Friday, July 8, 2011

As promised...

I'm tired and have lots of work ahead of me, so my aim is to keep this brief but as we all know- when it comes to food I easily get lost in the moment.

First things first: the marinade for the boneless pork tenderloin.
This marinade is STELLAR for flank steak and will be well-suited for boneless, skinless chicken thighs as well.  Chicken breasts are way too mild in flavor and are not be favorable for this recipe.  I encourage you to inquire about cooking times and marinade times for different types of meat if you are not sure.

4 boneless pork tenderloins [about 1" thick]

2.5 Tbsp Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
pinch of Salt [no, this is not a typo]
3 cloves of Garlic, smashed & peeled
1/2 inch [give or take] nub of ginger, peeled and cut in quarters
1 Tbsp packed Light Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Honey
3/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 tsp Organic* Orange Zest
the juice of 1/2 your Organic Orange
1/2 Tbsp 100% Pure Sesame Oil

*The use of ORGANiC orange zest is especially important.  Pesticides are sprayed onto the surfaces of conventionally grown produce and these plants are not grown in test-tubes, sheltered from the elements, so the chemicals are meant to withstand ample amounts of water.  That 5 second "wash" in the sink ain't gonna cut it.  Spend the extra 50 cents on an organic orange and save the $$$'s on medical bills later in life.  You wouldn't spray raid into your marinade, so why grate pesticides directly into your food?
  • Combine all of the marinade ingredients and none of the pork in a food processor. Taste it. It should have a nice kick, balanced by subtle sweetness.  Does it need more salt? Add more salt rather than more soy sauce, the low-sodium stuff will dilute your marinade and inhibit the flavors we've got goin' on.
  • Place the tenderloins in a large ziploc bag and pour the entire contents of the food processor on top of them.  Seal the bag, squeezing out excess air, and work the meat until fully coated with flavor. Marinate, refrigerated, for 2-6 hours max.
  • Remove meat from the fridge and preheat the grill to the higher side of medium-high [8-8.5 out of 10].
  • Place pig on the heat and let sit, undisturbed for 3 minutes.  Rotate your meat 90 degrees and let sit for another 3 minutes. Flip and allow to finish cooking on the other side, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Let the meat rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Before I venture into the rice recipe, I would like to disclose to you that I am awful at the simple practice of cooking rice. My sister, an excellent cook as well, can't make small grain couscous, which is ridiculously easy and barely requires active cooking time.  So don't feel intimidated by the act of cooking, we all have our weaknesses!

No-Fry Rice:
1/2 Cup Brown Rice, uncooked [follow the cooking directions and ratio on the package.  Different types of grains require different ratios and cooking times.] 
2 Tbsp ground Flax Seed
1 large bunch Scallions, snip the root end and remove any residue or unfit to eat bits & pieces
14 Shiitake Mushrooms, caps only, sliced
1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar, divided [you will need half for the mushrooms and the other half for finishing the rice]
1 clove garlic, chopped
1.5 Tbsp 100% Pure Sesame Oil, divided [1 Tbsp for the mushrooms, 1/2 Tbsp for finishing the rice]
1 Tbsp Canola Oil 
Kosher salt, as needed
  • Cook the brown rice as directed on the package.  When it is finished cooking, sprinkle in the ground flax seed and fluff with a fork.
  • While the rice is cooking, preheat a grill or grill pan on high heat. Coat the scallions with the canola oil and season lightly with a pinch of salt. Grill the scallions until very nicely caramelized on each side, about 1 minute per side. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, cut into 1" pieces.
  • In a large non-stick saute pan, combine 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil and the garlic and bring to heat on med-high temperature.  Once the garlic begins to sizzle throw in the sliced Shiitakes and a pinch of salt.  You will notice that the Shiitakes pretty much absorb all of the oil in the pan, now add the 1/2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar.   
  • Once the mushrooms are tender, lower the heat and add the chopped, grilled scallions and cooked brown rice to the pan, carefully toss to distribute ingredients.  Add the remaining Sesame Oil and Rice Vinegar, toss gently to incorporate.  Hold on low heat, gently stirring occasionally, until serving. 

P.S.- Grilled scallions are AWESOME!!! Do not limit them to this recipe, use them on burgers, keep them whole & serve with spicy Romesco Sauce, they are sooo delicious! You will be surprised by how sweet a scallion can be!

1 comment:

  1. I too cannot make rice to save my life. In fact, I'd rather make a 3 day pork osso bucco before I make rice. I'd rather eat a potato than make rice (that says a lot right there).

    Another super yummy onion to grill is cebolla onions. Slightly larger bulb than the scallion and it gets all sweet and soft and the greens get a bit overdone. awesome with any of these meat recipes and a couple of soft corn tacos.

    BTW: isn't it funny that the daughters of a Sri Lankan can't cook rice and ONE of those daughters is a professional chef!