The meal shown here is one I made last spring and I thought it would be interesting to show the original and suggest some slight alterations that would better conform to a low carb way of eating.
On the menu:
Pork Tenderloin with Apricot-Mustard glaze. (You'll need S&P and fresh thyme)
**I'm sure we had a salad or something** (rolls eyes and whistles)
Puff Pastry with Creme Patissierie, fresh strawberries and drizzle of dark chocolate
I'll try to be as authentically chronological as I can be with the exception of the dessert, which well, let's face it-- isn't in my life in that form, but it's still pretty and you might like to make it, n'est ce pas?
Make rice. I use(d) Jasmine rice in this. Toast some almonds on a sheet tray in the oven at 250 until you can start to smell them and they turn golden. Set them aside. Other ingredients included chopped onions, garlic, and shallots but the photos were so blurry, even I could see they were blurry, that's pretty bad. But the main star on this stage is.... our fun guy friend Mr. Mushroom.
Heat a skillet with butter over medium and sweat the onions and shallots until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and cook for no more than a minute. Remove the aromatics and set aside, in the same pan heat some more butter, 2 T, add the mushrooms and cook over high heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and they will release their juices, keeping the heat on high, keep stirring or flipping, depending on your skill level until the juices have been reabsorbed into the mushrooms; they may have a little brown crusty edge, and that's some tasty stuff! Now mix it all together!
Add the cooked rice, toasted almonds, and sauteed aromatics to the pan.
|Please nominate me for the worst food photographer on the web. I so dearly want to top a list of something!|
To make this less carby.. you could substitute quinoa for the rice, it has slightly fewer net carbs plus a bit of protein. But that would still be higher than the less than 30 net carbs I'm doing. Realistically, I think you could use a mushroom-almond-onion side dish and maybe throw in a few bits of cooked bacon for good measure.
Buy a pork tenderloin (duh). I got the prepackaged one in this case but it's always better if you can find/afford it from a butcher. If you buy the prepackaged, get it "Plain" not marinated in anything, please for the love of all things good, don't buy pre-marinated meat. Thank you. The ends of the tenderloins are tapered so I usually truss them under with butcher's twine to try to even out the thickness... not shown in the photo below.
Let the tenderloins air dry in the fridge if you have time. If not, pat them dry with paper towels and liberally sprinkle with salt pepper and roughly chopped thyme leaves that have been heartlessly stripped off their nuturing little stems by your bare hands! Concerned about aging? Take it out on Thyme, because you can't do anything about time. I digress... This is what they look like:
Heat a large ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron) and when hot, add oil with a high smoke point, grapeseed or canola. Place the two tenderloins in the pan and sear all around until nice and golden brown. It gets a little tricky with the thyme, balancing out the searing of meat and not burning the thyme. This should take a bit less than 10 minutes total. When seared, put the pan into a preheated 400 degree oven and roast until the meat thermometer reads 135 (it only takes about 15 minutes so don't go clean out your sock drawer or anything) and take the pan out to rest. After about 5 minutes, remove the meat to a platter, cover and continue to rest while you make the glaze.
This is equal amounts of Apricot Preserves and grainy deli mustard. You can use whatever you like. The idea is the tang of the mustard a sweet finish of the fruit. Take the pan in which you cooked the pork and deglaze it (while hot) with a little chicken stock, about 1/4 cup scrape up the bits of fond (brown bits) until dissolved in the stock. Add the mustard and apricot and stir around until reduced to a sauce consistency.
I can't have a post without a glare shot now could I? See the little bits of thyme, and the pork maillard bits, with the tangy sweet mixture? It is really very, very good.
Slice your tenderloin into about 1/2 in medallions and spoon the glaze over, plate the pilaf.
This meat was more done than I like it to be but it was still tender and juicy and very flavorful.
To make this less carby I'd substitute a little balsamic reduction (10g carbs per Tbsp) or a nice vinegar I've been experimenting with from Trader Joe's. Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar. It's really versatile and adds a touch of sweetness without a lot of sugar.
OK on to dessert....
Take frozen puff pastry shells and prepare according to directions.
Plating the dish involves opening the shell, plopping some pastry cream in, spreading the washed, sliced strawberries and drizzling with a dark chocolate ganache. I chose the least appealing photo I had on purpose. Because honestly, knowing what that pastry would do to me, makes me not want it anymore.
Anyway, Cheers! to all who read this far. I appreciate you all, welcome suggestions, and will do my best to keep you entertained in a healthier way this year.
--See you soon!