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Berry sauce adds zip to pork medallions

Mon., Dec. 27, 2010

Red Berry Sauce is a simple, tangy sauce perfect for dressing up pork medallions.

The sauce is thickened by pureeing cranberries in a blender or food processor. You’ll need only a few for this recipe; you can freeze the rest.

This festive entree calls for pork medallions, made by cutting 1-inch slices from a pork tenderloin, and is served with herbed angel hair pasta.

Delicate fresh angel hair pasta takes only a minute to cook. If it cooks too long, it will clump together and taste pasty. The secret to cooking it is to bring water to a rolling boil in a large pasta pot and then add the angel hair.

Lots of fresh herbs give the dish a fresh, garden flavor.

This meal contains 554 calories per serving with 19 percent of calories from fat.

Pork Medallions With Red Berry Sauce

3/4 pound pork tenderloin

1 teaspoon olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup cranberry juice

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 cup fresh cranberries

Remove visible fat from pork. Cut pork into 1-inch slices to form round medallions.

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Brown pork medallions for 2 minutes. Turn and brown second sides for 2 minutes. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste on cooked sides. Remove from pan.

Lower heat to medium and add vinegar. Let simmer about 30 seconds, scraping up all of the brown bits in the pan while the liquid reduces.

Add cranberry juice and honey. Thoroughly combine. Add cranberries and return pork to pan. Gently simmer for 2 minutes. Turn pork and simmer another 2 minutes.

Remove pork to individual plates. Pour sauce into a blender or food processor and blend for a few seconds until smooth (see note). Spoon the sauce over the pork.

Yield: 2 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 295 calories (19 percent from fat), 6.1 grams fat (1.5 grams saturated, 3 grams monounsaturated), 108 milligrams cholesterol, 35.8 grams protein, 21.2 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 93 milligrams sodium.

Note: If you don’t have a food processor or blender, follow the recipe and instead of pureeing the sauce, thicken it with cornstarch. Mix 1 teaspoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cranberry juice. Add it to the sauce and bring to a boil. Stir until the sauce thickens. This will only take a minute.

Mixed Herb Angel Hair Pasta

1/4 pound fresh or dried angel hair pasta

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1 cup chopped fresh basil

1/2 cup snipped fresh chives

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add pasta and stir. Boil 1 minute. (If using dried angel hair pasta, boil 3 to 4 minutes.) Drain.

Place pasta in a bowl or back in the saucepan and add oil and balsamic vinegar. Toss well. Add basil, chives and salt and pepper to taste. Toss again.

Yield: 2 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 259 calories (19 percent from fat), 5.5 grams fat (0.8 gram saturated, 3.5 grams monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 8.2 grams protein, 43.4 grams carbohydrates, 2.4 grams fiber, 4 milligrams sodium.

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