Pork Medallions with Cherries and Apricots

 DF, GF

This dish is one that’s the star of the show.  It’s full of so many great textures, flavors, and colors that all it really needs are a couple simple sides.  I chose to pair with a white rice, roasted carrots, and toasted bread.  Yet the best thing I can tell you is that sometimes the best recipes are invented on the fly.

I came home that day with no real plan in place.  I knew I had to do something with the pork, and just starting looking through my pantry for ideas.  I’ve had pork with dried fruit before, so I knew that would be good, but not enough to stand on its own.  It needed a sauce, and the last minute addition of almonds was a crunch I wasn’t sure it needed, but it was certainly the right choice.

So next time you’re not sure what to make, look to your pantry.

pork with cherries and apricots

Pork Medallions with Cherries and Apricots
1 large pork tenderloin
2 tbs sugar
1 tbs salt
1/2 tsp chinese five spice powder
3 scallions, chopped
10 dried cherries, chopped
6 dried apricots, chopped
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1/2 tbs flour
1 c chicken broth
1/2 c almonds, chopped

The night before combine pork tenderloin, sugar, and salt in a large resealable plastic bag with enough water to cover the pork.  When you are ready to cook the next day remove the pork to a plastic cutting board and use paper towels to dry the meat.  Heat a large skillet with olive oil over medium high heat.  Cut the pork tenderloin into 1-inch medallions, then season with chinese five spice powder. Sear the pork medallions for 2-3 minutes per side or until browned but not yet cooked through.  Remove to plate and set aside.  Add scallions, dried cherries, and dried apricots; cook for 2 minutes.  Add balsamic vinegar to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.  Add 1/2 tbs flour combining with scallions mixture.  To make sauce whisk in chicken broth then reintroduce pork.  Cook until sauce thicken and pork is cooked thoroughly.  Top with chopped almonds and serve.

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Chocolate Cherries Blondies

DF, V

Cherries are abundant right now, so why not take advantage of them? Add them to your salads and your desserts.  The combination of chocolate and cherries is just natural synergy, and it would be wrong to not explore it. So let’s make blondies.  They take the crunchy crusts from brownies with the soft chewy interior from cookies…yum!

photo 2

Chocolate Cherries Blondies
1 c brown sugar
1/3 c vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 c chocolate chips (if dairy free suggested brand: enjoy life)
1 c cherries, quarter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a bowl combine brown sugar and vegetable oil.  Add egg and vanilla, stir until fully incorporated.  In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt, whisk to combine.  Slowly add flour mixture to wet mixture until it just comes together.  Gently mix in chocolate chips and cherries.  Pour mixture into a prepared 8×8 pan, using hands to spread evenly.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cherry Salad with Pesto Croutons

DF, V, VG

I feel like every time I go to the grocery store I see cherries starring me right in the face.  They are not only in season, but they’re also usually on sale.  Sounds like the beginning to a wonderful new recipe, and the best inspiration for new ideas.  Fresh ingredients packed with flavor make my job very easy.  So why not add them with other seasonal items like fresh crisp lettuce and scallions then pour a light vinaigrette over the top.  Yum!

Food 196

Cherry Salad with Pesto Croutons
2 tbs pesto, see recipe below
4 slices of sourdough bread, chopped into cubes
1 c cherries, pitted and sliced in half
4 c boston leaf lettuce aka butter or bibb lettuce
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
2 tsp honey
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl combine pesto and bread cubes. Lay out onto a sheet pan and bake until lightly toasted and crisp, about 15 mintues, then let cool slightly. In a large bowl combine cherries, lettuce, scallions, and croutons, set aside. In a small bowl use a fork to combine honey, balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine.

Pesto
2 c packed basil
1/4 c toasted pine nuts
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2/3 c olive oil
1/2 c parmesan cheese (do not use for dairy free or vegan)

Combine basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor.  Pulse until finely chopped. scrapping the sides as needed, then stream in olive oil until pesto is thick and smooth.  Stir in parmesan cheese if using.