Sauteed Pork Tenderloin Strips   Recipe
Sauteed Pork Tenderloin Strips

By Wolfgang Puck

Suppertime feels more and more important as autumn closes in.

As the weather grows cooler and night comes earlier, your ability to serve a warm, sustaining meal can seem crucial.

A lot of people assume, though, that cooking a heartwarming dinner has to take lots of time.

After all, quick cooking methods help you avoid the heat of the kitchen, making fast dishes ideal for summer.

So the opposite must be true for fall. Right?

Not necessarily.

Despite the fact that many great cold-weather dishes do simmer, roast, or bake for an hour or more, not all great autumn dishes have to cook forever. In fact, some of the best can take just minutes to prepare.

I learned that lesson at the Park Hotel in Villach, Austria, as a 15-year-old apprentice chef. While slaving away in the kitchen, I soon discovered that nothing I helped to cook won as much approval among our guests as a menu item that our waiters made tableside in chafing dishes.

That specialty was Schweines Geschnitzeltes, a traditional dish that translates as "sliced pork." And while that name does reflect the simplicity of preparation, it doesn't do justice to the satisfying, complex-tasting results.

The pork slices in question are, in fact, strips of lean pork tenderloin. In a hot saute pan, they cook through and turn a flavorful golden brown in just minutes. All that remains to do afterwards is saute chopped onion and garlic in the pan; brown sliced mushrooms; add cream, spices, and herbs; simmer briefly until a thick sauce forms; and return the pork to the pan before spooning the dish over noodles or rice.

At home, of course, you don't need to wheel a chafing dish up to your dining table. Just heat a large skillet on the stove, making sure it's good and hot so the ingredients cook quickly and turn an appetizing color rather than steaming and becoming grayish. Have all the ingredients cut up and arranged within easy reach next to the stove, and your dinner will be ready to serve in little more than a quarter of an hour.

Rich and earthy with autumn flavors, the dish can be as elegant or down-to-earth as you like. For a special occasion, substitute veal for the pork and use golden trumpet-shaped chanterelle mushrooms, trimmed and cut lengthwise in halves. If you prefer an everyday poultry version, try it with boneless, skinless chicken breast or turkey breast.

Whatever ingredients you use, it's a dish you can easily put together even after a long, hard day of work. And, unless someone keeps you company in the kitchen, no one has to know that you didn't spend an hour or more at the stove.

Sauteed Pork Tenderloin Strips in Paprika-Mushroom Cream Sauce Recipe

Serves 4 to 6

Recipe Ingredients

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 pounds pork tenderloin, well trimmed and cut into strips about 1/4 inch by 2 inches

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 pound dried wide egg noodles

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound cultivated or fresh shiitake mushrooms, trimmed, wiped clean, and cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1/4 teaspoon hot paprika

1 tablespoon minced fresh marjoram leaves

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves, plus extra for garnish

2 tablespoons creme fraiche

Recipe Preparation

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat a large, heavy saute pan over high heat. Add the oil. When it swirls easily in the pan and is very hot, add the pork strips and saute them, stirring frequently, until they are uniformly golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. With a slotted spoon, transfer the strips to a strainer set over a mixing bowl. Set the meat aside, reserving the juices that collect in the bowl.

When the pot of water boils, add the noodles to the pot. Cook until al dente, tender but still slightly chewy, following the manufacturer's suggested cooking time.

Meanwhile, return the saute pan to high heat and add the butter. When the butter starts to turn brown, add the onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Saute, stirring frequently, until all the liquid given up by the mushrooms has evaporated, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream, sweet and hot paprika, and the juices from the pork. Simmer briskly, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly. Stir in the reserved pork strips, marjoram, and 2 tablespoons of parsley, and adjust the seasonings to taste with more salt and pepper. Stir in the creme fraiche.

When the noodles are done, drain them and mound them on individual serving plates. Spoon the pork, mushrooms, and sauce over the noodles, garnish with parsley, and serve immediately.

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Recipes: "Sauteed Pork Tenderloin Strips "

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