A LITTLE PORK FOR LUCK
It is the beginning of a new year and the perfect opportunity to put out the old and bring in the new. But while you're hoping for things to turn around instantly on January 1, you can also increase your chances for good fortune by preparing a holiday meal that includes foods many believe help improve your luck.
Whether you decide to cook black-eyed peas as practiced in the southern United States, grapes representing Spanish traditions, pork, symbolizing wealth and prosperity in Italy or cooked greens, which means more money, there are a number of good luck recipes to deliciously start the New Year.
Chef Jacques Pépin combines two of the season's traditional foods believed to bring good luck, in a delicious recipe from More Fast Food My Way. His Pork Medallions with Grapes in Pomegranate Sauce recipe brings together succulent pork tenderloin, which is flavorful and lean, roasted and cut crosswisse into (coin-shaped) medallions, then sautéed with a sweet-sour sauce, similar to what he would serve with venison. The sauce, which features pomegranate juice and chicken stock, is thickened with a little ketchup, the perfect pork accompaniment.
Seedless grapes finish the dish nicely and shredded arugula gives it a special accent at the end, although you can use chopped chives or parsley instead, if you prefer.
Pork Medallions with Grapes in Pomegranate Sauce
Yields 4 Servings
- 1 large pork tenderloin (about 1/ 1/4 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon good olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
- 1/2 cup chicken stock, homemade, or low-salt canned chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 cup small green seedless grapes
- 3 tablespoons dried cherries or cranberries
- 1/4 cup shredded arugula
Trim the pork tenderloin of most of the fat and silverskin before cutting crosswise into 1-inch-thick medallions.
Preheat the oven to its lowest setting. Heat the butter and oil in a large, heavy skillet. Sprinkle the medallions with the salt and pepper. Arrange the medallions in a single layer in the skillet and cook them over high heat for about 2 1/2 minutes on each side, or until lightly pink inside. Transfer the medallions to a plate and keep warm in the oven.
Add the pomegranate juice and chicken stock to the skillet, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the ketchup, grapes, and cherries or cranberries and mix well. Boil for about 1 minute, or until the sauce is smooth and slightly thickened.
Arrange the medallions on four warm plates, coat with the sauce and grapes, and sprinkle with the shredded arugula. Serve.
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