Fennel, pork and apples — a natural flavor trio, so easy, yet special enough for company. The amount of pork and fennel is flexible. I happen to like the licorice flavor and crunch of fennel seeds, but using half of what I recommend might be enough for you. That’s what my friend Suzanne does, adding a sprinkle of fresh rosemary. If you don’t have the varieties of apples I suggest, use more or less rice vinegar — more with sweet apples, less with tart apples.
This recipe brings me back to childhood when my mother would ask what we wanted for our birthday dinner. Year after year I craved pork chops and her “fried” apples. My updated recipe here, using fennel on pork tenderloin, takes the duo up a notch. Mom would love it. Let me know if you do!
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Fennel-Crusted Pork with Sauteed Apples
Prep Time 30 minutes Makes 4 servings
|2||large or 3 medium apples (about 1 lb. Fuji, Gala, or McIntosh)|
|4||tablespoons butter, divided|
|1||tablespoon Nakano seasoned rice vinegar|
|1-1/2||pounds whole pork tenderloin|
|Salt & pepper to taste|
|2 to 3||tablespoons whole fennel seeds|
Core and slice apples (no need to peel them). Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a 10-inch skillet. Add apples; sprinkle with seasoned rice vinegar and a little salt. Cook on high heat, stirring occasionally until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.
Meanwhile, cut pork tenderloin into 3/4-inch thick slices. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Press fennel seeds into tops of each piece.
Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch skillet. Place pork medallions seed side down in skillet. Sprinkle any remaining fennel seeds over medallions in pan. Cook on medium-high heat about 6 minutes. Turn meat and cook 4 minutes more or until no longer pink inside. Serve with sauteed apples and steamed vegetables such as green beans or julienned carrots.
An orginal recipe by Rita Held Photo by Suzanne Carreiro