Remember the Mary Engelbreit craze in the early 90’s? Little collections of pleasant thoughts and gentle reminders to look on the bright side to share with anyone who needs a little pick-me-up on everything from greeting cards to fabric to ‘home accents’? I’ve always remembered this one –
I love the Co-op market in our village. It was refurbished just before we moved to Moretonhampstead, looks very smart and has a pretty good selection of food and wine. Although it can be feast of famine at times. For instance, there were no bagels for weeks, but there is currently a special on 500 ml squeezy bottles of Heinz Ketchup which can be bought by the caseload. So we’re flexible in our menu planning and when we go shopping.
The other day, punnets of cherries were reduced to 50 pence! From £4.00. So I picked up four of them and made our first meal at home, as husband and wife, based around cherries. I love cherries! The saying ‘Life is just a bowl of cherries’ means that life is pleasant and simple – just make sure not to swallow the pits and you’ll be fine.
I’ve made a cherry sauce for pork before with dried cherries and port, which was great and had a slightly tart twang to it. But I looked out a few fresh cherry recipes and cobbled this one together. It was very juicy and fresh . . . . . . succulent! I got the pork medallions sliced to order from Michael Howard, the butcher over the road from us.
Pork Medallions with Fresh Cherry Sauce
- 2 -3 pork medallions per person, cut from a pork tenderloin
- Sunflower oil for frying
- 1 cup flour
- ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
For the Cherry Sauce:
- ½ cup red wine
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup of cherries, pitted and halved
Cut the pork tenderloin into 1/2″-3/4″ medallions and place inside a zip top plastic bag one at a time. Pound with a rolling pin until the medallion is 1/4″ in thickness. Repeat with remaining medallions.
In a large skillet, add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan and heat over medium high heat.
While oil is heating, mix the flour, salt and pepper to a plate. Dredge the pork medallions in the flour mixture and place in the hot oil. Brown on both sides, cook for about 5 minutes and remove from pan. Keep cooked medallions warm under a foil tent while preparing the sauce.
Add the wine and vinegar to the skillet, stirring constantly and loosening up the bits on the bottom of the pan. Add brown sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Toss in the fresh cherries. Cook until slightly thickened. Off heat, add butter and stir until melted. Spoon over the pork medallions.
We had this with roasted potato wedges and steamed haricots vert. Boy, was it ever good!
For dessert, I made a clafoutis. A clafoutis (cherry flan) can be made from other fruits, but it is traditional in the Limousin during cherry season – peasant cooking for family meals and about as simple a dessert to make as you can imagine.
- 1 ¼ cups milk
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup flour
- 3 cups cherries, pitted
- 1/3 cup sugar
- powdered sugar
In a blender blend the milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour. Pour a 1/4 inch layer of the batter in a buttered 7 or 8 cup lightly buttered fireproof baking dish. Place in the oven until a film of batter sets in the pan. Remove from the heat and spread the cherries over the batter. Sprinkle on the 1/3 cup of sugar. Pour on the rest of the batter. Bake at 350 degrees for about for about 45 minutes to an hour. The clafouti is done when puffed and brown and and a knife plunged in the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, serve warm.
“Life is just a bowl of cherries, dont take it serious, its mysterious.
Life is just a bowl of cherries, so live and laugh and laugh at love,
love a laugh, laugh and love.”
– Bob Fosse
PS I probably won’t ever base a meal around Ketchup