Roasted Pineapple Pork Tenderloin

Roasted Pineapple Pork Tenderloin
adapted recipe courtesy of Epicurious

1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon mild or hot chili powder (or achiote paste)
1 jalapeno, finely minced
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
1 small golden pineapple (about 1 1/2 pound), diced into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup pineapple (or orange) juice
1/4 small red onion, finely chopped
Vegetable oil cooking spray

Heat a large pan over high heat to the smoking point, 3 to 4 minutes. Brown pineapple 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pineapple juice and stir 1 minute, scraping up brown bits from pan. Remove pineapple from heat. Combine in a bowl with pepper, onion and basil. Mash together and set aside.
Mix tomato paste with chili powder.
Combine with orange juice, lime juice and oil in a double resealable bag.
Add pineapple mixture to the bag.
Add tenderloin and marinate at least 3 hours.
Heat a grill or grill pan over high. Coat with cooking spray.
Remove pork from marinade; place on baking pan. (Discard excess marinade.)
Bake marinated pork in a preheated 350 oven, until pork is no longer pink and internal temperature is 160°F 18 to 20 minutes. Let pork rest 5 minutes before slicing.
Garnish with cilantro leaves before serving.

Key Lime Marinated Pork Filets

The following recipe was shared at my Caribbean dinner event. You can read about it and get additional Caribbean recipes from the event HERE.

Key Lime Marinated Pork Filets
shared at the event by Joelen
recipe HERE

  • 4-6 tablespoons Nellie & Joe’s Key West Lime Juice
  • 1/3 cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Toss all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until combined. Marinate meat for ½ hour, grill and eat.

Use above marinate on pork medallions and wrap with bacon.
Grill until done; serve hot.

Pork Chops Three Ways

The following recipe was prepared during my Summer Grilling cooking class. You can read about it and check out the other recipes I made for the class HERE.

Pork Chops Three Ways
For my center, thick cut pork chops, I did nothing more than coat them in various rubs, spices and seasonings. In fact, when I buy meats in bulk, I’ll take a few pieces and coat them with rubs/spices, place in a freezer bag and freeze for future meals. For these chops, I coated them with a Bell Pepper & Herb rub, BBQ rub and Greek rub.

Coat your pork chops with your preferred mix of spices and seasonings.
Before grilling, your chops should be at room temperature.
Place chops on a medium high heated grill and grill with closed lid.
No need to turn the chops more than once.
Turn chops when they are grilled, roughly 5-7 minutes, depending on thickness.
Chops will be medium when the center is slightly soft when pushed.
Befor cutting, allow your chops to rest so juices can redistribute.

Orange You Hungry?

With the Tasty Tools event finished, I guess I should submit a recipe using my microplane grater too! But before I get to the recipe…. Everyday on my commute home on the days I’m in the office, I pass the popular Chinese food chain, Panda Express. One of their popular dishes is the Orange Chicken (sometimes you’re lucky if an employee waves a sample morsel for you on a toothpick as you walk past). So why is it so popular? Better yet, how can I recreate it successfully at home? The answer that I found was in the book, Cooking at Home With America’s Test Kitchen (2006). (I’ve been on a cookbook spree to revive some recipes I have stashed in my bookshelves.) Here’s what ATK has to say about the recipe: We prefer the flavor and texture of thigh meat for this recipe, though an equal amount of boneless skinless chicken breasts can be used. It is easiest to grate the orange zest and remove the strips of orange peel before juicing the oranges; use a sharp vegetable peeler to remove the strips. For extra spiciness, increase the cayenne added to the sauce to 1/2 teaspoon. The whole dried chiles are added for appearance, not for flavor, and can be omitted. To fry the chicken, use a Dutch oven or a straight sided saute pan (with at least a 3 quart capacity): do not use a 12 inch skillet with sloped sides, as it will be too small to contain the oil once the chicken is added. White rice and steamed broccoli are good accompaniments.

Here’s the recipe for Orange Flavored Chicken:
Cooking at Home With America’s Test Kitchen (2006)
page 204

Marinade & Sauce:
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skineless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons grated zest and 8 strips orange peel (each about 2″ long by 1/2″ wide) from 2 oranges
6 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup darn brown sugar
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 cayenne (I omitted)
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
8 small whole dried red chiles (optional)

Coating & Frying oil:
3 large egg whites
1 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (I omitted)
3 cups peanut oil (I used canola oil)

  • FOR THE MARINADE & SAUCE: Place the chicken in a 1-gallon zipper-lock bag; set aside. Combine the chicken broth, orange juice, grated zest, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and cayenne in a large saucepan (with at least a 3 quart capacity); whisk until the sugar is fully dissolved. Measure out 3/4 cup of the mixture and pour into the bag with the chicken; press out as much air as possible and seal the bag, making sure that all the pieces are coated with the marinade. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes, but no longer.
    Bring the remaining mixture in the saucepan to a boil over high heat. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and cold waterl which the cornstarch mixture into the sauce. Simjmer, stirrig occasionally, until thick and translucent, about 1 minute. Off the heat, stir in the orange peel and chiles, if using (the sauce should measure 1 1/2 cups); set the sauce aside.
  • FOR THE COATING: Place the egg whites in a pie plate, using a fork, beat until frothy. In a second pie plate, which the cornstarch, bakig soda and cayenne until combined. Dran the chicken in a colanger or large mesh stainer; thoroughly pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place half of the chicken pieces in the egg whites and turn to coat; transfer the pieces to the coenstarch mixture and coat thoroughly. Place the dredged chicken pieces on a wire rack set over a baking sheetl repeat with the remaining chicken.
  • TO FRY THE CHICKEN: Heat the oil in an 11-to 12-inch ducth oven or staight sided saute pan with at least a 3 quart capacity over high heat until the oil reaches 350 degrees on an instant read or deep fry thermometer. Carefully place half of the chicken in the oil; fry to golden brown, about 5 minutes, turning each piece with tongs halfway through cooking. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Return the oil to 350 degrees and repeat with the remaining chicken.
  • TO SERVE: Reheat the sauce over medium heat until simmer, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken and gently toss until evenly coated and heated through. Serve immediately.

Sweet As Honey…

Tonight’s dinner was an easy one – honey mustard pork with roasted potatoes & garlic spinach. I marinated the pork for a few hours, chopped up & seasoned my potatoes then baked both in the oven. As that baked, I sauteed some spinach on the stovetop with some minced garlic & olive oil. Voila! Dinner is ready….Here is my recipe for the honey mustard marinade:

1 part honey
1 part yellow prepared mustard
1 part praline mustard glaze

Combine equal parts of the above ingredients and whisk together well. If you cannot find praline mustard glaze, you can substitute it with pure maple syrup. I added it in for an extra depth of sweetness. This is great on pork and chicken!

Ribs out of the Pantry

Tonights dinner was another successful attempt in using pantry leftovers. It’s wonderful to be able to use what you have on hand to make a pretty tasty meal with little effort! So for dinner, we had maple pork ribs with black bean & tomato rice.
The production of maple syrup, or ‘sugarin’, hasn’t changed much since the time of the Indians. Maple syrup comes from the boiled down sap of the sugar maple tree.

A sugar maple tree must be at least 10 inches in diameter for the tree to be tapped. When a tree is ‘tapped,’ a hole is made in the tree and a spout is placed in the hole for the sap to flow. This sap is caught by a bucket. The buckets are then gathered and put in a large cooker. It takes 40 gallons of sap to boil down to one gallon of maple syrup.

After the syrup has been boiled, it must be strained, cooled, and boiled again. It is first graded, and then ready for containers.
Here’s my recipe for maple pork ribs:

1 bottle prepared BBQ sauce (or homemade sauce)
1/2 cup real maple syrup
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon onion powder

Combine the above ingredient to form marinade/sauce.
Marinate pork ribs (bone in or boneless) overnight in marinade.
Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or grill until done.

I served this with brown rice combined with
diced tomatoes, black beans & seasonings.

Comfort Food on a Rainy Day

Lately we’ve been hit with a lot of rain, causing me to crave some comfort food. So tonight I decided to use the remaining chicken thighs I had to make fried chicken.

Fried chicken has a dual origin in the rural American South. The Scots, and later Scottish immigrants to many southern states had a tradition of deep frying chicken in fat, unlike their English counterparts who baked or boiled chicken. As Africans were brought to work on southern plantations, the slaves who became cooks incorporated seasonings and spices that were absent in traditional Scottish cuisine, enriching the flavor. Since most slaves were allowed to keep chickens, frying chicken as a special occasion spread through their community.

Here is my recipe for ‘buttermilk’ ranch fried chicken:

1 can evaporated milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 chicken thighs (or preferred cuts)
2 cups flour
1 packet dry ranch dressing
frying oil

In a bowl, combine chicken milk and lemon juice.
Soak chicken in milk mixture overnight.
When ready to cook, heat oil in pan.
In a small bowl, combine flour and dry ranch dressing.
Discard milk and dredge chicken in flour mixture.
Fry chicken until golden brown & juices run clear.

I served this with a creamy
broccoli cheese rice casserole.