Dinner Tonight: 30-minute Entrees
Figs star in a quick, elegant dinner with pork
Fresh fig entree with pork tenderloins a delight
This recipe pairs figs with pork tenderloin for a pleasant sweet-savory dish. The tenderloins cook up quickly, making them a great weeknight choice. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
That's an exaggeration, of course, but I have learned to use them fast when they become a bit soft and begin weeping little tears of syrupy liquid. This dish does just that, pairing figs with pork tenderloin — sweet with savory, one of my favorite ways to cook with fruit. The tenderloins cook up quickly, making them a great weeknight choice. Pork chops would work as well, as would chicken.
Honey adds a touch more sweetness and aroma. This is a time to use any specialty honey you might have in the cupboard, such as tupelo, wildflower or orange blossom, for the interesting flavor it would impart.
Pork tenderloin with shallots and fresh figs
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 28 minutes
Note: Use black or green figs, as you like. If using dried figs, soak first in hot water to soften.
1 box (10 ounces) couscous
2 cups water
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
2 pork tenderloins, about 2 pounds
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 pound fresh figs (or dried), halved lengthwise
1/2 cup each: dry riesling, chicken broth
1 tablespoon orange blossom honey, or other honey
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1. Cook the couscous in the water with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon olive oil following package directions; keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season the pork with salt. Add to the skillet; cook, turning, until browned on all sides, 8 minutes. Remove from skillet; keep warm.
3. Add the shallots. Cook until beginning to soften, 5 minutes. Add the figs, stirring into the shallots, and oil to coat. Season with salt. Cook until beginning to soften. Add wine, broth, honey and thyme. Stir to coat the figs.
4. Return tenderloins to skillet; turn heat to medium. Spoon the liquid over the meat. Cook, basting the pork with the liquid occasionally, until just cooked through, 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Allow to rest, 5 minutes. Slice the tenderloins into 1/4-inch slices. Serve over couscous, topped with the figs and shallots.
Per serving: 495 calories, 15 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 103 mg cholesterol, 49 g carbohydrates, 40 g protein, 368 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.