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When R. and I were on a road trip last month, we stayed at her aunt’s house and enjoyed some cable television (a rare luxury!).  We happened to catch “All Star Grillfest” on the Food Network, which caught my eye since it was at my old stomping grounds on South Beach.  Since I am a huge fan of pork tenderloin, this recipe stuck in the back of my mind.  We did a little adaptation, substituting this and that, and it was still tremendous.  I just had some leftovers and I repeatedly exclaimed to myself over how delicious it is.  We had a few snags making it, but expect it will go much smoother next time, and it should only take about 30-40 minutes! We’ll definitely make this again.

There are three parts to this recipe.  There’s the pork itself, then the sauce, then the salad.  I’ll list the ingredients as a whole, then break down the procedure part by part.

Ingredients

  • pork loin (1.5-2lbs)
  • 2 lbs tomatoes (we used 2 cans of whole tomatoes, which were okay but fresh would’ve been better)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup  + 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lime
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 1-inch pieces fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 fresh jalapenos
  • 1 can coconut milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded coconut (we used sweetened, but probably should go for unsweetened next time)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves

Procedure

Pork

  • Put the pork on a platter and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Add the 1/4 cup olive oil.  Add the juice and zest from 1/2 lime and turn to coat the pork with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in the refrigerator.
Chile-Coconut Sauce:
  • Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic, lemon zest, 1/4 bunch cilantro leaves, and chile and cook to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the coconut milk, and lemon juice and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Juice 1/2 of the lime and season with fish sauce, and salt and pepper. Cool to room temperature. Add cilantro stems from the bunch you just used and puree using an immersion blender .

Pork:

  • Heat a bit of oil in a pan and sear the pork, turning it every minute or two until the outside is nice and crusty.  This should take about 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the pan and put in the oven at 375 for another 10-15 minutes, until it’s cooked through.  Leave room in the oven for a cookie sheet, because you’ll need it for the coconut.

Chile-Coconut Tomato Salad

  • Spread the coconut out in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake, shaking every now and then for even cooking, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.  BE VERY CAREFUL WITH THIS, IT WILL BURN EASILY.
  • In a big bowl, toss together the tomatoes (chunked), red onion (diced into slivers), remaining chile (diced), 1/4 bunch cilantro, mint, and salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil or with some remaining Chile-Coconut Sauce and fold in the toasted coconut.
Complete

  • Slice the pork into the tomato salad.  Cover with the cooled sauce, toss and serve.
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