A few weeks ago I posted about how great crème fraîche is and how easy it is to make. I mentioned how terrific it is whipped and served with strawberries or used in pan sauces and soups. Here is a different way to flavor a dish with this cream. This recipe showcases the savory side of crème fraîche rather than the sweet one. One things can be both sweet and savory? Ah, what a wonderful and versatile ingredient.
This is a great way to bring in the Spring season with some simple vegetables. I used zucchinis, you can add squash as well or any other soft spring vegetables. Serve it with the sauce and vegetables on a bed of rice. The leftovers are perfect for use in sandwiches. This simplicity of this dish belies the amazing flavor. Apart from the apready mentioned crème fraîche, vegetables and pork, thyme, a little garlic, salt, and pepper are all the remainder of the ingredients. Simple is good.
Not only are the ingredients straightforward, but the cooking process is simple too. It’s basically a two step process. The first step involves browning the tenderloin to boost the flavor. A minute or two in a hot skillet and you’re done. The second part is wrapping everything in a big sheet of parchment paper and baking it in the oven. That’s it. Not terrible difficult, and the parchment paper makes clean-up easy too.
As always, click for larger images…
2 pork tenderloins, silver skin removed, salted and peppered
4-5 zucchini, cut into medium disk slices
3 cloves garlic
fresh thyme (8-10 strands)
6 tablespoons crème fraîche
You will also need a large sheet of parchment paper.
1. Preheat the oven to 350F with the rack set to the lower middle section.
2. Place the parchment paper in a baking dish and layer the paper with the cut zucchini. Add some salt and pepper to taste (I used about a teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper).
3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat (don’t use non-stick if you can help it, cast iron is great for this). Once hot, add two tablespoons canola oil. Sear the tenderloins, one at a time, to brown the exterior. It should take about 45-60 seconds a side to sear the meat. Place the browned tenderloins over the bed of zucchini.
4. Dollop the crème fraîche onto the tenderloins and place the springs of thyme over the meat/zucchini. Cut the garlic cloves in half and scatter them around the meat.
5. Fold the parchment paper over the dish and crimp the edges to seal. If you have a probe thermometer, insert it into the thick part of the tenderloin before sealing the parchment. A probe thermometer will ensure that the meat is cooked to the correct temperature and help guard against overcooking the meat. Leave a little hole in one side to allow the steam to vent.
6. Cook for about 45 minutes. If you have a probe thermometer, USE IT! Set it for 160F in the thickest part of the meat.