Healthy, delicious blueberries can be used for dessert or main course
Pork Medallions with Blueberry Sauce
Plump berries provide gentle flavor and an attractive visual accent to this dish.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon red curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons canola oil (more as needed to sauté)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (more as needed)
12 medallions, 1 inch thick, sliced from a pork tenderloin, rinsed and patted dry
3 cups prepared rice, white or a mixture of white and wild varieties
1/2 cup wine (white or red wine work well, but if the wine is too dry, balance the flavor by adding a little honey to taste)
2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon bread flour or all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
Pork Place flour, curry powder and salt in a bowl. Add pork medallions one at a time. Flour the meat thoroughly and set aside. If necessary, re-flour the medallions before cooking.
In a skillet, heat canola oil, then add butter. When the oil and butter are hot, pan-fry the medallions. Cook a few pieces at a time; don’t crowd the skillet. Turn the meat gently, letting it turn golden brown on all sides. Remove the medallions and drain on paper towels.
Sauce Pour excess oil into a separate container and return the skillet to the heat. Add wine to the hot pan. As the wine sizzles, loosen the browned bits from the skillet for extra flavor. Stir in chicken stock. Let this mixture reduce by about one-third.
In a separate pan, make the roux: Heat 1 tablespoon butter. To the melted butter, add 1 tablespoon flour, stirring well until the flour forms a smooth paste and begins to turn golden.
Stir the roux a little at a time into the liquid, whisking well after each addition so the roux dissolves in the sauce. If you see lumps, strain the sauce into another pan and continue. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper as needed.
Remove the pan from the heat and immediately add blueberries to the sauce. Keep the sauce warm.
To serve On each of four plates, place about 3/4 cup of rice. On each bed of rice, arrange pork medallions. Ladle sauce and blueberries over meat and rice. Serve hot. Makes 4 servings.
Blueberry Custard Mini-Pies
The luxurious topping is a variation of “safe” meringue by Alice Medrich (see www.ochef.com).
8 packaged mini pie crusts (such as Keebler)
1 package (5.1 ounces) vanilla pudding and pie filling mix, such as Jell-O
1 1/3 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
6 large egg whites, room
1 cup granulated sugar
Arrange mini-pie crusts on a sheet pan. Set aside.
Follow package directions to prepare vanilla pie filling.
Spoon about 1/4 cup of vanilla pie filling into each mini-pie crust. Follow with a layer of blueberries and then another layer of filling. Sprinkle ground nutmeg on each mini-pie. Refrigerate.
Meringue In a saucepan, bring about 1 inch of water to a high simmer. In the stainless steel bowl of an electric mixer, use a hand whisk to combine the egg whites and sugar.
Place the bowl with this mixture over the hot water, whisking gently but continually, until the egg whites reach 160 degrees according to an instant-read thermometer. This temperature will kill bacteria, but stirring will keep the egg whites from cooking. Make sure all the sugar dissolves.
Move the bowl to the electric mixer. Using the machine and its whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Do not overbeat.
Preheat your broiler to 500 degrees. Scoop a mound of meringue onto each mini-pie. Use a spoon or your fingers to pull the soft meringue into decorative peaks. Slide the sheet pan of mini-pies under the broiler for about a minute, just long enough to brown the meringue. Makes about 8 mini-pies.