The Mountain Chef: Comfort food for the holidays |

The Mountain Chef: Comfort food for the holidays

by Ian Buchanan
the mountain chef


Happy Holidays to everyone! Wow – what an amazing holiday season we have had thus far. Over 3 feet of snow in the last week-and-a-half and more on the way. Town is filling up, nostalgic holiday songs ringing through the air as we shop for our holiday ingredients for the upcoming feasts.

Talking to my sister the other day she had asked me for some ideas for a nice holiday meal that won’t break the bank. Pork loins and tenderloins are great options for a special meal at an economical price. All we need to do is pair it up with some flavorful compliments. Again here we have some great sweet and savory flavors working well together. Another benefit to the following recipes is that they offer lighter fare than most of the meals we consume during the holidays.

As with most of my recipes, please be creative using other ingredients and focus on the concepts and methods. That will give you imaginative options and allow you to watch the budget buying ingredients that are on sale and seasonal. Enjoy!!!!

1-1/2 lbs pork tenderloin

flour for dredging

1/2 cup fresh cherries, pitted

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1/2 cup sliced Granny Smith apples

1/2 small onion, julienne(thinly sliced matchsticks)

2 T oil

1 T butter, unsalted

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup Calvados or other brandy

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup apple juice

1. Preheat oven to 450F and a large saute pan over med-high heat.

2. Season a small amount of flour with salt and pepper, lightly dredge pork in flour mixture.

3. Add 2 T oil to pan(enough to coat the bottom) and sear pork until evenly golden brown. Turning and cooking each side only once until evenly cooked.

4. Remove from pan and place in baking dish, place in oven and cook to desired temperature.

5. Meanwhile, in the same saute pan add butter then onions and cook until lightly browned then add cherries and apples, cook until soft. Take the pan off the flame and add the Calvados (caution very flammable) return the pan to the stove and flame off the alcohol. Then add chicken stock and apple juice.

6. Reduce sauce until nappe’ (coat the back of a spoon) season with salt and pepper. Serve with sliced pork loin.

1 lb potatoes such as Yukon gold, redskins, sweet etc. – cut into 1” cubes

2 T olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp paprika

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp turmeric

dash nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 450F

2. Toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl.

3. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake until golden brown about 20 -30 minutes, turning once or twice with a spatula for even cooking.

4 cups vegetables, large dice

1 clove garlic, minced

1 T shallots, minced

1 T fresh lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil

water if needed

Preheat a saute pan over medium high heat, add oil to coat the bottom of the pan, add the garlic and shallots and saute a few seconds then add vegetables and saute 1-2 minutes. Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper cook another 30 seconds. Add water if needed for further cooking.