Yesterday was a busy day. I had a lot to do before leaving town for the better part of the day to meet my knitting buddies for a lunch and knit session. My neighbor and I did our daily (in our dreams) morning walk at 8:30 for 45 minutes instead of the usual hour. I had 2 loaves of bread ready to bake as soon as I got back so that they would be cool enough to take with me. Before I left for the walk, I looked for a new recipe for pork tenderloin, found one, prepared the marinade for it and got the pork into a food bag with the marinade. I had all the ingredients for a salsa/relish topping but didn’t have time to get that started. As soon as I got back from walking, I popped the bread in the oven (NO KNEAD BREAD, of course), started the relish ingredients simmering, took one of the quickest baths in history, ran back into the kitchen to finish the relish, take the lids off the bread pots, ran back to dress, ran back to get the bread out of the oven. Took the relish off the heat and set aside to cool. Gathered up my knitting projects and left. Whew! By the way, I left the kitchen in a mess.
So what does this have to do with planning ahead? Well, I did make the bread dough ahead of time. I did get the pork tenderloin from the grocery. I could have chosen a simpler recipe for the pork, one that didn’t require as much preparation that far ahead of dinnertime. But I knew that I would rather have all that prep work behind me when it was time to fix dinner. All I had to do was fix some rice, steam some carrots, toss a salad (dressing was made ahead of time). The pork cooked on the grill for 20 minutes; it needed to be turned a couple of times and that’s all. The carrots cooked during part of that time and my secret recipe (Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice) was 90 seconds in the microwave. I keep a few packages of Ready Rice in a variety of flavors on hand for last minute cooking. My potatoes have all sprouted too much to use so rice was a good substitute. Try one. They are surprisingly tasty and good in a pinch. I used the Roasted Chicken flavor last night.
The recipe for the pork tenderloin is so easy. As you can see, I threw it all together in a short time yesterday morning. About 10 minutes is all it took. The pork needs to marinate 8 hours and the relish needs the time to mellow a bit. Try it. You’ll like it. Mikey likes it. By the way, it can be cooked in the oven instead of the grill. And it all can be prepared a day in advance if you really like to plan ahead.
GRILLED JERK PORK WITH CURRIED PEACH RELISH
(Adapted from epicurious.com)
My changes are marked with an *asterisk*. My notes are in italics.
1 1/2 lb. firm-ripe peaches*
1/2 lb. tomatoes**
1/2 c. chopped red onion (1 medium)
1 T. fresh minced peeled ginger
1 t. Kosher salt
1 T. vegetable oil
1 1.2 t. curry powder
2 T. sugar
1 T. lime juice
*I used a lunch-bag sized plastic container of diced peaches with the juice. No need for fresh peaches if you don’t have any.
**I used 1 tomato
3 scallions, white and pale green parts only, trimmed, chopped
1 T. chopped fresh thyme
2 t. Kosher salt
1/2 t. ground allspice
2 T. fresh lime juice
1 T. molasses (not blackstrap or robust)
1 t. Scotch bonnet or habanero hot sauce or to taste *
2 pork tenderloins (1 3/4 lb. to 2 lb. total) **
2 T. vegetable oil for basting***
*I used regular hot sauce, Tennessee Sunshine
**I used just 1 tenderloin
***I needed only 1 tablespoon oil
To Make Relish:
Peel peaches and tomatoes. Halve peaches and remove pit. Cut into 1″ pieces. Peel and coarsely chop tomatoes. (All this can be simplified by using canned peaches and canned tomatoes. Go for fresh if you’ve got it, but don’t let the call for fresh peaches and tomatoes stop you. They both get cooked anyway so use canned if that’s what you have.)
Cook onion, ginger and salt in oil in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 minutes. Add curry powder and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add peaches and tomatoes with their juices, sugar, and lime juice and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick and peaches are tender but still hold their shape, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool, uncovered, then chill, covered at least 8 hours.
Combine scallions, thyme, salt, allspice, pepper, lime juice, molasses, and hot sauce in a blender and blend until smooth. Put pork in a nonreactive dish and rub all over with the marinade. Store covered and chilled, turning occasionally, for 8 hours or overnight. Bring to room temperature before cooking.
(I didn’t use a blender for such a small amount. I just minced the scallions as finely as I could and mixed everything in a small bowl. It worked just fine. No need to use and wash a blender. I also marinated the pork in a food baggie, gallon size. No container to wash.)
Discard marinade and brush pork with oil. Prepare grill. For gas grill, preheat burners on high, covered, for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to medium. Grill pork, turning, occasionally, for 15-25 minutes, until thermometer inserted diagonally into center of meat registers 145 degrees. Lower heat if necessary to prevent burning. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes tented with foil. (Pork will continue to cook and temperature will rise to 155 degrees.) Slice and serve with relish.
This is such a delicous marinade for pork. I would use it even if I didn’t make the relish. It would be good for chicken as well. I don’t think I would try it for beef. The relish is sweet, tangy, with the curry, ginger and hot sauce adding quite a punch. You can tailor those ingredients to accomodate your taste buds.