Perfect Pork Tenderloin
For a light, but certainly satisfying and satiating meal, just a few slices of pork tenderloin coupled with a small portion of squash and an avocado is a near perfect match of flavour, colour and macronutrient ratio.
The meal takes 30 minutes. End to end, 30 minutes.
First, the squash - peel and slice, halve the slices and settle them into a pre-heated oven set to 180C/350C ish in some fat. I used goose grease.
The pork - it's tenderloin, so a couple of minutes on all four sides in a skillet and then transfer to the oven for another 8-10 with a few minutes rest time at the end. Err on the light side if you like really soft meat; slice through and if it's just pink, return to the oven sliced for further minute.
So, timing-wise, we'll start this process off after the squash has been in for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, take a skillet and soften some butter. We're going to soften the mushrooms, which can drink up a lot of butter, but don't overdo it - maybe slice half a centimetre off a stick of butter and half that for two people.
Take two or three mushrooms each. White or chestnut are perfect - I used chestnut. Soften in the butter and allow them to just darken.
Grind in a generous twist of black pepper and then pour some cream on. Maybe three or four tablespoons each. On a low heat, reduce. It will darken and take on some of the colour of the mushrooms if you use chestnut.
If it gets too thick, just add a little water. I mean a little! Half a teaspoon will get it all sloppy again.
Naturally, more purist paleos could simply soften some mushrooms in their favourite animal fat or coconut oil and pour over any residual fats in the pan as a sauce. As well as black pepper, some chives in such a sauce work well.
Cut an avocado in half, peel and stone, then chop into segments. I went with four since it was a good, large avocado ... and I'd gone with four slices of squash. I always think of the presentation prior to the cooking.
Serve up ... pork, sliced on the bias, squash alongside, avocado over the squash and the mushroom cream sauce over the meat. Garnish with superfluous greens - here, pea shoots.
The meat could happily be beef or chicken. Even fish would work out well - haddock, pollack, coley and halibut all seem to play well with mushroom cream sauces. Cod, not really, nor salmon, but a butter, chive and pepper would go well with those.
This. Looks. Amazing. And I just so happened to be planning pork tenderloin and butternut squash for dinner tonight. Off to the store for some mushrooms!
Your pictures always look stunning. Which camera do you use?
Thanks CavemanJoe, thank you.
I use a pretty old camera, to be honest, a Canon 300D which I believe was called the 'Digital Rebel' in the US.
The lens is the 18-55 kit lens, although sometimes I use so old manual focus Soviet glass - I have a ZENIT Carl Zeiss Jena 58mm. Usually, I like to snap food down at about 24mm or 28mm, so the kit lens does me for that. I also have a manual focus 24mm prime, but it's a bit of a hassle to focus effectively under anything other than good light.
Custom white balance is done in the camera, given most shots are under counter top lights.
The only post-processing I do is an "instant fix" in iPhoto, perhaps lighten, perhaps add contrast, rarely, but occasionally increase saturation and then improve clarity (which seems to bring up the crispness that is lost in the age old 6MP camera).