Ever want to just knock the socks off of your guests with a fantastic meal … but you don’t want to be too exhausted to enjoy yourself when you’re done preparing it? This meal is not only delicious and packed full of essential vitamins and nutrients, but with all the colors and textures, it’s also fun to look at once plated. And surprisingly, this is not an expensive, or difficult, meal to prepare. Serve it for your dinner guests and they’ll think you’ve gone to great lengths just for them. They’ll be impressed, and you’ll be able to enjoy yourself.
1 1/2 lbs. pork tenderloin
16 spears of asparagus
3 cups gluten-free chicken broth
1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
3/4 cup finely chopped carrots
3/4 cup finely chopped red cabbage
3/4 cup finely chopped red bell or similar sweet pepper
1 cup finely chopped kale
3 Tablespoons Wok oil, divided
1 Tablespoon margarine, butter, or non-dairy substitute
1 clove garlic
1 cup cranberry juice
1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
3 Tablespoons Agave Nectar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1−2 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce
Sesame seeds for garnish
2 Tablespoons chopped chives for garnish
Preheat oven to 375º.
For the Pork Tenderloin:
Remove fat and thin “skin”, referred to as silver skin, from the pork tenderloin. Cut into large sections, just enough to be sure all will fit into the pan at one time. Set aside. Preheat oven-proof heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add 2 teaspoons wok oil and spread around in pan quickly. Immediately add the pork tenderloin and sear, turning to brown all sides. The center will still be raw. Transfer skillet, with pork, from stove top to pre-heated oven. Continue cooking process in oven until center of pork measures 165º on a meat thermometer. This will probably take about 10 minutes. When the pork is done, remove from oven. Transfer pork to a plate, tent with foil, and let meat rest for a few minutes. At plating time, slice the pork into medallions.
For the Sauce:
Once you’ve transferred the pork to the resting plate, to the hot skillet with the pork drippings, add garlic, cranberry juice, fish sauce, agave nectar, and sesame oil. Bring to a boil and reduce liquids to a “syrup” consistency. Stir in the grated ginger. This will be used to drizzle over the pork at plating time.
For the Quinoa:
While pork is searing, combine chicken broth and quinoa in a medium-size pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover the pot tightly, and let simmer undisturbed for approximately ten to fifteen minutes, until all liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat, stir in butter, and cover until time to incorporate into “Confetti”.
For the Quinoa “Confetti”:
As the quinoa is simmering, in a large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons wok oil over medium heat. Add onion and carrots. Saute until slightly crunchy, about half cooked, approximately 4-5 minutes. Add the sweet pepper, cabbage, and kale. Stir well and continue cooking until all vegetables are cooked but still have a crisp texture. Season with a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Stir in approximately half of the cooked quinoa. (You can keep the remaining cooked quinoa for another use.) Incorporate vegetables and quinoa completely until the colorful “confetti” is spread throughout the quinoa.
For the Asparagus:
In a medium saute pan, add 1-2 teaspoons wok oil. Once the pork begins to rest, over medium heat, saute asparagus until al dente.
Once the meat has rested, and the other dishes are ready for serving, spoon the Confetti Quinoa onto each plate. Divided into individual portions, lay the pork tenderloin medallions along one edge of the quinoa in a fanned effect. Arrange four asparagus spears on plate. Drizzle the sauce over the pork medallions. Sprinkle a few dashes of soy sauce over the asparagus. Garnish plate with sesame seeds and chives. Beautiful and ready to serve!
Makes four servings.