Don’t judge Cuisine Actuelle by its pictures. The glamorous cookbook, written by Victor Gielisse, the chef at Dallas restaurant Actuelle (the Crescent, 500 Crescent Court), might well daunt the quotidian cook. But, in fact, most of its 150 recipes are as easy as pie. Rich, heavy sauces are conspicuous by their absence, and the preparations keep good health and nutrition in mind. (Available in bookstores; Taylor Publishing, $21.95.)
Certified master chef Victor Gielisse’s take on sautèed pork tenderloin dresses up the meat with a savory toasted-nut crust, while green-apple-and-tomatillo relish offers a tart variation on the classic applesauce accompaniment.
Three-Nut-Crusted Pork Tenderloin
1/2 cup finely chopped hazelnuts, toasted
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
1/3 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts, toasted
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup bran flakes cereal (not raw bran)
12 3-ounce mignons pork tenderloin
Freshly cracked pepper
1/2 cup flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup virgin olive oil
1/3 cup clarified butter
In food processor, mix nuts, bread crumbs, and cereal. Set aside. Season pork mignons with salt and pepper. Dust with flour, dip in beaten eggs, and then dredge lightly in nut mixture (coating should not be too thick).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Sauté pork until golden brown on all sides and remove from heat.
Finish pork by baking for about 5 minutes (keeps crust from becoming too crunchy). Serves 6.
1 pound tomatillos, diced
2 cups diced jicama
1 cup diced green apples
5 tablespoons diced red bell pepper
5 tablespoons diced yellow bell pepper
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lime
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Freshly ground pepper
In bowl, combine tomatillos, jicama, apples, and peppers. In separate bowl, combine vinegar, juices, and garlic. Slowly mix in olive oil, stirring constantly (do not use blender, as this will emulsify ingredients, which is not desirable).
Toss tomatillo mixture with dressing and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Is best if allowed to stand for 1 hour.
To serve, arrange 2 pork mignons and a scoop of relish on each plate.