Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring
Salt Table’s Hostess City Blend
Once upon a time, pork tenderloins, sliced, pan-fried, and stuffed into piping hot biscuits was a special farmer’s breakfast treat during the fall and winter months, since those were the only times this rare cut was available. Today they’re available all year long and this makes a great inexpensive party hors d’oeuvres. The Salt Table’s Hostess City Blend is a perfect match for pork, especially when it’s pan-fried like this. Other great seasoning to pair with them are The Salt Table’s Spanish Moss Blend, Dave’s House Salt, and salt-free Old Man River Blend.
Some like a dollop of chutney or fig preserves added to each biscuit.
If you’re too intimidated by making biscuits, Mary B’s frozen biscuits are actually quite good and can be substituted for the from-scratch biscuits suggested here. (See Biscuits recipe below)
Serves 6 to 8
- 1 pork tenderloin, about 1-1¼-pounds
- The Salt Table Hostess City Blend
- All-purpose flour spread on a plate plus 1 rounded teaspoon if making gravy
- Olive oil
- 1 dozen hot Buttermilk Biscuits (recipe follows)
How to make it:
- Trim the tenderloin of membrane and excess fat and remove the silverskin. Pat it dry with a paper towel and cut it crosswise into ½-inch-thick medallions. Lay them between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper on a sturdy work surface and lightly beat them out to a little less than ¼-inch thick. Season all sides well with Savannah Spanish Moss Blend.
- Film a large a large cast iron skillet with olive oil and warm it over medium-high heat. When the fat is hot (an edge of the meat should sizzle when dipped into it) quickly roll the medallions in flour, shake off the excess, and slip them into the pan. Fry quickly, turning several times, until they’re browned and just cooked through, about 3-4 minutes altogether. Take care not to overcook them.
- Take them up to a warm serving platter and turn off the heat. While the biscuits are hot, split them in half by tearing them open. Fill each with a tenderloin medallion and serve immediately, while piping hot.
Makes 12-15, depending on the size
- 2 cups Southern soft-wheat flour or soft wheat pastry flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon The Salt Table Fine Sea or Himalayan Pink Salt
- 4 tablespoons chilled lard or shortening, cut into small bits
- ¾-1 cup whole-milk buttermilk or plain whole-milk yogurt thinned with milk to buttermilk consistency
How to make it:
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 500°. Sift or whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the lard and cut it in with a pastry blender until it’s the texture of grits or polenta meal with lumps the size of small peas. Do not over-blend; the small lumps of shortening are what will make the biscuits flaky.
- Make a well in the center and pour in 3/4 cup of the buttermilk. Mix with as few strokes as possible until the dough clumps together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, adding milk by the spoonful until the dough is no longer crumbly.
- Turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat out 1-inch thick. Fold it in half and pat flat again. Repeat twice more, then lightly flour the surface and roll it out ½-¾-inch thick. Using a 2-inch biscuit cutter dipped in flour before each cut, cut straight down without twisting into 12 biscuits. When cutting at the edges, be sure that there is a cut side all the way around. Lay them on an un-greased baking sheet; for very light, fluffy biscuits with soft edges, let them on touch; for crisper biscuits (the kind I prefer), space them at least half an inch apart.
- There will be left over scraps: rework by lightly gathering them into a lump, gently fold it over itself and pat flat. Pat and fold as before about 3 times, just until the scraps hold together, then pat it out ½-¾-inch thick and cut. To help the tops brown, some cooks brush them with milk or melted butter. Bake until they’re risen and golden brown on top, about 8 to 10 minutes.