Tuesday, October 14, 2014

BBQ-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Corn Risotto

Wow, what a weekend.  Thank god it was a long one, because even so, it was exhausting.  We had my mom's surprise 60th birthday party, which was awesome and fun, but also my first big (50 people!) party here in the new house (is it still new?).  There was a lot of cooking and cleaning to be done.  Then, Daisy was sick all weekend.  As in, coughing/hacking/honking all day and all night.  So we didn't sleep... at all, really.  Don't worry - she's okay and taking lots of new meds for bronchitis and a tick-borne disease called anaplasma.  But still: I'm so tired I couldn't even get my contacts to stick to my sleepy eyeballs this morning.  

And yet, through my heavy, droopy eyelids, I felt the need to post about this BBQ-rubbed pork tenderloin with corn risotto before hitting the sheets embarrassingly early.  To be honest, I have been excited to get to this recipe in my rather huge backlog of meals to share.  You might be surprised that I am pumped to share something as un-vegetarian as a pork tenderloin, but nevertheless, I am.  No, I haven't tried the pork myself.  But my whole family has (any time I make meat, I invite the whole crew over).  And everyone absolutely loves it.  In fact, my happy little hubby said this was "the best meat" I ever made.  He was so happy with it that the fact that I had to don rubber gloves in order to rub spices into a raw hunk of meat didn't seem so bad anymore.  Nick said it's his favorite meal that I make.  It's not surprising that, with these glowing reviews, this is a meal I have made twice.  As far as meat goes, this isn't too bad; there's no cutting, minimal touching (just rubbing the homemade spice rub into it and then searing it).  Most of the work is done for you when you toss it in the oven to bake.  It comes out juicy and spicy and delicious (so say the carnivores).

But let's talk about the corn risotto.  Now.  This is the best part of the meal by far (although then again I may be biased.... but my mom and Kenzie agree!!!)  First of all, I was so nervous to try risotto  I don't know why I thought it was so hard - do you have that thought in your head, too?  Who told us this?  It's actually quite simple.  No, it's not hands-off: you do have to stand there stirring for about a half hour.  But if you can handle that (which you can), you can make risotto.  It's not difficult at all.  Basically you just have to add one ladle-full of broth to the pot of rice, stir it until it has been mostly absorbed, and then add more until it's done.  It only takes about 30 minutes - and guess how long the pork tenderloin bakes (well, 25 minutes plus 10 for resting!? )  Is that perfect timing or what?  Plus, this risotto has corn in it.  Fresh corn, cut from the cob!  Then again, corn season is kind of over, so you might have to use frozen, and no, it won't be as wondrous but it will be okay.  And then there is Romano cheese, and dry white wine, and shallots.  So it's just the most amazingly flavored and textured risotto you will ever try.

BBQ-rubbed pork tenderloin that is moist and spicy.  Corn risotto that has sweet corn, dry wine and mild shallots.  Plus it's all gluten-free.  Why aren't you rushing to the grocery store right now to buy what you need for this meal!?!? 


BBQ-rubbed pork tenderloin with corn risotto
from Elly Says Opa


Pork tenderloin:
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 1/4 pounds)
2 teaspoons neutral oil
corn risotto:
1 quart chicken stock or broth
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot, diced
3/4 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine

3 cobs of corn
1/4 cup Romano cheese

1) Make pork tenderloin: Preheat the oven to 425.
2) In a small bowl, combine everything except the pork tenderloin. Rub the mixture all over the pork tenderloin, making sure to coat it completely.
3) Heat a large oven-proof skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat and add the oil. Add the tenderloin and sear on all sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Place the pan in the oven and continue to cook for about 15-20 extra minutes, until pork registers 135-140. Place on cutting board and tent with aluminum foil; rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
4) Meanwhile, make the risotto.  Cut the corn off the cobs. Reserve a cob (I cut it in half), and place in a saucepan along with the broth. Heat the broth to a low simmer.
5) In a heavy-bottomed skillet or saucepan, heat the butter and oil over medium heat until melted together. Stir in corn and shallot. Saute until corn is lightly golden and shallot is tender. Add the rice, and stir several times, toasting it until it becomes opaque (about 2 minutes).
6) Add the wine and continue stirring until it has nearly evaporated. Add one ladle-full of the broth. Stir almost constantly until nearly all of the broth has been absorbed. Continue doing this with the broth, only adding more after the previous addition has been absorbed.  This will take about 20-25 minutes. Test a kernel of rice to make sure it is mostly tender, but still has a bit of a bite in the center.  You may not use all the broth, but at this point I like adding maybe half a ladle-full before removing it from the heat. Risotto should be “loose” and just a little runny.
7) Off the heat, stir in the cheese, Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

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