Wolfgang Puck Recipes
Most people don't think of onions as sweet and mild. They're strong and pungent. They make you cry.
But onions also contain a lot of natural sugar. If you cook the onions gently and slowly, those sugars will caramelize while the more bitter elements become less harsh. The result is a fragrant, sweet, almost delicate vegetable that anyone can love.
In fact, I like to refer to onions cooked in this way as "marmalade," because they develop the same kind of texture and appealing sweetness you might find in a wonderful homemade jam. That becomes especially true if you add a touch of fruity balsamic vinegar and a little sugar or honey to the mixture. And yes, the savory nature of the root is also still there, in perfect balance, making a sauce of onion marmalade one of my favorite accompaniments for sauteed or grilled meat, poultry, or seafood.
Just such a presentation was one of the most popular dishes I served at Ma Maison, the
I originally made the dish with veal medallions, slices cut from the loin. But that can be very expensive for home cooks, and I have found that the recipe works just as well with medallions of pork tenderloin. Ask your butcher to trim and cut the pork for you into neat slices of equal size. You can also make the recipe with medallions of boneless turkey breast.
As you'll discover, the recipe is very easy to make, especially compared to the sumptuous tasting results. If there is any secret at all to its success, you'll find it in preparing part of the recipe slowly, and another part quickly.
Let me explain.
Slowness is essential for coaxing the maximum sweetness from the onions. First, saute them briefly to caramelize them a little bit. Then, cook them over gentle heat to bring them to the desired jam-like consistency and flavor.
Speed comes into play when you saute the pork medallions. Dusted with a little flour and seasoned with salt and pepper, these should be seared quickly to give their surfaces good color while keeping them moist inside. The quick cooking also develops a nice glaze in the skillet, which you then dissolve with port wine and some broth to make a simple, flavorful reduction to spoon over the meat as a finishing touch.
In all, the entire recipe should take you no more than about an hour to prepare. And I guarantee you that, when you serve this recipe starring onion marmalade, the only tears at the table will be tears of joy.
PORK MEDALLIONS WITH ONION MARMALADE
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium-sized yellow onions, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 8 wedges each
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
2 cups organic chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 8 equal medallions
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup port
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and with pepper to taste, and saute, stirring frequently, until they just begin to turn golden around the edges, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir and scrape with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan deposits. Stir in the honey.
Add 1-1/2 cups of the chicken broth to the skillet, raise the heat, and boil until the liquid has evaporated almost completely, stirring occasionally, leaving the onions with a soft, thick consistency like jam, about 20 minutes. Stir in the cream, reduce the heat slightly, and simmer until the mixture is again thick but soft, about 5 minutes more. Taste, adjust the seasonings if necessary, and then cover the skillet, remove from the heat, and keep the sauce warm.
Season the pork medallions on both sides with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and with pepper to taste. Lightly dust them on both sides with the flour.
Over high heat, heat a heavy skillet large enough to hold the pork medallions in a single layer without crowding. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and, when it flows freely in the skillet and shimmers, carefully add the medallions. Saute until golden brown on both sides and cooked through but still slightly pink inside, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
Carefully pour out any fat from the skillet. Return it to the heat, add the port, and stir and scrape with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan deposits. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup broth and boil until it reduces by half, 1 to 2 minutes.
Arrange a bed of onions on 4 heated serving plates. Arrange the pork medallions on top. With a spoon, drizzle the port sauce over the pork. Garnish with chives and serve immediately.
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Pork Medallions With Onion Marmalade - Wolfgang Puck Recipes
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