When we go grocery shopping, we try and figure out what our dinner recipes will be for the week. It is the one meal that has many mouths to feed. It's also the one meal which we get the most phone calls, "Hi Mom, what's for dinner?"
Many times we look at pork recipes but some how seem to move past them. I think it's because growing up I ate pork chops or a pork loin, every other week. My fond memories were finding enough applesauce to run the pork through so I wouldn't choke on the dry meat. Saw dust best describes the taste and texture of what I ate. Back then, pork was somewhat "overcooked". Today, we have a better understanding of seasoning, cooking to a slightly lesser degree and allowing meat to rest. It enhances the flavor as well as the experience.
Jeff found this recipe from Epicurious called Pork Tenderloin with Tomato-Peach Compote. It looked pretty easy, not many ingredients and we did have a bunch of great garden tomatoes. Cooking the pork to slightly under 160 degrees (which was my mother's favorite number, plus some!) will definitely give you that juicy tasting pork. Taking the time and allowing the meat to rest for 10 minutes helps, too.
The compote was delicious. A bit of sweet and sour which was much better than traditional applesauce and pulled the entire dish together. After everyone got their first serving (6 people), we had a bit of pork left but was definitely short on the compote, then again, I still have that bad habit of drenching my pork in sauce. I enjoyed the compote!
As we eat delicious dishes like this, it makes me want to cook more pork recipes. It's hard to get past eating certain foods which bring back childhood nightmares. Whether it's under cooked chicken or overcooked pork, trying new and tasty dishes will hopefully fade those food memories.
What is your nightmare food?
Pork Tenderloin with Tomato-Peach Compote
4 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of chopped peeled ginger
1 teaspoon of curry powder
2 (3/4-pound) pork tenderloins
2 tablespoons of canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3/4 pound of fresh tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 peach, chopped
2 teaspoons of fresh thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon of sugar
Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle.
Mash garlic, ginger, curry powder, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to a paste using mortar and pestle. Rub all over pork.
Heat oil in an ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown pork on one side, about 5 minutes, then turn over and transfer skillet to oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 145 to 150°F for juicy meat, 10 to 12 minutes. Let pork rest, uncovered, on a cutting board while making compote.
Add onion to skillet (handle will be very hot) and sauté over medium-high heat until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add tomatoes and peaches and sauté until just softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in thyme and sugar.
Slice pork and serve with compote. Jasmine rice is a great complement for this dish.