Karista's Kitchen Pork Sauces, Salsas and More

Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Roasted Red Pepper Hazelnut Sauce

Roasted Red Peppers, Hazelnut, sauce for pork

Roasted Red Pepper Hazelnut Sauce

I always keep a spare pork tenderloin, or two, in the freezer.  It’s one of those quick fix meals that pairs beautifully with most any sauce or roasted winter fruit.  I had planned to use this tenderloin with a spiced apple compote, which is delicious, but I just wasn’t feelin’ the apples that day.

I must be longing for summer, or maybe I need extra vitamin C,  because my taste buds have been craving the flavor of roasted red peppers.  A little smoky, slightly sweet with a touch of tang, that makes for a lovely pairing with pork, lamb, poultry, pasta and veggies.

And don’t get me started with the mini roasted sweet peppers.  I can eat them like candy.  So sweet and so flavorful, I often roast them with a little oil, salt and pepper and serve them as a side dish.  They’re also fabulous stuffed with cheese.

Bell peppers (and mini sweets) make the loveliest sauces, salsas, and relishes.  Complimenting grilled or roasted meats and fish so beautifully.  I read somewhere that bell peppers are like the Christmas ornaments of the vegetable world.  All that bright beautiful color in all those wonderful shapes and sizes.

This sassy little sauce is no exception.  Combined with toasted hazelnuts, fresh herbs and olive oil, this sauce’s bright orange/red color is pleasing to the eye and tantalizing to the taste buds.

Extravagant in taste, but simply prepared.  My favorite kind of weeknight meal 🙂

Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Roasted Red Pepper Hazelnut Sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 1/2 pork tenderloin, sliced into 1/2 to 1 inch medallions

Salt and pepper

4 tablespoons high heat oil, or clarified butter (ghee)

Fresh chopped Italian parsley (for garnish)

Sauce Ingredients

2 large red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, and seeded

1/3 cup Hazelnuts, roasted and skinned

2 cloves garlic, peeled

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon Thai Kitchen roasted red chili paste or a dash of hot sauce

½ cup extra virgin olive oil  (decrease the olive oil to ¼-1/3 to use this sauce as a pesto or dip)

Directions

To Prepare the Sauce:

Place all the sauce ingredients, except the olive oil, in the bowl of a food processor or blender and blend until the hazelnuts are finely ground.

Next, with the processor running, pour the olive oil over the mixture until well blended.  The sauce should have a very thick salad dressing consistency.  You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl several times in between blending.

The sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to one week.   Bring the sauce to room temperature before using or warm lightly in a double boiler, never getting the sauce to hot as the oil will separate.

Serve over any grilled meats and poultry.  Or serve as a dip for crudités or pesto for Crostini. 

To Prepare the Pork Tenderloin Medallions:

Season the medallions with salt and pepper on both sides.  Heat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons oil over medium high heat.  When the oil is hot and shimmering,  add the medallions (you may need to cook in batches) adding more oil as needed.

When they are brown on the first side, flip and brown them on the second side.  It shouldn’t take long for the pork medallions to cook through, 2 minutes on each side depending on thickness.  Pork should be cooked to 145F internal temperature for perfectly moist and juicy pork.

Ladle the sauce on a platter and place the cooked pork on top of the sauce.  Garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley and serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from Chef Jerry Traunfeld, The Herbfarm Cookbook (a must have in your cook book library!)

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Christie Ellis (@pepperlynnblog)
    February 15, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Gorgeous, Karista! Roasted red peppers are one of my favorite things to turn into a sauce, and I love your addition of toasted hazelnuts. Yum!

    • Reply
      Karista
      February 15, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      Thank you Christie! This is such a divine sauce, I could eat it with a spoon. 🙂 Makes a simple tenderloin a bit more special. Have a fabulous weekend!

  • Reply
    frugalfeeding
    February 15, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Oooooh yum! Tenderloin is one of my favourite meats and probably my favourite cut of pork – nicely done!

    • Reply
      Karista
      February 15, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      Thank you Frugal 🙂 I never tire of pork tenderloin. I think it’s delcious on it’s own but pairs so nicely with all sorts of other fruits, veggies and sauces. Happy weekend to you!

  • Reply
    Shut Up & Cook
    February 15, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    I love your style of cooking…everything always sounds so delicious! Happy Sunny Friday.

    • Reply
      Karista
      February 15, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      Aww… thanks friend! And wow! What a beauty of a day. Kind of surprising as we started out with super thick fog. Happy weekend 🙂

  • Reply
    Tandy
    February 15, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Thank you for the cookbook recommendation. I love roasted red peppers as well Karista. I usually keep pork tenderloin in the freezer as well as you can’t always find them here 🙂

    • Reply
      Karista
      February 16, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      You’re so welcome Tandy. I adore Chef Jerry Traunfeld and this book was from his days as Executive Chef at The Herbfarm. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    chef mimi
    February 16, 2013 at 7:03 am

    What a beautiful dish. I’ve made something similar but can’t remember where the recipe was… So now I have a recipe again! Thanks!

    • Reply
      Karista
      February 16, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      🙂 Glad I could help! I love the simplicity yet such complex flavors. Probably what I love so much about Italian cuisine.

  • Reply
    yummychunklet
    February 16, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    The red pepper sauce sounds delicious on the pork!

    • Reply
      Karista
      February 17, 2013 at 9:51 am

      Thank you! It’s so yum I could eat it with a spoon. 🙂

  • Reply
    Karen
    February 17, 2013 at 7:07 am

    At this time of the year when our ground is covered in white, I especially like a meal with lots of bright color. Your pork with the red pepper sauce sounds perfect.

    • Reply
      Karista
      February 17, 2013 at 9:52 am

      I do as well Karen. And I tend to crave the bright colored fruits and veggies this time of year. When making the sauce I bought extra red peppers. I knew I’d eat half of them before getting them into the sauce. Happy Sunday!

  • Reply
    saffronandhoney
    February 17, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Such a beautiful and spring-time dish. The sauce sounds simply addictive!

    • Reply
      Karista
      February 17, 2013 at 12:00 pm

      Thank you! Yes it is! I love it with grilled meats, poultry and salmon. Great served with crudite as a pesto too. I can think of 100 ways to use this sauce. LOL!!

  • Reply
    bitsandbreadcrumbs
    February 17, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Such a pretty dish as well as so fresh and tasty looking, I love it. The sauce must be amazing with the peppers and the hazelnuts. And what a great idea of roasting the mini peppers…I haven’t tried that or stuffing them, but will be seeking them out now. 🙂

    • Reply
      Karista
      February 18, 2013 at 7:37 am

      Betsy I don’t think I can get enough roasted sweet mini peppers! If you have Costco nearby, they’ve been selling organic sweet mini peppers lately. Otherwise I find them at my local Whole Foods and Natural Markets. So fun and a pretty dish for the table too. Have a delicious week!

  • Reply
    Hearty Winter Bolognese – Karista's Kitchen
    February 18, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    […] Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Roasted Red Pepper Hazelnut Sauce (karistaskitchen.com) […]

  • Reply
    wendy@chezchloe
    February 23, 2013 at 10:41 am

    arrgggg…. i’m so behind on blog reading! You are the queen of sauce! Never would have thought to try this. Good for the taste buds and a little boost of protein.

    • Reply
      Karista
      February 23, 2013 at 12:05 pm

      I know how you feel Wendy. I too am behind on reading all my fave bloggers. No worries! LOL! I do love a good sauce. This one I could eat like a soup. Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

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