impression that ‘cordon bleu’ was a French invention. It seems it actually originated in Switzerland as a schnitzel filled with ham and cheese. The first reference to it in a cookbook came in 1949.
Thrift is often the best catalyst for for culinary invention and as the story goes, this meal originated in a restaurant in Brigg, Switzerland, when two large bookings turned up and the cook did not have enough portions to serve everyone.
The resourceful lady came up with the idea of making schnitzels and filling them with ham and cheese, ensuring there was enough to accommodate both groups. The restaurant owner was delighted with the cook’s creation and offered her ‘Le Cordon Bleu’ (the blue ribbon) used in France to recognize an excellent cook.
Being extremely modest, the cook said she did not need a blue ribbon, but suggested instead that it would be the ideal name for her invention.
Stuffing pork chops elevates them from ordinary to a special meal. It would have been a meal my Dad would just have loved.
SPECIAL MEMORIES OF OUR WONDERFUL FATHER TODAY
Pork Chops Cordon Bleu
Slice pork chops horizontally throughout the middle. Insert a slice each of cheese & bacon. Seal edges with a toothpick.
On a plate, whisk together egg & milk. On a separate plate, combine Panko, salt & pepper.
Season pork chops with extra salt & pepper, then lightly dust in flour. Dip in egg mixture. Immediately dip into Panko, pressing into pork chops.
In a skillet, heat oil & brown pork chops on both sides until golden. Transfer to a baking pan with a rack & continue baking until cooked, approximately 30-40 minutes.
Nice to serve with a steamed green vegetable, French fries, mashed potatoes or rice.
An easy dish, with a real taste experience for a warm summer day. Zucchini Cordon Bleu is a light version based on a slice of turkey (or chicken) and cheese, layered in zucchini slices and breaded in a crispy, nutty Parmesan crust then baked (or fried). Perfect to serve for a light meal.
One of the ingredients in the breading is almond flour. If you’ve never cooked or baked with almond flour, always stick to whatever the recipe calls for (almond flour or almond meal). This will ensure that the texture comes out the way its supposed to.
Blanched Almond Flour -refers to almonds that are ground up into a very fine flour. The almonds have had their skins removed by blanching them before grinding them up and sifting them into a fine almond flour.
Almond Meal or Unblanched Almond Flour – is made using almonds with their skins still on when grinding them up into flour. This creates a flour that is more coarse, hence the term almond ‘meal’.
One of the best things about almond flour is that it can be used in both sweet & savory recipes. Almond flour adds a slight sweetness to baking but note that it bakes up denser than all-purpose flour because there is no gluten.
This is such a great way to use up some of those plentiful zucchinis at this time of year.
Zucchini Cordon Bleu w/ a Crunchy Crust
Wash zucchini, cut off ends & slice in half. Next, cut lengthwise into slices that are several centimeters thick & then halved. Place zucchini slices on paper towel to remove some of the liquid.
Place 1 slice of Gouda & 1 slice of turkey between 2 slices of zucchini. If you prefer, you can use some toothpicks to help keep the cordon bleu together while breading & frying.
Using 3 separate shallow dishes; place flour in one, beaten eggs, salt & pepper in the second one & ground almonds, chopped pumpkin seeds & Parmesan cheese in the third.
Dredge zucchini cordon bleus in flour, then in eggs & lastly with nut/cheese mixture.
Heat oil in pan & fry the zucchini cordon bleu on medium heat. Fry for about 2 minutes on each side until golden & crispy. Drain on paper towel.