I stumbled across the most lovely little blog the other day - http://www.poorgirleatswell.com. Her tagline is "how to eat ridiculously well on a miniscule budget" - in other words, this is my kind of blog!
As it turns out the blogger is the daughter of restaurant owners, and she's quite a brilliant cook, who also happens to be, well, broke.
I tried the pork medallions recipe, which was hysterical because it required several phone calls back and forth between me at st., who was purchasing the pork. We had no idea what kind of cut to get, or even what pork would look like. For those of you who are curious, she ended up getting what was a 2 lb. log of meat, and when we were messing around in the kitchen getting ready to cook, she actually hit thwacked me with it, as if it were a baseball bat. Thud. Which of course was good for many, many laughs over the next 24 hours. It's just not often that one gets thwacked with a pork log.
But I digress...
I thoroughly enjoyed my first foray into cooking pork (well, with the exception of bacon, which I love) and we figured out pretty quickly that medallions are, well, little pork medals. It was such a simple recipe, and the honey balsamic glaze was delicious, too.
Here's the recipe, (cut and pasted from her blog) along with potato pancakes:
Pork Loin Medallions with Balsamic Honey Glaze over New Potato Pancakes (serves 4; Total Cost: $3/person)
1 lb lean pork loin
10-15 new potatoes (any potato will do in a pinch)
1 egg white
½ c honey
¼ c balsamic vinegar
2 T olive oil
½ c vegetable oil for frying
¼ t salt
1/8 t ground pepper
Extra pinches of salt & pepper (for potatoes)
Parsley or cilantro for garnish
Make the glaze by combining the balsamic vinegar and honey in a bowl and mixing together well until completely smooth. Set aside.
Peel and shred the potatoes into a large bowl. Since the shredding process will extract quite a bit of liquid from the potatoes, you may need to drain them in a colander. Some moisture is okay, but you want to make sure that they’re as dry as possible. Season with a couple pinches of salt & pepper. Lightly beat the egg white and add to the shredded potatoes, mixing together until completely coated. This will act as a binder to make sure they stay together during the frying process. In a large frying pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat until it becomes iridescent. You can test the oil’s heat by flicking a couple drops of water (carefully!) and if it starts to pop, you're good to go. Take a small handful of the potato mixture and arrange into a “pancake” about 3” in diameter. Gently place the pancake into the oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side or until both sides are a nice golden brown (like hash browns). Once cooked, remove from oil and place on a plate with plenty of paper towels for draining excess oil. Depending on the size of your pan, you can probably make 3 or 4 of these at a time.
Cut the pork loin into medallions about ¾” in size. Season both sides of each medallion lightly with salt & pepper. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When pan is heated, add a couple of pork medallions and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until the meat is no longer pink on the inside. Do not overcook! When all the pork is cooked, add about half the glaze to the pan and scrape up any brown bits. If you like, you can place the pork back in the pan with hot glaze to coat lightly for extra flavor.
Arrange 3 or 4 potato pancakes on a plate. Top with 3 pork medallions, drizzle dish with remaining glaze, garnish with parsley or cilantro, and enjoy!