Green Curry Pork Tenderloin

While I’m sharing delicious green sauces, I have another one to share… Thai green curry this time. 🙂 Using prepared curry paste is a wonderful shortcut, making this dish an elegant weeknight meal.

This dish comes from my favorite column, R.S.V.P., in Bon Appetit magazine. Subscribers write in to request recipes for dishes that stayed in their minds after dining out. This recipe was adapted from Root Down in Denver, Colorado. I doubled the meat and marinade, and increased the amount of garlic and the cooking time (internal meat temperature).

We ate it with steamed spinach over brown Basmati rice. I served the tenderloin over the spinach and rice so that every component was smothered in the wonderful sauce.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

For the Tenderloin:

  •  1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup (4 T) fresh orange juice
  • 2 T pure maple syrup
  • 2 T toasted sesame oil
  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 1 to 1½ pounds each)
  • coarse salt
  • 1 T grapeseed or vegetable oil

For the Sauce & Assembly:

  • 1 T plus ½ cup grapeseed or vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup prepared green curry paste
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest (from 1 lime)
  • 1 14.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 T agave nectar
  • 1 T fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, plus more for serving
  • Unsalted, roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas; for serving)
  • 1 to 2 pounds spinach, steamed until wilted, for serving
  • brown Basmati rice, for serving
  1.  Combine soy sauce, orange juice, maple syrup, and sesame oil in a large resealable plastic bag. Add tenderloin meat; close bag, pressing out air. Chill, turning once, 4–12 hours.
  2. Remove tenderloin from marinade and pat dry; discard marinade. Season lightly with salt.
  3. Preheat oven to 250°.
  4. Heat grapeseed oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high.
  5. Cook tenderloin, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes per side, 5 minutes total.
  6. Transfer pan to the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of tenderloin registers 135°, 20–25 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest at least 10 minutes before slicing.
  8. While meat is cooking, heat 1 T oil in a large saucepan over medium.
  9. Cook shallot and garlic, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.
  10. Add curry paste and lime zest and cook, stirring constantly, until paste is slightly darkened in color and very fragrant, about 4 minutes.
  11. Add coconut milk, bring to a simmer, and cook until reduced by half, 20–25 minutes. Let curry mixture cool.
  12. Transfer curry mixture to a blender and add agave, lime juice, ¼ cup cilantro, and 2 T water; blend until very smooth.
  13. With motor running, add remaining ½ cup oil in a steady stream; blend until sauce is thick and emulsified. Transfer to a small saucepan and heat over medium just until warmed through.
  14. Serve pork over prepared rice and steamed spinach, topped with sauce, cilantro, and pumpkin seeds.

Do Ahead: Sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

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Squash & Pork Stir-Fry

I’m sure you’ve rushed around the grocery store thinking you’ve purchased the necessary ingredients to throw together a “quick” weeknight meal. Right? I thought that was the case for me… When  I started to prepare this dish, I realized that I had ground pork instead of pork sausage and butternut instead of kabocha squash. I’m blaming holiday stress and distraction. (Well, truth be told, the squash was a conscious substitution- no fabulous kabocha to be found.) :/

This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit, contributed by Chris Morocco. I doubled the recipe, used ground pork instead of pork sausage (oops!), seasoned accordingly, butternut instead of kabocha squash, and cashews instead of peanuts. I also omitted the sugar. I roasted the squash instead of steaming and sautéing it. We let the dish stand alone, but it would also be wonderful accompanied by rice. Delicious!

Yield: 4 Servings

  • 1 medium butternut or kabocha squash, cut into 1-inch pieces, approximately 4 cups
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound (80 percent lean) ground pork
  • 1 tsp coarse salt, plus more for squash
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more for squash
  • dash or two of red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 serrano chiles, seeded and sliced
  • 1 T finely grated peeled ginger root
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 1 large lime)
  • 4 tsp fish sauce
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • salted, roasted peanuts or cashews and chopped cilantro, for serving, as desired
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection roast.
  2. Toss squash with 1 T olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Place squash on a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven until tender, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  3. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet. Add pork, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano, thyme, and paprika; cook, breaking into large pieces and stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add garlic, shallot, chiles, and ginger and cook, stirring often, just until softened, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add roasted squash, lime juice, fish sauce, and scallions; toss to combine.
  6. Serve stir-fry topped with nuts and cilantro, as desired.

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Moscow Mule

I used to be a margarita or gin and tonic person in the summertime but I have a new favorite refreshing cocktail to share! A friend introduced me to the Moscow Mule during my special trip to Charleston. All I need now is a copper mug to drink it in. 🙂

My friend used a special South Carolina Ginger Beer and I was afraid that it would never taste the same without it. Well, thank goodness for Trader Joe’s! Their Ginger Beer has the little bit of spice that made the South Carolina version amazing. Perfect.

This recipe is a combination of an all recipes.com version and my friend’s concoction. Great!

Yield: Serves 1

  • 1 1/2 fluid ounces vodka
  • 1/2 fluid ounce lime juice (about 1/2 a lime)
  • ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup ginger beer, or about 1/2 of a bottle (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • splash of seltzer, optional
  • 1 lime wedge for garnish
  1. Pour vodka and lime juice into a mug; add ice cubes and ginger beer. Stir to combine.
  2. Add a splash of seltzer, if desired, to decrease the sweetness.
  3. Drop a lime wedge into the mug for garnish.

Note: The classic Moscow Mule is served in a copper mug.

To make a Watermelon Moscow Mule variation add 5 T pureed, strained watermelon juice.

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Mexican Street Corn Crostini

I was also able to celebrate my birthday on my special Charleston trip. 🙂 Although I enjoyed a lot of wonderful Southern food while I was there, my friends and I also went to Sean Brock’s Minero’s Restaurant for a Mexican birthday lunch. It was SO good.

Along with our various tacos, we had bowls of Mexican street corn which were absolutely delicious. I do plan on re-creating that dish, but for now these grilled corn crostini were another terrific variation. I made these as a Fourth of July appetizer. Unlike other crostini that have to be prepared at the last-minute, these are perfect to bring to a party or potluck because the topping can be placed on the ciabatta in advance.

This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit. I toasted the ciabatta until it was nicely browned and increased the garlic on the toasted bread. Great!

Yield: Makes 12 crostini

  • 2 ears corn, shucked
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 slices of ciabatta bread (I used most of a 1 lb. loaf, cut into 12 1/2-inch thick slices)
  • 2 garlic cloves, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup crema mexicana or sour cream
  • 3 T crumbled feta
  • lime wedge
  • cilantro leaves
  • chili powder
  1. Rub corn with vegetable oil. Season corn with salt and freshly ground black pepper; grill until slightly charred and tender.
  2. Slice corn off the cob in wide strips. (I grilled 3 ears just to ensure that I would have enough wide strips.)
  3. Grill or toast the bread slices until uniformly browned. While still warm, rub the top of each slice with garlic.
  4. Mix crema mexicana or sour cream with feta.
  5. Smear toasts with crema mixture. Top crema with grilled corn.
  6. Squeeze a lime wedge over each.
  7. Garnish with cilantro leaves and sprinkle with chili powder.

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Pasta Salad with Peas & Summer Beans

This dish is going to be the beginning of an appetizer and side dish extravaganza of belated posts I have been wanting to share. Perfect timing (I’d say!) right before the Fourth of July and the peak of cookout season. 🙂

I especially loved this pasta salad because it had an equal ratio of vegetables to pasta. It was super garlicky, without even modifying the original recipe, and fresh. I loved the use of whole wheat penne too.  This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living. I increased the peas and green beans and omitted the wax beans. We ate it with grilled salmon sandwiches but it would also pair well with grilled chicken or tuna. Nice!

Yield: Serves 8

  • 8 ounces whole-wheat penne
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 12 ounces haricots verts or green beans, trimmed and cut into thirds
  • 7 ounces frozen peas (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh juice (about 1 1/2 limes)
  • 1 cup packed cilantro, finely chopped
  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water for 4 minutes.
  2. Add beans; cook until pasta and beans are al dente, 4 to 5 minutes more.
  3. Add peas and immediately drain. Run cold water over pasta and vegetables until completely cool; drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  4. In a small skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add garlic; cook, stirring often, until golden, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  5. Remove from heat; stir in lime zest and juice (it may splatter).
  6. Add dressing and 3/4 teaspoon salt to pasta bowl; season with pepper. Toss with cilantro.
  7. Adjust seasoning, if necessary, to taste.
  8. Serve, or refrigerate in an airtight container up to 1 day.

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Weeknight Red Curry

My husband has been saying that we really should incorporate more fish into our diet. I know that he’s probably right. :/ So, I was very proud to serve not only one, but TWO fish dinners in one week. The first was a super quick and fresh pan-roasted fish dish. (I’ll share that in a separate post.) The second was this quick red curry. I thought it was just me, but we all decided that the fish overpowered an otherwise delicious dish. (I am open to another opinion though!) I made it again with my go-to protein, boneless, skinless chicken thighs, and it was a winner in my house. Maybe fish once a week is enough for us. 😉

This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit, contributed by Claire Saffitz. I used two broccoli crowns, one red bell pepper, two carrots, and one large shallot in the mixed vegetables. We ate it over fresh rice noodles; I think it would also be wonderful with rice. It was absolutely delicious and faster than takeout.

I’m bringing this to share at Fiesta Friday #123 this week co-hosted by Margy @ La Petite Casserole and Linda @ La Petite Paniere. Enjoy!

Yield: Serves 4

  • 1 large shallot
  • 6 large garlic cloves
  • 1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1½ cups whole peeled tomatoes, plus juices from one 15-ounce can or half of one 28-ounce can (I cheated and used diced tomatoes.)
  • 1 13.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • coarse salt
  • approximately 1 pound mixed fresh vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, red bell peppers, carrots, and/or shallots), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound firm white fish (such as halibut or cod), skin removed or 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 12 to 24 oz fresh rice noodles, cooked according to package directions
  • minced and whole cilantro leaves, for serving
  • lime wedges, for serving
  1. Pulse shallot, garlic, and ginger in a food processor to finely chop.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add shallot mixture and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add curry paste and turmeric; cook, stirring, until paste is darkened in color and mixture starts to stick to pan, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes, breaking up with your hands, then juices. Cook, stirring often and scraping up browned bits, until tomatoes start to break down and stick to pot, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in coconut milk and season with salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until mixture is slightly thickened and flavors meld, 8–10 minutes.
  6. Add vegetables and pour in enough water to cover (limit to 1/2 to 1 cup to prevent the sauce from becoming too thin). Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender, 8–10 minutes.
  7. Season fish or chicken all over with salt and nestle into curry (add a little more water if it’s very thick). Return to a simmer and cook just until meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  8. Spoon curry over rice noodles and top with cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

Do Ahead: Curry base (without vegetables or fish) can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill. Reheat over medium-low, adding water to thin as needed.

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Grilled Cilantro-Lime Shrimp Tacos with Cabbage & Corn Slaw

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We were recently able to have all of my immediate family get together at our house to spend some quality time together. My mom and sister with family were able to spend almost a week here, but my brother was only able to stay one night. The special dinner to serve when everyone was able to be together had to be TACOS. 🙂 Guacamole too, of course.

I had received extra CSA chard from a friend, so I served Rick Bayless’ Swiss Chard Tacos (one of my favorites) along with these shrimp tacos for variety. It’s always more fun to be able to try different types and use tons of toppings! We set up the table so that everyone could assemble their own tacos. The chard tacos had smoky chipotle salsa, feta, and sour cream toppings, and the shrimp tacos had corn slaw and roasted jalapeño crema toppings. We also had rice and refried beans on the side. Nice. 🙂

This recipe was adapted from closetcooking.com. I modified the cooking times, used a grill basket to cook the shrimp, and used raw fresh corn in the slaw. The recipes below were doubled for my crowd.

Yield: Serves 4

For the Grilled Cilantro-Lime Shrimp:

  • 1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 2 limes, juice and zest (about 1/4 cup lime juice)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Marinate the shrimp in the mixture of the lime juice, zest, oil, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, salt and pepper for 15 to 20 minutes. (In the original recipe, the shrimp marinated for 30 minutes & was “cooked” by the end; I modified the cooking time so that the shrimp would not be overcooked after grilling.)
  2. Skewer the shrimp and grill over medium-high heat until cooked (pink), about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Alternatively, place shrimp in a lightly-oiled grill basket over medium-high heat and cook until pink, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.

For the Roasted Jalapeño Crema:

  • 2+ jalapeno chiles, cut in half and seeded
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • coarse salt, to taste
  1. Place the peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet with the cut side facing down, place the baking sheet on the top shelf in the oven and broil until the outer layer of the skin has blistered and blackened, about 8-14 minutes.
  2. Seal the foil around the chiles and let them cool until you can handle them, about 10 minutes, before pinching off the skins.
  3. Puree with remaining ingredients. Set aside 1/4 cup for the Corn Slaw. Place remaining Crema in a bowl for serving.

For the Corn Slaw:

  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 2 cups cabbage, shredded in a food processor
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup roasted jalapeño crema (above)
  1. Combine all ingredients. Place in a serving bowl.

For the Tacos:

  • 1 pound cilantro lime shrimp
  • 12 small corn tortillas
  • Roasted Jalapeño Crema
  • Corn Slaw
  • 1 large avocado, diced, optional
  • cilantro to taste, optional
  1. Assemble the tacos with corn slaw on the bottom, topped with avocado, shrimp and a dollop of roasted jalapeño crema along with a garnish of cilantro.

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