Feed Me

There are days when, despite my best efforts, I eat like a voracious billy goat. I didn’t wake up this morning planning to eat complex carbs only, but that’s what I did. I gulped down an espresso for breakfast, got super busy, and all of a sudden I looked up at the clock and it was noon. I was ravenous.

I had a grilled cheese sandwich. And some manicotti. Then a Diet Coke (I suppose that doesn’t really count?). A while later I ate (ok, more like inhaled) an olive roll. And a few minutes after that I had a bit of pastry and three French fries. And one more olive roll. By 5:00pm I was bloated and full but unsatisfied. The poor nutritional choices I made left me feeling wobbly and tired so I skipped yoga (did I tell you I’ve been doing crazy Bikram yoga about 4 times a week since January?!). That means that instead of burning 800 calories this evening, I stayed home and carb loaded some more (beer, Triscuit, pastry).

At 8:00pm I decided I still wanted more to eat and finally decided to cook some real food. It was the one nice thing I did for myself today. Did you do anything nice for yourself today?

PORK TENDERLOIN with APPLES & ONIONS

2 ounces pancetta, cut into ¼” cubes (or 3 slices bacon, chopped)
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut lengthwise into 6 wedges
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper
2 red apples (such as Gala or Fuji), peeled, cored, and cut into 6 wedges
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 (1-lb.) pork tenderloin, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons orange marmalade (apricot jam, apple jelly, or maple syrup may act as substitutes)
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

– Preheat oven to 450˚F.

– Cook pancetta (or bacon) in a large oven-safe skillet (a cast iron skillet is great for this recipe) over medium heat until golden and some of the fat has rendered (if using bacon, transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve), 4 to 6 minutes.

– Add oil and 1 tablespoon butter to the skillet and increase heat to medium-high. Sprinkle the onion wedges with the sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.

– Push the onions to the side of the skillet, add the apples, and cook until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Mix the apples and onions together and push to the side.

– Season pork with salt and pepper and place on empty side of skillet. Cook until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes. Distribute apple-onion mixture evenly around pork and top pork with marmalade. Transfer skillet to oven and cook until pork registers 160˚F on an instant read thermometer (145˚F if you like it pink), 8 to 10 minutes.

-Return skillet to stovetop. Transfer pork to cutting board and allow to rest 5 minutes. Meanwhile, stir remaining tablespoon butter and sherry vinegar into apple-onion mixture and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper (if using, add reserved bacon bits). Slice pork into ½” thick pieces and serve, topping with apple-onion sauce. Serve.

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