Saturday, December 10, 2011

Maple-Chili Glazed Pork Medallions with Sweet Potato Biscuits and Cranberry Relish

The boyfriend and I decided a home-made date night was in order.  It started off with a typical favorite of ours - Eating Well's Maple-Chili Glazed Pork Medallions.  Normally I'd make mashed sweet potatoes with it, but I had been itching to try Smitten Kitchen's Sweet Potato Biscuits, no problem.

And then, while at the grocery store, the boyfriend said something about cranberries and I thought, "Ooo, I'll make my mom's Cranberry Relish!"  Brilliant plan, really.  And then we had a local Riesling to go with it.  The result?  Epic.

A perfect pairing.  Honestly.  I'll rarely suggest a full meal, but this is one to try!

Maple-Chili Glazed Pork Medallions
(Eating Well)
~ 4 servings

1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick medallions
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/4 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon cider vinegar

Mix chili powder and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle over both sides of pork.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook until golden. Add cider, syrup and vinegar to the pan. Bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, turning the pork occasionally to coat, until the sauce is reduced to a thick glaze. Serve the pork drizzled with the glaze.

Sweet Potato Biscuits
(Smitten Kitchen - no marshmallows)
Makes 12 to 14 2-inch biscuits

3/4 cup fresh sweet potato puree or can of sweet potato puree (I got organic, so there was NO additional sweeteners, etc)
1/3 cup (79 ml) buttermilk
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
3 tablespoons (38 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground (2 grams) cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) table salt
5 tablespoons (71 grams) unsalted butter, cold

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Whisk 3/4 cup  sweet potato puree with buttermilk until smoothly combined. Keep nearby.

In the bottom of a large, wide-ish bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, sugar, spices and salt together. If you have a pastry blender, add the butter and use the blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture until the biggest pieces are the size of small peas. If you don’t have a pastry blender, cut the butter into small pieces with a knife and work the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.

Continue by adding the sweet potato mixture and stir and break it up until the mixture is in big, soft chunks. Get your hands in the bowl and gently knead the dough into an even mass, using as few motions as possible (and thus, warming the dough as little as possible.).

Roll or pat dough out on a floured counter to a 1-inch thickness. Dip a 2-inch biscuit cutter in flour then form biscuits by cutting straight down and not twisting — this will help give your biscuits the maximum rise. Bake biscuits on prepared sheet for 13 to 15 minutes, until puffed and slightly golden on top. Cool on rack and enjoy as soon as possible.

Cranberry Relish
(My mom's recipe!)

1 bag fresh cranberries
1 navel orange
1 cup sugar (or, to taste)

Zest the whole orange into a small bowl.  Then peel, and pull out segments.  Pour whole bag of cranberries, orange zest, and orange segments into food processor and... process until there are no big chunks of anything.  Since oranges and cranberries can be sweeter or more tart, I'd start with 1/2 cup of sugar, and add from there.  Process until sugar is fully incorporated.  The original recipe called for more sugar, but 1 cup was enough for us.  It will be a bright flavor, but it's a great contrast to the other foods.  And it is a Thanksgiving and Christmas traditional food in our house!


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