As a caterer, I tend to find myself with little bits of leftover this and that. It may be a small hunk of roast beef, leftover from making sandwiches, or maybe a half a loaf of bread, also from said sandwiches.
Or maybe it’s a crockpot full of caramelized onions. The ones I started for a reason, but by the time 2 full days of prep in the kitchen had passed, I couldn’t remember what for.
Whatever they are, I quite like the challenge of random leftovers. Making something completely new from the refrigerator’s leavings isn’t a novel idea. Women have been doing it or decades…and for centuries before that without the benefit of cold storage. But I enjoy the burst of creativity, a quick solution to dinner and the break my wallet gets from the constant assault that is shopping for the necessities in modern life.
Food is getting expensive. Am I right?
Remember those caramelized onions I just mentioned? Well, that’s how this particular “leftover” meal got started. That an a pork tenderloin I defrosted in the fridge over night.
I cut the tenderloin almost in half down it’s length, then unfolded it and pounded it with my meat tenderizer until it was an even thickness. Seasoned it with salt and pepper, spread on some of those onions, a bit of chopped sorrel and two sprigs of rosemary straight from my planter on the porch. Then I rolled it an tied it with some kitchen twine, brushed it with Dijon, sprinkled on a little more s+p and popped it in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.
While the pork cooked, I sliced up some zucchini and heated up a small pan with about 1/2″ of oil in the bottom. Then I breaded the zucchini coins by dipping them in flour, then beaten egg, then panko bread crumbs. A quick fry on each side and they’re done!
You could call it dinner and be happy. But around here, sauces are popular, and my favourite is a pan sauce — because they’re so quick and easy.
For this dish, I removed the pork from the pan and tented it with foil. As it rested, I deglazed the juices in the pan (set on the stove over medium heat) with 1/2 a beer, added some chopped shallot and red pepper to soften, and then 2 tble dijon, and 2 tble butter to finish.
Slice the pork and fan it over a pile of zucchini coins. Spoon over the pan sauce and serve.