Pork tenderloin is both tender and lean, so take care not to overcook it-- the center of the pork should be just barely rosy when it is done.To round out the meal, serve with sautéed seasonal vegetables and a simple grain side dish, like couscous.
|1 lb pork tenderloin||1 clove garlic, chopped|
|1/4 cup walnut pieces||1 1/2 cups roasted red bell peppers, jarred or homemade, drained, liquid reserved|
|1/2 tsp crushed fennel seed||4 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil|
|1/2 tsp ground cumin||1 Tbs dry sherry or red wine vinegar|
|3/4 tsp salt||1/4 tsp cayenne pepper|
|2 tsp smoked paprika|
Preheat oven to 350°F. Trim fat and any silvery membrane from tenderloin and cut crosswise into rounds about 1/2 inch thick.
Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Immediately pour onto a plate to cool.
In a small bowl, stir together fennel seed, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of paprika. Rub spice mixture into both sides of pork rounds and let stand at room temperature while you make the sauce.
In a blender or food processor, combine walnuts and garlic and process until finely chopped. Add roasted peppers, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sherry, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika, cayenne and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and whirl until smooth. Stir in up to 1 tablespoon roated-pepper liquid if sauce is too thick. Set aside.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Working in batches if necessary, add pork loin rounds to pan in a single layer and cook just until browned and still faintly pink in the center, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter and let rest for about 5 minutes.
Divide pork among 4 dinner plates and spoon romesco sauce over meat. Serve right away.
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