The amount of thought that went into people's responses was amazing. I personally went with stuffing for Thanksgiving and the apple for my fruit. The apple reasons are endless: cider, pies, sauce, good shelf-life, portable, and so on. Today when I somewhat randomly decided to quick-pickle sticks of apples, the result ended up being so terrific that it really became one more reason they are my fruit for life.
For this dish as a whole I thought about two classic pairings: pork and apple and apple slices with peanut butter (my favorite snack). The honey-spiked pork marinade is an easy no-brainer while the sharp astringency of the lightly pickled apples plays off the oiliness of the peanuts beautifully. I love the contrasts.
On an administrative note: I created a recipe index (yay!) so please, check it out. It can be accessed at the top right of the page under the header.
For the Pork:
- 1 pork tenderloin, about 1 pound (.45 kg)
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider or juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 scallions, chopped into 2-inch pieces
- 1 large clove garlic, chopped
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 medium apples, julienned
- Pickled apples, drained
- 1 hot red chili pepper, minced
- 1/4 cup roasted, salted peanuts, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Prepare a hot grill. Remove the pork from the marinade and uniformly season with salt and pepper. Grill the pork on all sides, about 3-4 minutes per side, then turn the grill down to low and cook, turning once until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice into 1-inch medallions.
While the pork is marinating, whisk together the water, rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Add the apples and stir to coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.
To prepare the slaw, stir together the drained, pickled apples with the chile, peanuts, and mint. Drizzle with the sesame oil and toss again.
On a plate, place about a cup of the slaw and 2-3 medallions of pork. Serve immediately.