Friday, July 9, 2010
Caribbean Jerk Pork Loin w/ Pineapple Jicama Salsa
I know I seem to be saying this every Friday... but seriously, TGIF! It's been a rough couple of days at work and I'm just thankful I have the entire weekend off. I'm stuck with the big decision of picking where we're going to eat tonight, and it's a toss up between some Indian, Thai, or just good ol' comfort food. You guys wanna weigh in?
The weather has cooled off a bit due to the rain, so for once, it's not a billion degrees outside. I love this pork loin marinade because even though it has habanero peppers in it, it's not excessively hot. It's pretty much a perfect heat, and with the addition of the pineapple and jicama, you get a cool and refreshing bite to ward off the heat.
Adapted from Food & Wine's June 2010 issue - "Jerk Pork Tenderloin w/ Pineapple Salsa"
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2-3 scallions, sliced thinly and divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 habanero chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 tablespoon soy sauce
juice from 2 lemons, divided
2 tablespoons light brown sugar, divided
2 teaspoons allspice
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
2 pork tenderloins (about 1-2 lbs each)
1 small onion, chopped
15 oz. can pineapple chunks, 2 tablespoons juice reserved
1 small jicama, peeled and diced
small handful cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
To prepare the marinade for the pork, combine 3 tablespoons oil, 1-2 sliced scallions, garlic, chiles, soy sauce, 1/2 of the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, allspice, salt, pepper, thyme, nutmeg, and ginger in a food processor. Pulse until you reach a somewhat smooth texture. (it's okay if it's a little chunky) Pour the marinade in a large plastic freezer bag and add the pork loins. Turn them to coat and then seal the bag, rolling it into a tight cylinder. Place in a medium bowl (to prevent leaking) and let marinate in fridge for about 6 to 8 hours.
Light a grill under medium high heat. Take the pork out of the marinade and brush with remaining tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the pork over indirect heat until internal temperature is about 135 F, about 20-30 minutes, depending on your grill. Let rest on cutting board for about 10 minutes, then slice into thin medallions.
While you're waiting for the pork to rest, you can quickly whip up the pineapple jicama salsa. In a medium bowl, combine the onion and the remaining lemon juice. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes so the onion can soak up the lemon flavor. Add in the pineapple, pineapple juice, jicama, cilantro, remaining brown sugar, jalapeno, and remaining scallions. Toss quickly and serve with sliced pork.
I'll have to tell you this was one of the best ways that I've ever prepared pork tenderloin. The marinade is flavorful, but not overpowering. The tenderloin had a nice exterior crust, but was still moist and tender on the inside. The pineapple jicama salsa was cool and refreshing and paired exceptionally well with the tenderloin. Enjoy!
P.S. - I've been busy with my CSA goodies, making these quick parmesan skillet potatoes and these carrot and beet cakes...
Parmesan Potatoes Ingredients:
2 medium red potatoes, sliced thinly
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat a large skillet under medium high heat and add oil. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about a minute. Add in potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Fry in skillet until potatoes are starting to soften. Add in parmesan cheese and fry for about 2-5 minutes longer, allowing the cheese to melt and brown. Serve right away!
Carrot & Beet Cakes Ingredients: (I've been trying to be a little more "artsty" with my photos, hehe)
2 small carrots, peeled and shredded
2 medium beets, peeled and shredded
1 egg white
salt and pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients except for butter until well incorporated.
Heat a large skillet under medium high heat and melt butter. Using a large spoon or ladle, spoon a large amount of "batter" onto the skillet and continue doing so until pan is full. I found that 3 cakes fit perfectly for each batch. The batter doesn't make a lot of cakes, so 2 batches would probably be it, depending on how big you make the cakes.
Fry each cake for about 4-5 minutes per side and serve right away as well.