pork tenderloin + fruits and nuts

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As I've blabbed about before a zillion times, pork tenderloin is one of my absolute favorite cuts of meat.  More exciting than chicken but just as healthy, it lends itself well to all sorts of flavors.  This particular recipe is an easy way to use up all those dried fruits in the pantry, and all you need is a little dessert wine on hand. 

a great mix of sweet and savory


An assortment of dried fruits, plus some sweet Tunisian wine

Roast your pine nuts by putting them in a hot pan with no oil

cover your fruits in boiling water, let rest for 20 minutes

the sauce at full boil

savory and sweet!

Ingredients
2 pork tenderloin steaks
1 c mixed dried fruits (any combination prunes, raisins, currants, cranberries, cherries)
1/8 c pine nuts
1 c pork, beef, or chicken broth
sweet wine (any kind)
salt and pepper
butter
dried sage (optional)

Preparation
The best way to make this is in an ovenproof skillet. If you don't have one, just use a regular frying pan and then a baking pan to finish off the pork.  First, soak your fruits.  Put them in a bowl and cover with boiling water, then let sit for about 20 minutes.  When they are plump, squeeze out the liquid and reserve the liquid. 

Next, toast your pine nuts! This is easy.  Turn on the heat on, toss them in a pan, and toast them until they start getting brown and fragrant.  Set aside. 

Preheat your oven to 350.  For your pork, make sure the pieces are dry (pat them dry with a paper towel), and then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and sage.  In your pan, heat up a little olive oil and butter and brown the pork on all sides.  Once browned, put the skillet in the oven (or remove the pork and put into a greased baking pan) and bake for about 10-15 minutes.  I know that doesn't seem like a lot, but you will pull it out of the oven and the pork will continue to cook on the counter while resting. 

Using the same pan you used for the pork, heat up a tiny bit of butter and add a swing of sweet wine, scraping up the brown bits with a wooden spoon.  When the wine has cooked down a bit, add the broth and turn the heat to medium.  Let it reduce a little bit and add the dried fruits and the juice they left behind.  During all this your pork is resting and letting off juice.  Add that juice back in with your sauce, which should be simmering and reducing. 

Reduce sauce until it is pretty thick (if this is taking too long or not working out for you, remove a little liquid and add in a tsp of cornstarch, then add that mix back into the sauce).  While the sauce is finishing, slice the pork on a diagonal and arrange on a plate.  If the pork is too rare, just stick back in the oven for 5-10 more minutes.  Put the pork on a platter and top with sauce (which you have checked for salt), then sprinkle pine nuts on it and serve.  If you happen to have fresh herbs, like parsley, they will look nice on top. 

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