Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Grilled Honey Pork with Pickled Apple Slaw

Back in the olden days (last year), when I worked at a regular desk job in marketing/graphic design, I was fortunate to have co-workers that were cool and funny and fun. We worked hard most of the time but there were the inevitable slow days and to quell our boredom we would play the Question Game. This was done via email of course so that we looked appropriately occupied and it should come as no surprise that the questions I came up with often centered around food. The top 2 were: if you had to choose only ONE side dish to have with Thanksgiving dinner, what would it be? And if you had to pick only one fruit to eat for the rest of your life, what would you pick? Please, do tell.

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
For the Pickled Apples:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium apples, julienned
For the Slaw:
  • 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
Combine peanut oil, cider, honey, scallions, garlic and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper in a large ziploc bag. Add the pork and coat. Seal and refrigerate for at least one hour.

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.


Eric said...

Oh, my heavens, a recipe index! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I'm really digging that pickled apple slaw with the peanuts. What a delicious combination of flavors! Kind of like a grown up version of apple slices and peanut butter.