Fennel Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Blue Cheese Gravy
2 pounds pork tenderloin
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup blue cheese (mild such as Danish)
Preheat oven to 400° F. Put fennel in a coffee grinder or pulverize with a mortar and pestle to a fine consistency. Mix ground fennel seed with the salt and pepper. Trim the pork tenderloin to remove any fat and silver skin. Cover it with the dijon mustard and then press the spice mixture onto the meat. Sear the tenderloin in an oven proof pan for about 6 minutes to brown the outside. Once browned, transfer the pan to the oven and roast for approximately 20-25 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 150° F. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil to rest for ten minutes. Meanwhile add the butter to the roasting pan to melt. Once it has melted add the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Then add the chicken stock to the pan and simmer until the gravy is thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Take the pan off the heat and add the cheese whisking until it is melted. Slice the tenderloin and serve with the gravy. Enjoy!
I am always looking to new ways to make pork tenderloin. It’s relatively inexpensive and very low in fat so it makes a great addition to healthy eating. This recipe was inspired by my daughter’s love of blue cheese. She is not always a fan of pork so I thought creating a recipe with something that she loves will bring her around to liking pork as well. Needless to say it was a big hit! The fennel really compliments the blue cheese flavor. I used a mild Danish blue as to not overpower the other flavors. The pan gravy is very simple to make and the recipe can be made in about 35 minutes. I served it with some steamed broccoli and a rice pilaf.
On the nutrition side of things, this dish has 20% of your daily needs for potassium. Potassium is an essential electrolyte that is important for blood pressure regulation and it can balance the effects of calcium excretion when sodium levels are high in the blood. The sodium content of this dish is higher from the blue cheese but luckily it is also high in potassium. The pork is high in the B vitamins: niacin, riboflavin, B6 and thiamin as well as the mineral selenium. These are all important for enzyme function and ATP synthesis in cells. Adding a whole grain starch and a non-starch vegetable makes this meal a winning nutritional powerhouse that is under 500 calories a serving. As always I welcome your feedback. Enjoy!