Thursday, 13 April 2017

Pepper Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Apple Thyme Waffles

Who says waffles are just for breakfast? They make an excellent starch on a dinner plate, lighter than potatoes. They can be adapted by adding different spices, herbs, fruits, vegetables or nuts. Leftovers can be used to make breakfast sandwhiches...and if you are serving gravy as part of the meal, they provide a way to mop up all the last drops!

This meal was my way of using an apple that was being ignored; pork and apple are a good pairing. Then I remembered the thyme honey in the, thyme and pork...what more can you ask for?

I ground up some four peppercorn blend to make a crust for the pork, adding some heat to the dish. The waffles had the sweetness of the apple and honey; this was a nicely balanced meal as far as flavours went.

Heat the oven to 350F. Grind some four peppercorn blend; you will need about 2 tablespoons.

Press the peppercorns onto the outside of the pork tenderloin. You control the heat here; add as many or as few peppercorns as you would like.

Heat some olive oil in an ovenproof pan, until it is almost smoking hot.

Add the pork, turning it to sear all sides.

Place the pan into the oven and roast the pork until it is done to your liking.

While the pork is in the oven, make the waffles. Turn your waffle iron on to heat up.

Measure the dry ingredients:

1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

Whisk together the wet ingredients:

1 cup milk
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

Add this to the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.

Fold in:

1 apple, peeled, cored and grated

Whip to firm peaks:

1 egg white

Gently fold into the batter, being careful not to deflate the egg whites too much.

Cook the waffles in the hot waffle iron until golden brown and crispy.

Remove to a rack and place onto a baking sheet.
The waffles can be heated in the oven just before serving.

To make the honey butter, combine:

2 tablespoons soft butter
1 tablespoon thyme honey

Whip until they are well combined. Set aside until needed.

When the pork is ready, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for 5 - 10 minutes before slicing.

I used this time to reheat the waffles, making sure they were piping hot.

Serve the hot waffles, with a dollop of the honey butter, and the sliced pork. I grilled some asparagus, zucchini and red pepper to serve with the pork, and made a simple onion gravy....adding the pan juices from the resting pork to the gravy.

  • The pork can be crusted with any type of peppercorn...dried green or pink are good choices. You can use as much or as little as you like.
  • If you would rather not have all the heat of the peppercorns, crust the pork with nuts; herbs; brown sugar and a bit of pepper or just season it with salt and pepper and roast it.
  • Other meats that can be used include pork chops; rack of lamb; chicken breast; beef tenderloin to name a few.
  • The waffles can be adapted to what you have available. Try herbs such as fresh rosemary or sage; spices such as cayenne pepper, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce or crushed fennel seeds; nuts such as pecans or peanuts; grated pear or fresh berries; grated cheeses such as Parmesan or cheddar; folding in some cooked wild rice or crisp cooked bacon; grated zucchini or frozen corn.
  • The honey butter melts into the hot waffles; warm honey or maple syrup can be drizzled over the waffles instead. The honey or maple syrup can also be added to the gravy if you prefer.
  • Use waffles as bread for a sandwhich; serve with soup; or use as a base for serving leftover chili.

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