Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pork Tenderloin with a Paleo Compote

(Once again, I apologize for picture quality.  Trust me though, the taste more than makes up for it.)

Pork Tenderloin with A Paleo Compote

I love getting my inspiration for recipes from reading different cooking articles and recipes and scaling them accordingly to make them Paleo.  For this, I used a non-paleo compote recipe and did my typical substitutions and omissions to make it work.

Although I'm not usually of fan of fruit with meats, I tend to make exceptions with pork most often.

For those of you who are CrossFit junkies and are reading this, I wouldn't recommend eating this type of high carb fruity meal on a regular basis.  A compote is like a dessert, so feel free to consider this a paleo-friendly cheat meal.

I prepped the compote ahead of time as follows:

Butternut Squash, Shallot, Apple, and Golden Raisin Compote

2 medium butternut squash - peeled, 1/2 inch dice
2 large shallots (these look like bulbs of garlic, but tan in color) - peeled and minced
2 apples (I used Braeburn, but you could use almost any type) - peeled, cored, and 1/4 inch dice
1 and 1/2 cups of golden raisins (you can find this near wherever you buy regular raisins or near the salad toppings in your produce section)
1 cup of white cooking wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. fresh thyme
1 tablespoon raw agave nectar * Optional

Preheat over to 450 to prepare for second step of compote.  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add squash and toss with oil.  Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes.  Remove lid and add shallots.  Cook for 1 minute.  Add apples, raisins, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper and cook for 1 minute.  Add cooking wine and stir/toss frequently until most of the wine is evaporated.  If you are using the agave nectar, add it now and stir once again.  (The agave nectar is not necessary because the dish is plenty sweet without it, but gives it more syrupy consistency.) Sprinkle with thyme and pour into a large casserole dish and set aside.

For the Pork Tenderloin:

2 lbs. pork tenderloin (usually packaged as two smaller tenderloins in one package)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. thyme
Sea salt and pepper

Heat oil over medium-high heat in the same skillet used for the compote (no need to clean it, the flavors of the compote help to coat and flavor the pork more)  Rub the tenderloin(s) with the thyme, and a few grinds of salt and pepper.  Placed the tenderloin(s) in the skillet to sear them on the outsides for about 30 seconds on each side.  Remove from heat and skillet and place on top of the compote in the casserole dish.  I sprayed the meat with olive oil cooking spray to help seal in the moisture.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes at 450 degrees.  Remove foil and continue baking for another 25-30 minutes.  If this sounds just like the roasted chicken recipe technique, it's because it is.  It worked so well, I wanted to try it with a different meat and recipe altogether ASAP and it was a success.  I worried the pork would be dry, but it wasn't at all.  Slice the pork into medallions and top with a couple spoonfuls of the compote and serve with a mixed greens side salad of your choice.

My 4 year old's review of it was, "Mommy, I love these cinnamon apples and meat!" She only tasted apples and cinnamon, which was a great way to mask the other healthies I managed to hide in there.

Enjoy :)

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