Cumin Pork Tenderloin, Tomatillo-Poblano Sauce
I try so many recipes, and hope that all of them end up in the “make-it-again-pile,” but so many don’t make the cut. Most of them are good, many of them are great, but few of them are really heartfelt-this-must-be-made-again-right-now good. The recipe below made this cut. And just an hour after eating, I’m already craving it again.
I pulled this recipe from the Star Tribune taste section from June 28. It’s called Cumin-Crusted pork tenderloin with charred tomatillo sauce. It’s really a simple recipe. Rub the pork with a mixture of cumin, salt and pepper. Let it sit for a couple hours. For the sauce, roast a jalapeno pepper, a couple poblano peppers, a few tomatillos and an onion. Peel the peppers, stuff it all in a blender with some cilantro, sugar, and garlic until mix until smooth. I made the sauce a day before, and knew I was on to something as soon as I tasted it. I would have been happy with just the sauce, but really, a sauce can’t be a meal, or can it?
So today we grilled up the pork, threw some rice in the rice cooker, and reheated the sauce.
The pork, from Fresh and Natural Foods, was really, remarkably tender. The sauce was sweet, but tart and served with rice that let the sauce run over it like they were meant to be together.
Since there were only two of us eating, I made just half the sauce and used just one 1-pound pork tenderloin. This means there is plenty of sauce left over. Now, do I serve it with a chicken or many grilled fish? So many decisions!!
The following recipe is from the Star Tribune, and I offer many thanks to them for adding a staple meal to my recipe collection. (I’d offer a link, but their auto sign-in form isnt working. AUGH!)
Cumin-Crusted pork tenderloin with charred tomatillo sauce
Note: To toast cumin seeds, heat in dry pan over medium heat until fragrant. Beth Jones makes the sauce ahead of time, then reheats it before serving.
• 4 tbsp. toasted cumin seeds, divided (see Note)
• 3 pork tenderloins, cleaned of fat (silver skin)
• 1 tbsp. canola oil
• 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, or coarse sea salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce:
• 1 jalapeño
• 4 poblano peppers
• 8 tomatillos, paper husks removed
• 1 small yellow onion, peeled and left whole
• 2 garlic cloves
• 1 tbsp. sugar
• 1 bunch cilantro including stems, washed
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
• Lime wedges for garnish
Using a spice grinder, or mortar and pestle, combine 1 tablespoon of the cumin seed with the salt and grind until fine. Rub the tenderloins with canola oil and season with the cumin salt and pepper.
Spread the remaining cumin seeds on a piece of plastic wrap, and roll the tenderloins in the seeds to coat them. Allow the tenderloins to marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
On a hot grill, char the jalapeño, poblanos, tomatillos and onion until evenly blistered on all sides. Remove the tomatillos and peppers and place peppers in a Ziploc-style bag to steam until cooled.
Lower the grill temperature, or if using a charcoal grill, move the onion to a cooler spot on the grill. Allow the onion to continue cooking until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Peel the peppers and place them with the onion and tomatillos in a blender and purée. Add the garlic, sugar, cilantro, and salt and pepper and purée until smooth.
Cook the tenderloins over medium-high heat, 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium. Remove from the grill and allow the tenderloins to rest for 5 minutes. Slice on the bias, and serve with the sauce and a few lime wedges for garnish.
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