Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Pork Tenderloin with Herb Sauce

Many happy years of married life are to be celebrated, so I plan an evening..a movie and dinner for a very special couple. Keith and Colleen Louis are congenial, fun loving and game for everything! The four of us start by being the youngsters in a mostly grey haired audience viewing Florence Foster Jenkins, a truly delightful movie. The evening progresses to tea and zucchini bread. As the light fades, we move on to stronger libations. And dinner. 

Cold zucchini soup, laced with fried squash blossoms and mini zucchini is refreshing. An avocado and heirloom tomato salad is crowned with a generous portion of burrata and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. The garden theme stops here! The mains are roast pork tenderloin, smashed potatoes and corn with basil. 

The tenderloin adaptation from a chef I follow. Ottolenghi's recipes delight my palate on every occasion.  His list of ingredients is always detailed. The reward is the result...always! With that thought in mind I try my version of this recipe for the first time. How hard is it to blend white wine, tamarind, sugar, lime juice, garlic and herbs? How easy is it to let the meat marinade for a few hours? And how difficult is it to roast this gorgeous piece of meat?? Believe me.. the answer is... easy as ABC! 

Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi 
Serves 6

2 Pork Tenderloins
2 teaspoons Tamarind Paste (see note)
1 cup Mint leaves 
2 cups Parsley 
2 cups Cilantro 
3 tablespoons White Wine
2 Garlic cloves
1 teaspoon Cumin powder 
1 teaspoon Brown Sugar
1 Lime, juiced
1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons Olive Oil 
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
1/2 teaspoon ground Black Pepper 

Blend or process tamarind, mint, parsley, cilantro, wine, garlic, cumin powder, brown sugar, lime juice, 1/2 cup olive oil and seasonings. 

Pat tenderloins dry and place them in a glass dish. 

Pour herb sauce over pork, turning pork so it is well coated. 

Marinate in the refrigerator for 3-5 hours. Bring to room temperature before roasting.

Heat oven to 400F.

Heat a griddle or cast iron pan over a high flame.

Let the sauce drip off tenderloins before placing onto pan.

Add remaining olive oil to the pan and use tongs to sear tenderloins on all sides.

Place tenderloins on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. If you are using a cast iron pan, go ahead and place the pan in the oven.

Remove pork from oven and tent with foil. Let pork sit for 5 minutes before you slice the meat.

While pork roasts, pour remaining marinade into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat and let sauce simmer for 10 minutes.

Cut pork into thin slices. 

Drizzle sauce over sliced pork and serve.


If you cannot find tamarind paste, soak a golf ball sized piece of tamarind (available at Indian grocers) in a little water for 15 minutes, then squeeze the pulp till you have a thick paste.

Conversations ebb and flow like the cool breeze through open windows. The comfort of an old friendship fits like a snug glove. How do I celebrate Keith and Col's milestone???...... Just a simple dinner for special folks. Or should I say a special dinner for simple folks. Both work equally well!! 

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