Pan fried pork tenderloin with Puy lentils…

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Pan fried pork tenderloin with Puy lentils...

Lentils – I love them…my kids love them…we all love them…and Puy lentils are just so toothsomely moreish and retain a little bite even after cooking that is somehow magical. It’s a lentil love-in!

And I had a really stupendous piece of pork tenderloin that needed a good accompaniment – it was a marriage made, if not in heaven, well certainly in my kitchen!

Tenderloin is so versatile and almost as lean as chicken breast. We often have it sliced and pan fried with a pepper sauce – but tonight was Mr P.Lentil’s turn.

This is a dish i have mentioned on here before I am sure – but here it is again – it is a basic standby that could accompany anything – last time out it was with belly pork and sausages if I recall – but it is equally as good with ham shanks.

Anyway – let’s get on shall we – enough reminiscing!

Pre heat oven to 160c

You need for the lentils –

60 gm of lardons or cubed smoky bacon – or pancetta even
340 gm Puy lentils – or any green ones if not
Some chopped fresh rosemary but you’d be fine with dried
A large red onion chopped finely – or white if no reds handy!
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
800 ml of chicken stock
red wine vinegar
olive oil

I, as you know by now, have to fiddle – so I also added later on some chopped okra left over from the other night. It went v well!

Pan fry the onion and lardons in olive oil in a stock pot or large casserole. When the lardons start to colour add the garlic and rosemary. 2 more minutes should be fine – then rinse the lentils and add them to the pan.

Fry for one more minute to coat the lentils. They all need to get chummy. Add the stock – pop a lid on – bring to the boil. Into the oven for 1 hour.

I rolled the tenderloin of pork in cumin seeds, crushed black pepper, rock salt and chilli seed. Let it sit in this for at least an hour if poss.

Then slice it about into about half a centimetre slices – maybe a tad wider. Pan fry on a highish heat in olive oil for about 5 minutes per side.

Take out the lentils after an hour – please do check them tho on the way – they may, may need a little more water if they are drying up too much – they shouldn’t. They should absorb most of the liquid – not all. I transferred them to a large roasting dish, stirred in a tablespoon of red wine vinegar and a drizzle or two of good olive oil – and this time I stirred in a some pre cooked slices of Jersey Royal potatoes thinly sliced, plus some chopped pan fried okra.

I added the pork medallions to the dish and popped them back in the oven with some foil over – heat off – to let them all get to know each other even better. I also opened another bottle of mighty fine Shiraz /Petit Verdot.

Then it all arrived at the table and was purred over… then consumed with relish!

I was hoping some would be left over for lunch today…but it all
vamoosed! Hey ho!

Bits and bobs May round up….aubergines, Noah, rhubarb and Eggs Warhol…etc!

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Bits and bobs May round up....

Well. you can tell it is half term because I am eating breakfast! And so far, despite the Noah style rainfall yesterday, it has been very pleasant thank you for asking. This is a sort of catch all post – I have been experimenting a little and eating out a little and shopping a lot. Ok…this pic

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is this morning’s breakfast. It scores little, if anything, on looks… I agree…but the flavour was bang spot on.
2 eggs lightly scrambled with a slice of black pudding pan fried and then crumbled through the egg mix midway through scrambling. It mellows out the pud flavour and is immensely filling in a nice way! Anyway – there you go – it had a sort of Andy Warhol look – a good name maybe for it – Eggs Warhol.

At the weekend I marinated slashed chicken thighs in sloe gin, slivers of garlic and bay leaves for an hour. Then roasted them for about 40 minutes til crisping.

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I served them with courgettes oven baked ( I had pan fried them lightly first) with snowfalls of parmesan, drizzles of olive oil, garlic and a handful of Greek Basil – I love those gorgeously aromatic tiny leaves. Oh and I also did Jersey Royal new potatoes in butter and coriander on the side too. Got to make the most of these beauties whilst they visit!

Popped into Morrison’s near Basingstoke – as it is to me – one of-if not the best – supermarkets in this whole area. Nearest I have been to a French or Spanish affair. The veg counter is a work of art and has a huge variety of veg not normally seen anywhere unless you live in Brixton or some other marvellously multi-cultural spot. Everything from these gorgeous Graffiti Aubergines at the top of the page, to eddoes, fresh turmeric rhizomes, several different varieties of chard, cassava, different gourd, about 10 different types of chillies, elephant and rose garlic, hundreds of fresh herbs – all being sprayed gently with cold air. All fresh – nothing in plastic bags! The fruit counter is equally as fascinating – plus they have a phenomenal fish counter and a butchery populated by guys who are ACTUALLY butchers and know what they are talking about! If you have to shop in a supermarket then this slice of paradise is it.

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Right, enough sales talk – and I won’t even get commission!

Yesterday’s lunch was lemon sole in lemon beurre blanc sauce with spinach and new pots- again!

Not a great shot of it this – does not do it justice – still…

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Last night’s supper was a version of a Keith Floyd dish that I only seem to ever cook about once a year but I love it – it is simple and has a sort of Turkish / Greek feel to it.

He just calls it Minced Beef and Spinach – but I often miss out the spinach and I also like using minced lamb, which I did last night. Being someone who can’t just follow a recipe – I have to fiddle. But is that not what it is all about?

Anyway – I did. Fiddle on!

Ingredients:

3 spring onions finely chopped
12 okra trimmed
2 cloves of garlic chopped
butter
1 tbsp smoked paprika
500 gm minced lamb
1 cinnamon stick
1 chopped and deseeded red chilli – or you could use dried chilli flakes
2 large tomatoes deseeded and sliced
basmati rice

Stir fry the okra, onions and half the garlic for about 2 minutes in olive oil. Set to one side.

Next, in a mix of butter and olive oil, fry the minced lamb for about 5 minutes. Then add the cinnamon stick, the paprika and the rest of the garlic plus the chilli. Sprinkle in some black pepper too and a grind or two of sea salt.

I add a splash, no more of water, once the lamb is browned ( If you chose to add fresh spinach – about a half a kilo – at this point – no need for the water.)

Add in the tomatoes and the okra, onion mix. Continue to cook – it will be about 30 minutes in all. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

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I then cooked basmati rice – enough for 4 – and stirred it into the lamb dish. You could serve it separately if you wish with some plain yoghurt – I like the buttery texture of stirring it all together though.

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Simple and summery and perfect for supper. Right – out now to pick some rhubarb as the Ark appears to have docked for a while and the sun is considering making an appearance.

English: depiction of Noah's ark landing on th...

English: depiction of Noah’s ark landing on the “mountains of Ararat”http://www.facsimile-editions.com/de/nf/ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)