Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Pork Loin Cutlets and Artichokes en Dijon Tarragon Sauce

     A Tasty Café Style Pork Entrée!
     Many veal recipes can be adapted to pork.  When I was a sous chef at a fine dining café several years ago, I used to make a Dijon Tarragon Crème Velouté Sauce for Veal Scallopini.  This sauce also tastes nice with pork, poultry and even seafood.  
     Dijon Tarragon Sauce can be made ahead of time or it can be made Italian style, by making the sauce in the same pan that the protein item is cooked.  When the sauce is made to order, the flavor is a little bit sharper, because Dijon Mustard tends to mellow after simmering for a long period of time.   
     Many chefs make the mistake of adding far too much Dijon Mustard when making a sauce.  The flavor of prepared mustard is strong, so it is best to keep in mind that a little bit of Dijon Mustard goes a long way.  

     Artichoke stems are edible.  Artichoke stems can be trimmed so they are still attached to the artichoke heart.  A trimmed artichoke heart with the stem attached does create an interesting visual effect and it signifies that the artichoke hearts are fresh.  
     Small artichoke stems usually have a tender skin that does not need to be peeled.  For large artichokes, it is necessary to use a vegetable peeler to trim the tough skin off of the long stem before the artichoke is poached.  Care must be taken when handling the artichoke after poaching, because it is tender and it is easy to damage the finished product. 

     *This entire recipe yields 1 entrée!

     Artichoke Heart Spear Preparation:
     Step 1:  Select 1 whole medium size artichoke.
     If the stem is thick, peel the skin off of the stem.
     Step 2:  Place the artichoke in a large sauce pot.
     Cover the artichoke with 2" of extra water.
     Add 1 lemon wedge.
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt. 
     Place a tight fitting lid on the pot.  
     *Using a weight to submerge the artichoke is not necessary if the pot lid fits tight.  The steam will cook any part of the artichoke that is not submerged.
     Gently boil over medium/medium high heat till the artichoke is tender.    
     Step 3:  Cool the artichoke in a container of ice water.  
     Step 4:  Peel the tough outer leaves off of the artichoke, to expose the artichoke heart.
     *Save the leaf meat for another recipe or snack on it with melted butter! 
     Step 5:  Trim the end of the heart, so it is an even shape.  
     Use a Parisienne Scoop Tool to remove the inedible sharp inner "choke."  
     Step 6:  Use a paring knife to trim the artichoke base.   
     Trim the tip of the stem end.  
     Step 7:  Slice the artichoke heart and stem lengthwise into quarters.
     Set the long artichoke heart spear quarters aside.   

     Pork Loin Cutlets and Artichokes en Dijon Tarragon Sauce:     
     Step 1:  Select 3 or 4 boneless pork loin cutlets that weigh about 2 ounces apiece.    
     Trim off any fat.
     Use a meat mallet to gently pound the cutlets till they are thin. 
     Step 2:  Lightly season the cutlets with sea salt and white pepper.
     Dredge the cutlets in flour.  
     Step 3:  Heat a wide sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of pomace olive oil.
     Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.  
     Add the floured pork cutlets. 
     Sauté both sides of the cutlets till light golden brown highlights appear. 
     Step 4:  Add 1 teaspoon of chopped shallot.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic. 
     Briefly sauté till the garlic becomes aromatic.         
     Step 5:  Add 1/3 cup of dry white wine.  
     Add 3/4 cup of chicken stock.
     Add 1/3 cup of cream. 
     Add 1 pinch of tarragon leaves. 
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Step 6:  Bring the sauce to a gentle boil.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of Dijon Mustard.
     Swirl the pan while stirring till the mustard blends with the sauce.   
     Step 7:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.  
     Place the reserved artichoke heart spears in the sauce.
     Gently simmer and reduce till the sauce is a thin sauce consistency that can coat a spoon.
     Step 8:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Add 1 teaspoon of softened unsalted butter to the sauce, while gently swirling the pan. 
     Overlap the pork cutlets across the front half of a plate.  
     Place the artichokes heart spears on top of the pork cutlets.  
     Spoon a generous portion of the sauce over the pork cutlets and artichokes.  
     Garnish with an Italian Parsley sprig.  
     Serve with a vegetable of your choice.
     Serve with rice or a potato of your choice on the side.  
     This is a nice tasting pork cutlet sauté entrée!  

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