Monday, February 26, 2007

Caribbean Pork & Black Beans

Straight out of the most recent issue of Good Housekeeping Magazine (March 2007) comes this citrusy & fragrant dish. Everything about this recipe spoke to me - I love pork tenderloin, lime, cumin, fresh cilantro, garlic... this dish has it all for me. And, even better, I had almost everything in the fridge and freezer. Almost. And that was fine, it gave me a day to go shopping for the rest while the tenderloin thawed. So off to Kroger I went, and picked up a couple of limes, along with the regular grocery list, including some more garlic and fresh cilantro (I was almost out of both). I also picked up some more oranges. they're surprisingly plentiful AND good for this time of year. I can usually find them, but not as good as they've been.

I ran into more good luck at Kroger, finding a nice bin of blood oranges (Moro variety) at a decent price (5 for $2) to use in this recipe. If you've never had a blood orange, you're really missing out. I first learned about them from "The Frugal Gourmet" (Jeff Smith) several years ago.
(above image from Trade Winds Fruit, Encinitas, CA)

(This one is mine, though...)

They've got a much sweeter flavor than the regular run-of-the-mill navel, but it's not sickly sweet. The wiki article describes them as having a hint of raspberry flavor and I definitely can taste that, but unlike that article states, these oranges were easy to peel (and only one seed in each!).

Though this dish is called "Caribbean Pork & Black Beans", this dish could easily be called "Caribbean Black Beans & Pork". It starts out with the prep of the pork with a rub of grated orange peel, salt pepper and cumin, then proceeds to the making of The Beans. I'm making a double batch of these beans next time. You will, too. Here's the details...

Caribbean Pork & Black Beans
The ingredients:
2 Navel Oranges ( I used the blood oranges...)
2 Limes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and ground black pepper
1 whole pork tenderloin, about 1 pound, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed with press (I crushed and minced mine)
1 can (15 to 19 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 avocado, sliced (optional - well the original recipe says optional, but it's really a requirement...)

The directions:
From 1 orange, grate 1 teaspoon peel into a bowl and squeeze 1/3 cup juice into another bowl.
Cut remaining orange into 8 to 12 wedges and set them aside.
From limes, grate 1/2 teaspoon peel into a separate bowl (not with the grated orange peel) and squeeze 2 tablespoons juice.
In one bowl, combine the orange peel, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Prepare the pork:
Cut the pork tenderloin crosswise into 8 pieces, each about 1 1/4 inches thick.
Place pork, cut sides down, on sheet of plastic wrap and press with heel of hand to flatten them slightly, to about 1-inch thickness.
Rub both sides of pork rounds with cumin mixture. Let the pork stand while cooking beans.

Cooking the beans:
In nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium heat until hot.
Add the onion and cook about 8 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently.
Add the garlic and cook 1 minute.
Add the beans, broth, crushed red pepper, orange juice, and lime peel and juice.
Heat to boiling over medium-high heat and cook until juices reduce slightly, about 2 minutes. Transfer beans to a bowl and cover them to keep them warm until the pork is cooked.

Cook the pork:
In same skillet you've looked the beans in, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat.
Add the pork pieces to the pan (be sure not to crowd them) and cook for 5 minutes or until well browned. Reduce the heat to medium and turn each piece over. Cook the pork 3 to 5 minutes longer or until browned on the outside and still slightly pink in the center.

Serve it up!
On each dish (this makes 4 servings) spoon some of the bean mixture onto a dinner plate .
Place the pork on bean mixture and sprinkle with it with the cilantro.
Arrange 2 or 3 orange wedges and some lime pieces, too, on each plate.
Add some avocado slices on the side.


1 comment:

lucette said...

Hi--found your through your comment on my site. We are keeping the old range--I'm not sure how old it is, maybe '40s? Parts of our kitchen were original to the 1911 house, I think--the horse-trough sink, for instance.