Pork Medallions with Mustard Pan Sauce; too many pics

We had the first artichokes of the season last weekend.

In celebration I wanted something simple to make that required a minimum of my attention.

Thus a recipe is born.

I used both butter and oil in browning the shallots. Oil keeps the butter from burning and butter adds a nice flavor. I wanted them crispy brown rather than caramelized so I was using medium heat – which is what works on my cook top.

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Pork Medallions with Mustard Pan Sauce

Pan sauces are very easy – thicken or not as you like.

  • Author: Katie Zeller
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Pork


  • 1 pork tenderloin, 14oz (420gr), sliced 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick
  • 3 large shallots, sliced
  • 2 tbs olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) dry sherry


  • Sauté shallots in butter and 1 tbs oil over medium heat until brown and crisp, 10 – 20 minutes, depending on skillet and heat.
  • In a separate skillet, brown pork medallions in remaining 1 tbs oil on both sides, about 10 minutes total.
  • Add mustard, sherry, chicken broth to skillet and stir to combine.
  • Cover. reduce heat to low, and finish pork, about 5 minutes longer.
  • Spoon most of the sauce onto a small platter.
  • Add pork chops and drizzle remaining sauce over the top.
  • Sprinkle with browned shallots and serve.


Substitute onion for the shallot, and any mustard you like for the hot Dijon

Keywords: pork tenderloin, mustard pan sauce

Pork Medallions with Mustard Pan Sauce

Two things happened today that made me start thinking…. and we know how treacherous that can be.

First, I was looking for some recipe ideas for cod. I’m tired of salmon, and cod is the other fresh fish that mon mari complains the least about.

Really – it’s so bland, what is there to complain about?

I digress….

I keyed in a few words and started searching.

I found a recipe title that appealed to me so I started scrolling.

After going past 12 (I counted), in the immortal words of Arlo Guthrie ‘eight by 10 color glossy pictures‘ of every ingredient and every step I still had not gotten to the recipe.

Frustrated, I closed the page and decided I’d just see what looked good at the market.

Second, a friend on Facebook posted a comment about someone ‘taking the temperature of water with a thermometer before adding the egg’.

A perfectionist, perhaps?

So I asked myself: Are the food blogs with all the photos making people afraid to cook?

Are novice cooks so afraid of screwing something up that they do nothing?

Is fear of not having an Instagram-able photo paralyzing would-be cooks?

The other night I was unexpectedly cooking for myself. Mon mari wasn’t feeling his best so he made himself (yes, you read that correctly) a couple of soft-boiled eggs and some toast.

That left me to my own devices, so to speak….

There was a leftover bit of cabbage that I was going to toss, but it was just enough for one person. I chopped it and put in a small skillet with some butter. When it was wilted, I added 1/4 cup of barley and 1/2 cup of chicken stock and covered it. 15 minutes later I added a small can of tuna, a leftover bit of Greek yogurt and the last bit of shredded cheese.

I did a great job of cleaning out the fridge.

It looked like the dog’s dinner.

If it tasted as bad as it looked I gave myself permission to actually make it the dogs’ dinner (they eat anything)

It was great.

Maybe the recipes with all the photos make cooking too intimidating for a novice cook.

Maybe they should have permission to do some spontaneous, creative, who cares, cooking that will never be seen on Instagram.

My first cook books didn’t have photos. My favorite cook books still don’t.

If one doesn’t know how each step of a dish is supposed to look one doesn’t have to worry if it’s ‘right’.

Freedom to make mistakes and learn.

Or you can just look at the pretty pictures….

I have to go do something with that cod now.

10 thoughts on “Pork Medallions with Mustard Pan Sauce; too many pics”

  1. I’m often astounded by the questions in the comments on cooking blogs. Some people are clearly very unconfident in the kitchen. I never hesitate to substitute, experiment or do things by eye, but I learnt to cook within the family and was producing meals for my father and younger sister by the age of 8 (my mother worked shifts). I think many people half my age come to cooking as adults and learn from books and the internet. There is also an interesting distinction between ‘cooking’ and ‘baking’ which I find curious (because I’d never encountered it in Australia, but only once I moved to the UK). Also, I cook *every*single*day* and have done for 40 years. Younger women I think don’t get nearly that much practice (I was always astounded by British colleagues who didn’t cook because they didn’t have time to do that and keep the house clean. Their solution was to buy ready meals. Mine was to hire a cleaner. I couldn’t understand why you would opt for an unpleasant task over a rewarding and creative one, nor did I understand why you would settle for the texture and taste of ready meals.)

    • I was baking cookies and cakes when I was that young but didn’t start cooking until, oh, around 12 lol. And I, too, cook every day… Although when I was single I would cook large batches and freeze meals. I’ve never lived where I could get good delivered – not even pizza! Of all the things I miss here in France – my cleaner is missed the most. Always, always cooking over cleaning 😉

  2. “(yes, you read that correctly)” LOL.

    Now I wonder about confidence too. I’m from a different generation than today’s thought-leaders or the Internet famous, so I take the step-by-step photos and contextual writing as a benefit. I learned to cook with some excellent (real, bound) cookbooks that had step-by-step photos (or ink-quill drawings for my time). It’s never occurred to me that perfect photos and look-at-me writing could intimidate people. But in general I do think young people — at least young Americans — are much more insecure at their age, about *doing* things, than I was at their age. Hmm.

    • Perhaps they’re more insecure because everything is expected to be photo-perfect. And a lot of them weren’t kicked out of the house in the morning with orders to ‘go play and don’t come back until supper – here’s your lunch’. which always forced a bit of creativity (ahem)
      I have my mother’s early cook books and so many assume that you have a certain expertise. My favorite, for baking is “Cream the sugar and butter”.
      Step-by-step can be good – but can we have it after the recipe for those who want it?
      Quill & ink? lol

  3. I like cod, but you’re right, it’s pretty bland. Maybe that’s why it’s such a great fish to fry with a nice beer batter. It lets the batter shine. We went out for dinner tonight and I had Maker’s Mark salmon. It’s grilled with a glaze made with the Maker’s Mark whiskey and…I dunno what else, but it’s fabulous.

    Many of those blogs have a ‘jump to recipe’ button you can use and I do because I can’t stand all the pictures and extraneous flotsam either. If you use Chrome though, there’s this: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/recipe-filter/ahlcdjbkdaegmljnnncfnhiioiadakae
    It works mostly on just food blogs, not Food Network and such, but it helps…

    • The restaurant I worked at during high school had the old Friday night fish fry with bear-batter wall-eye. That was so good on so many levels. And at the end of the night the cook and I finished off the beer lol Maker’s Mark…. I’d forgotten that name, I’m ready for grilled salmon.
      Thanks for the link. It works lol
      I’m always happy to find the ‘Go to Recipe’ and I don’t understand why some bloggers don’t use that. I actually went all the way to the end once, just out of curiosity, and it had a separate link to the recipe – different page…. Not even lower on the same page…. I did not click. It might have even been a video

  4. For cod I make a topping that I had at a restaurant once, breadcrumbs and chorizo blitzed together and grilled. It just makes the cod a little bit more interesting.

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