Pork Fillet with Warm Fennel and Apple Salad

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I’ve got three restaurant reviews in the backlog but over the weekend I actually managed to fit in quite a bit of cooking. On Friday I made a banana cake. I had an idea that I’d attempt something along the lines of ‘food styling’ and re-photograph it but the cake is about 50% eaten and that hasn’t happened, so I might need to give that one up as a bad job.

Instead, we return to below average food photography but, with this recipe (from UK Delicious, where you can see a more styled photo!), very much above average bang for buck. The amount of time you need to invest is minimal (although this isn’t really a store cupboard staple recipe, so you will need to go shopping) but the end result is deceptively stylish. The other bonus is that any one of the three parts of the recipe – the pork, the creamed feta dressing or the warm salad, can be extracted and used elsewhere. The creamed feta dressing in particular is absolutely wonderful on potatoes!

If you have time to marinade the pork fillet, I recommend it – and it won’t do any harm to make a bit more marinade than you think you need! If you are lucky enough to have a pan which can go from stove to oven, use this for cooking the pork but be aware that you may need to adjust the cooking time – and be vigilant that the pork doesn’t get too brown or crispy. If it looks like it is, turn it over and cover with tin foil.

All up this took less than 45 minutes to put together – and everything was done by the time the pork came out of the oven so we even had 10 minutes of resting time spare.

Definitely a quick mid week meal option, but also smart enough to serve to others.

Pork Fillet with Warm Fennel and Apple Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 pork fillet (around 350g)
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 red apple
  • 1 small bulb of fennel
  • generous handful of hazelnuts, toasted (& skins removed, if you can be bothered)
  • 3 large radishes
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 100g feta (Australian of course!)
  • 2-3 tbsp cream

Instructions

  1. For the pork, crush the fennel seeds and garlic and mix with a generous amount of olive oil and seasoning. Cover the pork fillet and, if you have time, leave to marinate.
  2. When you're ready to cook, preheat your oven to 200°C fan (220°C convention). Brown the pork in a pan and then roast for 25 minutes. If you're using the same pan, adjust cooking time down.
  3. Rest, covered, for 10 minutes.
  4. While the pork is cooking, prepare the salad. Roast the hazelnuts. If you can be bothered, rub them in a tea towel to remove the skins, and then chop roughly.
  5. Slice the fennel, apple and radishes using a mandoline (we used setting 3 for the apple and 2 for the fennel and radish - you don't want them sliced so finely you lose crunch).
  6. Put the fennel, apple, radish and hazelnuts in a pan, dress with olive oil and lemon juice and warm slowly on a very low heat.
  7. To make the creamed feta, chop the feta and put in a small blender and beat with the cream until smooth. You may need to add a little more cream. Heat slowly in a small pan or in short (10s) bursts in the microwave (pay attention as you don't want it to curdle!).
  8. Serve the pork fillet sliced on the warm salad. Add some boiled potatoes and dress with the creamed feta, serving the remainder on the side.
http://eatingadelaide.com/pork-fillet-warm-fennel-apple-salad/

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