Pork Medallions in Cranberry Chutney (Recipe post)

If you do not like pork because you’re one of those people who has “texture issues,” or because a piece of pork truly traumatized you at some point in your life, you can skip this one.

On the other hand, if you don’t like pork because every time your mom made you pork chops growing up, they turned out like black bricks of death and you had to smother them in ketchup just to make it to dessert, well then this is for you. My friend “Jennamafer” falls into this latter group and came to my place for dinner a couple weeks ago. When I told her what I was making, she said, “I don’t like pork.” Now she likey.

I found this recipe on the Shape magazine website a few months ago. It recommends serving it with barley, but I make it with quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wa). I realize most people ditch whole grains like barley and quinoa in favor of things like rice. However, I would recommend trying a whole grain, even if it’s only for this recipe. They are better for you and really go better with this dish.

First the recipe, then the explainer. Gather your kitchen things and follow along.

Pork Medallions in Cranberry Chutney
Serves Four. Serving = 4 medallions and 1/2 c. of peas.
Active Cooking Time: 10-12 min.

Ingredients
1 cup quick-cooking barley (or quinoa)
2 c. reduced-sodium, nonfat chicken broth (Why low sodium? Because it’s better for you and salt makes you retain water. Bad bad.)
3/4 c. frozen green peas (I used an entire 16-oz. bag, because I like them)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons peanut or olive oil (I use canola oil for anything that calls for high high because it has a higher smoking point. When oil smokes, it oxidizes. That’s bad for you.)
2 eight-ounce pork tenderloins, cut crosswise into 1-inch thick slices
1/3 c. chopped red onion
1 c. whole-berry sweetened cranberry sauce (regular cranberry sauce works, too)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
I added some fresh ginger, too, but you don’t have to

Equipment
Saucepan
Large skillet

Directions
1.Have all of the above ingredients chopped, sliced, measured and ready to go before you begin because the recipe moves fast.

2.In the saucepan, cook the barley or quinoa according to package directions. If you’ve bought unpackaged (bulk) quinoa or barley and don’t know how to cook it, message me or buy this book. It’s basically one part grain to two parts broth, brought to a boil for 10-15 minutes. In this case, add the frozen peas to the mix once the grain is almost fully cooked and allow them to finish cooking together. Turn the heat to the lowest level once they are done cooking and keep warm while doing the rest.

3.In the skillet, heat the oil on medium-high to high, until oil begins to “shimmer” or make little wavy patterns. Salt and pepper both sides of pork medallions and cook in skillet, about 2 inches on each side. Remove pork to a clean plate and set aside.

4.In same skillet, saute the red onion in the pan juices. Add all remaining ingredients and stir to combine to make the cranberry sauce . Add pork back into the pan with the cranberry sauce. Simmer two more minutes. Serve over quinoa/green pea mixture.

Dicing the onion.

Dicing the onion.

The cider vinegar, ground ginger and cranberry sauce. That's my beloved Wusthof Santoku knife.

The cider vinegar, ground ginger and cranberry sauce. That's my beloved Wusthof Santoku knife.

This is what packaged pork tenderloin looks like in the meat section at the grocer.

This is what packaged pork tenderloin looks like in the meat section at the grocer.

The seasoned pork medallions, ready to dance in the pan.

The seasoned pork medallions, ready to dance in the pan.

You'll know to turn the pork when you can see the underside is done - look how the sides are white.

You'll know to turn the pork when you can see the underside is done - look how the sides are white.

What the pork looks like right before you remove.

What the pork looks like right before you remove.

A tiny bit less than done because they’ll finish cooking in the sauce.

See? Cooking in sauce. Pretty sauce.

See? Cooking in sauce. Pretty sauce.

The finished dish, served over green peas and quinoa.

The finished dish, served over green peas and quinoa.

And for you weight watchers, here’s the nutritional info per serving.
Cal: 455
Fat: 7.5 g (2 g. saturated)
Protein: 32 g
Fiber: 11 g
6 pts. if prepared with quinoa or barley

Don’t like the sound of this recipe? Try this one for Tilapia.

Enjoy!

Any questions on this recipe, message or comment and please let me know how you like it. For anyone who made the Chicken Salad with Fritos from over the summer, let me know how it came out!

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