Tuesday, February 9, 2010

spice-rubbed pork tenderloin with baby carrots

You know how, on LOST, you get the sense (and by “get the sense” I mean that it is suggested with all the opacity of a kindergarten lesson) that the lives of the characters are somehow irrevocably intertwined? That, even in the face of extraordinary events that defy the space/time continuum—the disappearance of an Island, for instance, or the successful detonation of a hydrogen bomb—Jack, Locke, Hurley, et al. will be pulled, without their knowledge or understanding, toward some predetermined fate?

I’m beginning to think that the same is true for me and Molly Stevens. After all, doesn’t it seem like just last month that I was lauding her recipe for beef tenderloin? (It was just last month.) And, isn’t it strange that I would inadvertently set my heart on another Epicurious recipe for tenderloin (this time pork) also belonging to Molly Stevens??

Of course, it could just be that I am drawn to her particular culinary sensibilities. Or that years of practice have refined my Epicurious strooping. Still, it’s eerie, no?

Eerie, and also very fortunate. Because this tenderloin, just like the last, was extremely tasty, spiced with cumin and oregano and served alongside roasted baby carrots. The carrots make the dish, really—all the sweet caramelization you’d expect, plus a delicious porky glaze from the pan drippings.

Alas, I think it’s time I say goodbye to tenderloin (of all stripes) for a while—I would hate to neglect the more economical and eco-friendly parts of the animal. But I suspect that Ms. Stevens and I will cross paths again soon.

Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Baby Carrots
Adapted from Bon Appétit

This recipes calls for true baby carrots (i.e. not the shaved-down nubbins you find in plastic bags)—but you can easily substitute regular carrots, cut into 3-inch lengths. Realistically, I would double the carrot recipe to serve six.

Serves 6

For the carrots:
2 pounds baby carrots, peeled, trimmed, leaving 1/2 inch of green tops attached
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter, diced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 small jalapeño (preferably red), seeded, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

For the pork:
2 1-to 1 1/4-pound pork tenderloins
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Arrange carrots on large tinfoil-lined baking sheet. Whisk 2 tablespoons water and all remaining ingredients in small bowl; pour over carrots and toss to coat. Cover tightly with heavy-duty foil. [Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Toss to coat before continuing.]

Roast carrot mixture covered until just tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, arrange pork tenderloins on another rimmed baking sheet. Stir oregano, cumin, chile powder, smoked paprika, and 1 teaspoon coarse salt in small bowl; rub mixture all over tenderloins. Heat oil in heavy large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork to skillet and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Return to rimmed baking sheet.

Remove foil from carrots. Nestle pork among carrots on baking sheet, arranging carrots in single layer around pork. Roast uncovered until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 145 degrees, stirring carrots occasionally if beginning to caramelize, about 18 minutes. (The meat should be moist and slightly pink.) Let rest 5 to 10 minutes.

Transfer pork to work surface. Cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange carrots on platter. Top with pork slices, drizzling any pan juices over.

1 comment:

  1. hopefuly serious turtle hasn't seen this yet. he is fixated on a jeremiah towers pork dish that i don't make for him enough. this may be on his b-day menu in march.