Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tamarind Pork with Pineapple Chutney

Photo courtesy of Cooking Light

This dish was so good. As I sat down to eat it, I was licking my lips and showering my husband with praise. (I left the recipe out on the counter and he had the pork ready and waiting for me when I got home from work. I was ecstatic!) It may seem like a random recipe to try, but ever since last week when I bought some tamarind paste (hoping to add an authentic touch to some shrimp pad thai), I have been wondering what to do with the rest of the jar.

Tamarind is a sour-sweet flavor common to some Asian and South American cuisines. I loved it in this recipe, in which the pork comes out tender, moist and absolutely packed with flavor. Sour and sweet, tangy and a little spicy, this dinner was full of juxtapositions and we couldn't get enough.

P.S. We were fresh out of rum (Why is the rum always gone?) and my husband confided that he substituted some vanilla extract and water for it.

Tamarind Pork with Pineapple Chutney

1 1/2 teaspoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
3 cups chopped pineapple
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons gold rum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons tamarind paste
2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil

1. To prepare chutney, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, ginger, and chile to pan; cover and cook 6 minutes or until onion is tender. Uncover. Stir in pineapple and next 3 ingredients (through 1/4 teaspoon salt); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes or until pineapple is tender, stirring occasionally. Cool 20 minutes; stir in cilantro and red pepper.

2. Preheat oven to 400°.
3. To prepare pork, combine chili sauce and next 3 ingredients (through tamarind), stirring to combine. Reserve half of soy mixture. Heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork with 3/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper; coat pork with oil. Add pork to pan; sauté 4 minutes on 1 side or until browned. Brush pork with half of soy mixture; turn pork over. Place pan in oven; bake at 400° for 16 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of pork registers 155° (slightly pink). Remove pork from pan; let stand 10 minutes. Brush pork evenly with reserved soy mixture. Slice pork crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick medallions. Serve with chutney.

1 comment:

  1. I've been wondering what I'd do with this tamarind. Excellent suggestion.


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