pork tenderloin with cherry-thyme pan sauce and cauliflower rice

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I got this recipe from Epicurious and adapted it here using dried cherries instead of frozen, and seasoning the meat with more than just coriander. I like coriander but the taste can be bland. The only thing I’d change next time is to add a half cup of stock to make more sauce because after the wine was reduced, there was hardly any liquid left. Lest you worry that the meat is undercooked, it continues cooking during the “resting period” and the temperature rises from 145 degrees another 20 degrees when you take the tenderloins off the heat.  You do not want to overcook this. The meat turned out tender and moist (fully cooked) with the sweet taste of cherries and the caress of thyme. I served this with cauliflower rice.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Rest: 10 minutes

2 pork tenderloins (2 lb total)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced into rings
10 sprigs thyme
1 1/4 cups dry red wine
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 cup dried cherries
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter

In a small bowl, mix the coriander, onion and garlic powders, salt and pepper. Rub into the pork tenderloins.

Heat oil in a large 12” skillet. Reduce heat to medium. Fry the tenderloins 5 minutes on each side for 20-25 minutes or until each tenderloin registers 145˚F on an instant read thermometer. Using a pair of tongs, transfer pork to a cutting board, and let stand 10 minutes. Do not discard the browned bits in the pan.

To the skillet, add onions and thyme and cook until softened and lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Add wine, vinegar, sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook, scraping up any browned bits and stirring frequently until liquid is reduced, about 4 minutes. Stir in the cherries, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat. Add the butter and swirl skillet to combine. Pull out thyme sprigs, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Slice pork into 1/2 inch thick slices and transfer to a large platter. Spoon sauce over the top and serve. Or serve the sauce on the side, if desired.

Cauliflower Rice

1 head cauliflower
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 stalks scallion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
Lime wedges, for serving

Pull off the outer leaves and core the cauliflower. Wash and let it drain or pat dry with paper towels. In a food processor, pulse half the cauliflower until it is the size of short grain rice or cous-cous.Remove to a bowl and process the remainder.

Heat the oil in a 12 inch deep skillet or wok. Reduce heat to medium and stir fry the scallion and garlic until it is soft, about 2-4 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cover. Uncover and turn the cauliflower occasionally, browning it.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with lime wedges.

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