Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Onion-Fig Relish

Yum is the best opening word I can think of for tonight's post. A simple pork tenderloin seasoned liberally with salt and pepper, pan seared in a cast-iron skillet and finished in a hot oven. Once the tenderloin was seared, I added chopped onions and figs and a sauce of balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and water to the skillet before popping it in the hot oven for 15 minutes. The pan was then loosely covered with foil and allowed to rest for 5 minutes and for such a simple preparation, I can't believe how good this turned out.

The caramelized onions, balsamic vinegar and sweet figs all combined to create a subtly sweet topping for the savory roast pork. Our side dish was an acorn squash half that was baked in a 350 oven for 1 hour. The scooped out cavities were filled with a tablespoon of maple syrup and 1/2 tablespoon of heavy cream. It was a wonderful balance to the pork and onion-fig relish.

Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Onion-Fig Relish (4 servings)
Adapted from Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast

1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
8 dried Mission figs
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 cup chopped onion

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Sprinkle pork evenly with salt and pepper; coat with cooking spray. Heat a medium-sized cast-iron skillet or other ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork; cook 4 minutes or until browned on all sides, turning occasionally.

While pork browns, coarsely chop figs. Combine vinegar, 2 tablespoons water, and soy sauce in a small bowl. When pork is browned, remove pan from heat. Add figs, onion, and vinegar mixture to pan, stirring to loosen browned bits.

Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160 degrees (slightly pink). Stir onion mixture; cover pan loosely with foil. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

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