Pork Medallions with Romesco Sauce
Pork tenderloin is both tender and lean, so take care not to overcook it. The center of the pork should be just barely rosy when it is done. Chilling the tenderloin in the freezer for about 30 minutes will make it easier to slice the meat neatly into medallions.
- 1 pork tenderloin, about 1 lb.
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. crushed fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. sweet smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup toasted walnut pieces
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 jar (8 oz.) roasted red bell peppers, drained
- 4 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 Tbs. dry sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Trim the fat and any silvery membrane from the pork tenderloin and cut into rounds 1/2 inch thick. In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 tsp. of the salt, the fennel seeds, cumin and 1/2 tsp. of the paprika. Rub the spice mixture into both sides of the pork loin rounds. Let stand at room temperature while you make the romesco.
In a blender or food processor, combine the walnuts and garlic and process until finely chopped. Add the bell peppers, 3 Tbs. of the olive oil, the vinegar, the remaining 1 1/2 tsp. paprika, the cayenne and the remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and process until smooth.
In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the remaining 1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil. Working in batches if necessary, add the pork loin rounds to the pan in a single layer and cook, turning once, just until browned on both sides and still faintly pink in the center, about 2 minutes per side.
Transfer to individual plates and spoon the romesco on top. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Eat Well, by Charity Ferreira (Oxmoor House, 2008).