Sunday, May 9, 2010

Chipotle Pork with Beet and Cabbage Salads

My sister gave me a subscription to Bon Appetit magazine for xmas. I have decided that I am going to do as many recipes as possible (and desireable) from the magazine in the month I receive it. This is revolutionary because my old tack was to read the thing, then rip the recipes I liked out and put them in a folder. This folder grew and grew to such proportions that I became overwhelmed and finally threw the whole thing out when we moved because we were already moving quite a bit of crap and 17 years' worth of ripped out recipes? No. So, for the upcoming week, I looked to BA and my old Cooking Light mags. They inspire me for spring. Which is a month old, I realize, but we stay pretty cool and gray in these parts for well into it. As I previously mentioned, I am done with the heavy meat cuts, like short ribs and lamb shanks. I feel ready and able to move into more fish and, hey, pork tenderloin!

Pork tenderloin is a delight to cook, isn't it? Easy and pretty quick, too. Lean, as far as meats go, to boot. And the perfect foil for so many flavors. It just gives and gives, that swine.

This is a recipe I make a bit, from one of those accumulation magazines, like The Best Winter Recipes from Sunset, or something like that. I could get up and look, but I don't feel like it. I like to have something light beside this recipe, due to the spice. I spotted the cabbage and beet salads in BA and went for it.

Speaking of which, we have some beets planted now, and I have plans to plant more in the fall so that we have them for winter. What I really want is to grow all my own root vegetables and cabbage and hard squash and then have a root veg "cellar" of sorts. I have had a design in my mind's eye that would use a wood frame and fill it with sand. I would keep it somewhere in our clogged workroom (the final frontier of move-in mayhem; yes, that was nearly a year ago!). I have lots of goals like this for my home garden. I tend to soar in imagination, making lists, drawing up plans ... then I get overwhelmed and deflated by all I haven't done. Arg. I need to think step-by-step and not go haywire when I can't reach the moon on the first jump. From my 35th birthday to Mother's Day, I've been really good at beating myself up and measuring myself against all the things I haven't done. No root cellar? Fail. No chicken coop? Fail. And where, oh where, are the espaliered pears and apples? Fail.

Wasn't I talking about pork? Right.
Chipotle Pork:
1-1.5lb. pork tenderloin (or, really, however big you want) - Trim off all the gross silverskin and fat. Heat a pan over med-high, add some canola oil, and sear the pork on all sides, about 2 minutes per. Then toss into a baking dish or onto a sheet pan and roast at 425 for about 20 minutes, depending on the size of the loin and how cooked you like yours. I like mine rare; the one pictured is medium.
Sauce: 2/3 cup maple syrup; 4 T chipotle chiles and sauce; 2 T dijon mustard. Whisk or blend together and serve on the side.
Options: I am thinking of a couple things I want to try with this. (1) Barbequing the tenderloin and basting on the sauce near the end. (2) Heating the sauce in a small saucepan and adding a cornstarch slurry to thicken.

Salads: These go quite well with the spiciness of the pork.
Beets: 2T Sherry vinegar, 2 tsp. dijon mustard, 5 T safflower or canola oil - Whisk together and pour over 3 large red beets, grated. OR, what I did was buy pre-roasted beets from Trader Joe's and slice them.
Cabbage Salad: 1/4 white vinegar, 1 T soy sauce, 1 T sugar, 5 T safflower/canola oil - whisk and pour over 6 cups shredded cabbage and 2 T chopped mint.

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