Monday, June 29, 2009

Pork Tenderloin with Tomato-Peach Compote

After a busy couple of weeks I FINALLY made it into my kitchen long enough to make my own dinner. It was Wednesday, which means the New York Times has its food section, and I had received my Gourmet Magazine that week (as I've mentioned before, I'm a print media addict) so my hands were twitching to create something. I had bought peaches on sale earlier in the week so when I stumbled across Pork Tenderloin with Tomato-Peach Compote in Gourmet, I had a plan.

In preparing to make the recipe I noticed it called for rubbing the pork with a ginger/garlic/curry powder mixture. I had never worked with curry powder before, but I've been enjoying Indian food more and more lately. Of course I was an idiot and just picked some up at Whole Foods, before remembering that I live in Jackson Heights, one of the most heavily Indian neighborhoods in the city, and probably could have bought something exciting and authentic a block from my apartment. I actually went out of my way to be a gentrified hipster douchebag. Sigh.

It's always a challenge working with a new ingredient, not just because you don't yet have a bead on proportion to flavor, but because Will has a slight concern when it comes to new foods. A little history: when Will and I met 6 years ago his favorite foods were chicken fingers and pasta with butter. I wasn't cooking yet but I was an avid eater and this concerned me greatly. For the first few years developing his palate was a challenge, if the food was a weird color or tended to look less then American he would start backing away slowly with his eyes darting toward the Domino's coupon on the fridge. Those days are (mostly) behind us. Will tries everything I give him, and I accept it when he tries something and just plain doesn't like it (shrimp). Still, occasionally I'll have a new bottle of some ingredient or another on the counter and I can see the suspicion in his eyes. This occurred to me as I mashed the garlic and ginger and curry, and it all turned bright yellow.

Will makes up for his sometimes less then adventurous spirit by being a first rate sous chef and bartender. Wednesday the Times ran its summer drinks issue listing summer drinks from A-Z, and Will whipped up a Whiskey Peach Smash for me and a John Collins (the vodka version of a Tom Collins) for himself. Then he created a Queens Park Swizzle from another article. I swear, they were as good as anything I've gotten at Death and Company. I live a charmed life where I can read a drink recipe and go, "Honey, could you make this for me?" and be drinking it 20 minutes later. And since these types of drinks go for about $14 in NY, having Will around is just recession friendly. And in the middle of all this, he also cut up the tomato and peach for the compote. If a bartender had sex with a Cuisinart, the offspring of that unholy union would probably look a lot like my fiancée. Okay, I won't call off the wedding... yet.

After rubbing the pork it gets browned on the stove, and then is moved to the oven to roast. The recipe said 10-12 minutes, I ended up having to leave it in for about 15 to get the inside temperature between 145 and 150. Remove pork from the pan and put it on a cutting board to rest. While it sits you then just make the compote in the same pan! It's a great weeknight dinner. I tend to think of pork roasts only in the fall when I make them with apples, but this is a great way to bring summer flavors into pork. While the recipe takes less then an hour to make, we had bread and cheese beforehand and with the drinks... we ended up eating around 9pm. Not all that unusual for an urban diet really.

Pork Tenderloin with Tomato-Peach Compote
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine

- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 1/2 Tablespoon chopped peeled ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 pork tenderloin
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 pound of tomatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 small peach chopped
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees with rack in middle.

In a food processor, pulse garlic, ginger, curry powder, pinch of salt, and a grind of pepper until it forms a paste. Rub all over pork.

Heat oil in an ovenproof 12 inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown pork on one side, about 5 minutes, then turn over and transfer skillet to oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest park of meat registers 145 to 150 degrees for juicy meat, 10 to 12 minutes. Let pork rest, uncovered, on a cutting board while making compote.

Add onion to skillet and saute over medium-high heat until softened, 5-7 minutes. Add tomatoes and peach and saute until just softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in thyme and sugar.

Slice pork and serve with compote.

The curry went over just fine. The flavor was understated, and only noticeable when you took a bite from the outside of the pork. I thought it added a subtle and interesting level to the pork, which can be a less exciting meat sometimes. And Will? He had 3 helpings.

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