Shabby Chic Pork Tenderloin with Proscuitto, Baby Bellas, Garlic and Sage

I love Whole Foods. For better or for worse there is a beautiful and bountiful Whole Foods located dangerously close to my house. In fact, it’s actually within walking distance, which should make walking there a good strategy for keeping my bill down, as I can’t purchase more than I can carry. Sadly this strategy doesn’t work because shopping at Whole Foods is similar to shopping at Neiman Marcus; both offer spectacular and tantalizing merchandising, each store heralds exuberant, helpful and knowledgeable employees and both have the uncanny ability to make a $200 purchase fit in a very small bag!

Like many people I know, my income has shrunk considerably over the past few years. Ok, I’ll admit it, this is a gross understatement. My income has actually gone from mid six figures to zilch, nada, zero! Unfortunately not only did my palate and my champagne taste not dissipate along with my healthy paycheck but now I find myself with far more time to create bountiful, yummy meals, along with a relatively new (two years in January) charming and adorable husband to feed to boot!
So what’s a gourmet gal on a shoestring budget to do? My answer has been twofold. To begin with, in addition to being blessed with more time to cook, I also have more time to shop. And fret not my Green friends for I am not increasing my carbon footprint. As it turns out, located enroute to my closest Costco are both my favorite Asian Market, H-Mart, and directly across the street is my Middle Eastern Mecca, Aresh. Both of these stores satisfy my adventurous palate, while simultaneously preserving my limited cash reserves.

Last night I created yet another budget-busting, gourmet extravaganza for Colin and I and for those of you still gainfully employed, you will be glad to know that it was also economical on time. Margo (my partner in crime and cooking) and I had spent the bulk of the day working on getting this food blog off of the ground and Colin and I had free theatre tickets for a 7:30p play, so my dinner had to be completed within one hour, from the time I entered the kitchen to placing our plates on the table. I made it!!
The ingredients and corresponding (ballpark) pricing are as follows:
2 loin pork chops from Cotsco $4.00
2-3 oz. sliced mushrooms $.50
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced $.05
3 Tblsp. Butter $.25
2 Tblsp EVOO $.20
Flour – not enough to count!
2/3 can chicken broth $.75
1 Lemon $.35
1 Tsp. Dried Sage – not enough to count!
S&P – Ditto
2 Baking Potatoes $.10
Broccoli $1.00
Prosciutto $1.00

My grand total of $8.20 had an added bonus. Neither Colin nor I, who are not light eaters, could finish our dinner and he brought the leftovers to work for lunch today.

Recipe:

Before starting place 2 baking potatoes in 450 degree pre-heated oven.
Prep:
1. My pork chops were probably 2-3 inches thick. I purchased them at Cotsco and they were not specially cut. I tell you this, as the first step in the recipe is to pound your chops with a meat mallet until they are about _ inch thick.
2. Cover beaten pork chop with sliced prosciutto to cover-I used three slices in all
3. Pound prosciutto into chops with mallet
4. Dredge pork chops in flour
5. Thinly slice 6 cloves of garlic
6. If your mushrooms are not pre-sliced, slice them thin, but not paper thin
7. Preheat oven to 170 degrees if using convection, “Keep Warm” temp otherwise
Cook:
1. Heat EVOO in large sauté pan
2. Add sliced garlic and cook for about 2-3 minutes to soften, stirring a few times in the process
3. Add mushrooms to pan and sauté for an additional minute or so, until softened and light brown
4. Add pork chops to pan, prosciutto side down first and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side to brown
5. Remove chops from pan, place on oven proof dish and put in pre-heated oven
6. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into the remaining mushroom, garlic mixture in pan and add about 2/3 can of chicken broth. Scrape the bottom of the pan to dislodge any browned bits, stir in dried sage and salt & pepper to taste, and simmer until reduced by half.
7. While the sauce cooks down, steam broccoli for about 5-6 minutes, until al dente
8. When sauce is reduced, take a tablespoon or so of flour, mix in 2-3 Tablespoons of the sauce and add flour mixture back to the pan to thicken the sauce.
9. Remove pork chops from oven. If there are any juices on the plate you kept them warm on, add them to the pan. Now add the pork chops, prosciutto side up, to the pan and keep them warming in the sauce while you plate the broccoli and baked potato.
10. Place chops on plates and spoon sauce over the tops of the chops.


Bon Appetit on the cheap!!! If you want to reduce the cost of this meal, one could easily serve one pork chop for two people without worrying that anyone will leave the table un-satiated.

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