Monday, January 12, 2015

Cuban Spiced Pork Tenderloin and Soffrito Rice

When I bought the pork for yesterday's apple cinnamon pork, I bought an extra one.  I don't even know why I did it.  I never buy extra meat unless there is a definite plan for it because it's so darn expensive.  But I picked up two for some bizarre reason, and found myself staring at it and trying to figure out something exciting to do with it.  Since Mark's less than enthusiastic reaction to the apple cinnamon pork, I decided to stick with something totally savory and maybe a little spicy, since he always says his all-time favorite meat that I have ever made is the BBQ-rubbed pork tenderloin.  I found a recipe from Rachael Ray for Cuban-spiced pork, served with a soffrito rice.

I was intrigued by the rice (obviously more so than the pork!) ; it is cooked in chicken broth and spiced with either saffron or turmeric (I went with the cheaper option), then mixed with chopped bacon, onion and green pepper.  Apparently, soffrito is the base of lots of Cuban recipes and includes bay leaf, cumin and oregano.  Interestingly, none of these are found in the rice, but you just wait.  They're on the pork.

And so is basically everything but the kitchen sink.  Seriously, this pork is not short on flavor.  Similar to yesterday's pork, it gets sliced and stuffed, except not with apples.  The slits get filled with bay leaves and whole cloves of garlic.  Then it gets rubbed with anise, coriander, cumin, the zest of limes, grill seasoning blend. salt, and pepper.  And then it all gets roasted for 25 minutes.

Mark said this pork was far better than the day before's, even if it still doesn't touch his beloved BBQ-rubbed pork.  He said it had a lot of flavor.  And we both loved the rice - even though I was out of green peppers so I know I was missing a big component.  We packed up the leftovers for Nick since I wasn't about to eat pork and Mark won't eat reheated meat (don't get me started).  He gave the same report as Mark: not as good as "the spicy pork," but "two thumbs up."  And he especially loved the rice too!

Today was an unexpected snow day.  Such a perfect belated birthday present.  Year 30 isn't looking so bad!


Cuban spiced pork tenderloin and soffrito rice
from Rachael Ray for the Food Network
yields 6 servings

for rice:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 slices bacon, chopped
1 small white onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
2 3/4 cips chicken broth
1 1/2 cups white rice
2 pinches saffron or 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
for pork:
2 1/2 pound pork tenderloin
4 cloves garlic, cracked away from the skin
4 bay leaves
2 teaspoons anise seed
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 limes, zested
2 tablespoons grill seasoning (i.e. Montreal Steak Seasoning)
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil


1) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Make rice: Heat medium pot with tight fitting lit over medium high heat.  Add oil and bacon, and brown bacon.  Add onions and peppers and sauté 5 minutes.

2) Add broth, and bring to a boil.  Add rice.  Cover the pot and reduce heat to simmer.  Cook 15 to 18 minutes, until rice is tender.

3) Meanwhile, make pork: cut 4 slits into each loin and nest garlic and bay leaves into meat.  Place meat on nonstick baking sheet.  Combine the spices.  Coat meat with oil.  Rub spices over the pork and place in oven.  Roast for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and let juices redistribute.  Slice and serve with soffrito rice.

No comments:

Post a Comment