It’s been “one of those months”.
The laundry basket stares at me forlornly – I haven’t folded laundry in 3 weeks and I am going to need an earthmover to uncover my desk – that is when I actually “get” to it.
But it’s “all good” – completing some projects and pushing others forward. Being this busy has reminded me again how important cooking is in my life. After a crazy day careening from one thing to another, I really crave a good meal – on a real plate and seated at a real table – but more than that, I think what I really crave is the time in the kitchen. Slicing, chopping and stirring relaxes me – while I am puttering around getting stuff prepped I do a sort of a brain dump – sorting through all the things that happened during the day, mulling over projects, problems and issues – clearing away some of the mental clutter.
In short, cooking centers me.
But I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes the thought of putting together dinner is not always appealing, and with take out just a call away it’s tempting to just do that – but just like exercise once I start I am so glad that I did.
Tender pork, juicy apples and spicy parsnips – comforting fall flavors that come together with just a little chopping and a little stirring. A perfect combination on all counts.
To keep it simple and cut down on the mental gymnastics, I serve this with either baked or smashed potatoes and roasted broccoli.
For this, the laundry can definitely wait.
A few notes. Take the pork out 20 minutes before cooking. Blotting the pork dry with paper towels will make help keep the pork from sticking to the pan and ensure better browning. The pork is ready to turn when it easily releases from the pan. If it doesn't release, it's not finished cooking! Marcona almonds are delicious in this but if you can't find them, substitute toasted, slivers almonds instead.
- 3 Tbsp. canola or grapeseed oil
- 1 1/2 lbs. pork tenderloin, cut into 3/4 inch slices
- 2 medium sized parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2 dice
- 1 large apple (fuji, gravenstein, granny smith), cored and cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 2 tsp. honey
- 2 Tbsp. marcona almonds (optional)
- 2 tsp. fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- white pepper
- Blot pork dry with a paper towel.
- Heat 1 Tbsp. of the oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. When oil is hot (not smoking) add 1/2 of the pork. Saute until pork is golden brown, turn and saute until pork is cooked through - about 7 minutes. Remove from pan to a plate and tent with foil. Add another Tbsp. of oil and saute the remaining pork. When cooked, remove pork from the pan and set aside. Add the remaining Tbsp. of oil and heat over medium high heat. Add the parnips, apples and shallots. Cook until the apples and parsnips are tender - if the shallots are getting too brown, lower the heat to medium. Add the sherry and cook, stirring up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the honey and the butter and stir. Season with salt and white pepper. Divide the pork among 4 plates. Spoon the sauce over the pork and garnish with the almonds, if using, and the fresh thyme.