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Monday, March 22 2010

A friend recently described his frustration with his latest cooking endeavors: On his dinner menu were vegetable curry and baked sea bass with polenta and spinach; two dishes he once watched a friend make. However, his concoctions were overcooked, under salted, and cold. Now, I wasn't there to taste his final product so for all I know, these dishes were delectable.

It's true that we tend to be our harshest critics, but for the sake of helping out a friend, I have to assume that there was some truth to his "I failed miserably on everything; I would've sent it back at a restaurant” statement.

This friend doesn't consider himself a "master chef," but he's not completely clueless in the kitchen either. He chose two advanced dishes to make because he loves a challenge. He needed some encouragement, so I e-mailed three manageable recipes from the Epicurious Quick & Easy section. The Spice Rubbed Steak with White Beans and Cherry Tomatoes, Easy Chicken Masala and a Pork Tenderloin with Pears and Shallots. Hopefully these recipes will astonish even the harshest of critics.

Pork Tenderloin with Pears and Shallots

Bon Appétit  | January 2010

by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen

Yield: Makes 4 servings

Active time: 35 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

Pear nectar gives the sauce a sweet, luscious finish.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme plus fresh thyme sprigs for garnish
  • 1 1 1/4-pound pork tenderloin
  • 3 large shallots, each cut into 6 wedges through stem end, peeled
  • 3 unpeeled small Bosc or Anjou pears, quartered, cored
  • 4 teaspoons butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup pear nectar


Preheat oven to 475°F. Mix oil, garlic, and chopped thyme in small bowl. Rub mixture over pork, shallots, and pears. Heat large ovenproof nonstick skillet over mediumhigh heat. Add pork and shallots; brown on all sides, turning, about 7 minutes. Transfer shallots to platter. Transfer pork to baking sheet (do not clean skillet). Roast pork until thermometer inserted into center registers 145°F, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add pears to same skillet and cook over medium-high heat until brown on cut side, turning once or twice, about 4 minutes. Transfer pears to platter (do not clean skillet).

Mix butter and flour in small cup. Add broth, pear nectar, and butter mixture to same skillet; boil until sauce thickens, scraping up browned bits, about 7 minutes.

Slice pork; arrange on platter. Surround with pears and shallots. Drizzle sauce over pork. Garnish with thyme sprigs.

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 01:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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