Thursday, September 24, 2009

Rosie Makes Grilled Marinated Pork Tenderloin.

Thanks to my friend, Marion, I've recently discovered Lynne Kasper's The Splendid Table. Ms. Kasper offers The Weeknight Kitchen, a weekly newsletter, and I highly recommend signing up for it. Just click on the link above if you're interested. That's where this recipe came from - Tamarind Basil Grilled Pork Tenderloin With Glazed Onions. Here's the recipe from The Splendid Table:

Tamarind-Basil Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Mahogany Glazed Onions

Serves 4

  • Generous 1/4 cup tamarind concentrate
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (or to taste)
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 tight-packed cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch thick rounds
  • 2 large onions, cut into 1/2-inch thick rings
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves (for garnish)

1. In a food processor or blender, puree together the tamarind, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, Tabasco, garlic, and oil. When almost smooth, drop in the basil leaves to coarsely chop them.

2. Have the tenderloin and onion rings in a large, shallow container. Pour the tamarind marinade over them, turning pieces so they are thoroughly moistened. Tightly cover the container and refrigerate 4 to 24 hours.

3. Heat a gas grill, or burn down wood charcoal until it is covered with gray ash. Brush grill rack with oil. Drain the pork and onion rings, patting them dry. Reserve the marinade.

4. Set the pork and onions over hottest part of grill for 1 minute per side, or until lightly browned. Brush with the marinade, and then move the pieces to medium heat part of the grill. Cook another 3 minutes per side, or until an instant reading thermometer inserted in the center of the pork reads 150 degrees F. With tongs, remove the pork to a serving platter to rest.

5. Continue grilling the onions until they are nearly tender when pierced then remove them to the serving platter. Tuck the onions around the pork and sprinkle everything with the basil leaf garnish. Serve warm.

The recipe called for 1/4 tamarind concentrate which is not available in any store down here, so I'm going to the source with tamarind pods. You can find them in the Hispanic section of your grocery store.
First peel off the woody husk ...
... to reveal the sticky pulp inside.
Remove the strings.
I put all the pulp in a pan and poured boiling water to cover. Cover and let sit until cooled.
Then I poured the liquid out, saving it, ...
... and poured more boiling water over top of the tamarind pulp.
Yes, I know this looks terribly appetizing.
I mashed the tamarind pulp ...
... then squished it through my strainer.
I ended up with 1 1/2 cups of tamarind juice ...
... which I put over low heat and reduced by half. Set aside and let cool.
Here are the ingredients for my marinade: 1 TB soy sauce or Tamari 1 TB brown sugar 1 inch chunk of ginger 3 garlic cloves 3 TB olive oil 1/2 tsp Tabasco 1/3 cup packed basil
I put all the ingredients except the basil in my mini-processor ...
... and processed until smooth.
I added the basil leaves to my marinade ...
... and coarsely processed.
Finally, I poured the reduced tamarind liquid into the marinade. And the tamarind liquid is very tart, as in making your jaws hurt tart. I like it.
I sliced two onions 1/2 " thick.
I cut my pork into 1 inch thick pieces.
I added the onions, pork, and marinade to a zip-lock bag, ...
... squeezed out the air, and massaged it a bit. The Splendid Table said to marinate for 4 to 24 hours. Since Mr. Hawthorne and I made a day trip during this time, the pork marinated for an extra day.
And here it is on day 3.
And it's ready for grilling.
Mr. Hawthorne basted with the marinade, ...
... turning and grilling until ready. (150 degrees) I like my pork slightly pink inside.
Oooh. Wait. I just happened to have a pineapple.
Sliced pineapple went on the grill. This is smelling really good.
Earlier, I had cooked some jasmine rice.
I chopped some cucumber and mint.
Toasted some almonds.
Almonds went into the rice.
Mint went in.
And the cuke.
And here's our lovely lunch. This marinade is one of the better ones I've tasted. You have the tart/sweet/sourness of the tamarind, the spiciness of the ginger, the sweetness of the brown sugar. the slight bite of the garlic, the salt of the soy, and the herbalicious brightness of the basil.
I plated the pork on the grilled pineapple and added the onions and the rice mixture.
I especially liked the rice. The cuke, almond, and mint really brightened it up and complemented the pork and pineapple.
Mr. Hawthorne is a grillin' fool. Perfectly grilled chops.


Marion Walsh said...

Hey Rosie, I bought some tamarind concentrate once and it looked and smelled evil. The oriental/Indian stores sell a tamarind pulp which I keep for a year or two and then throw out. Pods would have to be best.

Debbie said...

I recently saw an episode of Chopped and one of the ingredients was tamarind. I'd never heard of it before...interesting!