I made this last night, running out the door to catch a plane to San Francisco. It was one of those hairy departures, packing, coordinating with neighbors for dogsitting, shooting off last-minute emails, trying to figure out what to shove down for dinner, etc.
I sliced a pork tenderloin into little steaks, seared them in a hot pan, made a quick sauce with jarred salsa and a spot of cream, and served it all over quinoa (which takes 10 minutes to cook), along with some steamed cauliflower. Not exactly my most colorful dinner creation.
My husband sat down with a bottle of hot sauce, which is Titospeak for “Gosh, honey, thanks for whipping something up, but this looks like it might be boring. Mind if I obliterate it with spice?”
He took a bite, and I could see his surprise register as the spunky sauce and tender, juicy pork hit first his mouth, then his brain, then his stomach.
“This is AWESOME,” he said, eyebrows high. I’ll admit, I was a little surprised, too. It’s not the sexiest recipe to look at, but it shore’s tasty.
Pork Tenderloin Steakettes with Salsa Cream Sauce (PDF)
Recipe 325 of 365
If you cut pork tenderloin crosswise into little steaks, each about the size of a giant scallop, they cook quickly and evenly, which means dinner in a jiffy for you, but no real sacrifice for those at the table. Serve the tenderloin over quinoa (which cooks in about the same time it takes to make the pork and its sauce) or quick-cooking brown rice, with steamed or sautéed vegetables or a big green salad.
TIME: 15 minutes, start to finish
MAKES: 2 to 4 servings
1 pound pork tenderloin
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup salsa
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Preheat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. While the pan heats, slice the pork into rounds a bit more than 1” thick, and season them on both sides with salt and pepper. Add the oil to the pan, swirl to coat, and add the pork.
Cook the pork for 5 minutes, undisturbed, or until it releases easily from the pan. Flip the pork, moving the pieces in the center to the outside and vice versa, and cook another 3 or 4 minutes, again until it releases easily from the pan.
Add the salsa and cream, and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the pork but the meat still feels a little squishy in the center when you touch it. Serve immediately.