Sometimes I am in the mood to make dinner as quickly as possible, and others, like last night, there is nothing I enjoy more than standing in my kitchen lazily chopping and stirring, in the company of whomever wants to watch the movie I may have playing and perhaps share my bottle of wine.
I am always trying to come up with interesting ways to cook pork tenderloin. It is such a delicate cut of meat with a tenderness that needs to be preserved for it to taste its very best. I sliced the pork and with a crowded counter filled with bowls of flour, an Asian egg mixture and another of panko crumbs I coated each piece of meat before frying to perfection. This was so good, and such a hit, I was sorry I hadn’t double the recipe!
I thought it would be perfect with a very aromatic rice, and since I was hell-bent on using up every last herb I had purchased for recipes over the Christmas break, I added chopped pungent rosemary and liquorice-y tarragon to the rice with a couple of mushrooms and sweet onions to make the best accompaniment ever. It was hard not to eat and say “mmmmm” the whole time we were eating!
By all means these two dishes can be made as part of other dishes. I think the pork with be great on a buffet table and the rice could go with so many other meat dishes, (and in the case of my dinner, crispy fried tofu).
Happy New Year’s Eve – Cook something memorable!
You will need:
1 pork tenderloin, (try to find one that is about 1 1/4 lbs) cut into 3/8″ or 1 cm slices
OR tofu (instead of pork)about two packages of extra-firm, sliced into triangles or big squares (prepared as instructed below ingredient list)
2 large eggs
2 tbs hoisin sauce
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs mirin
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups panko crumbs (have more on hand)
1/3 cup olive oil
3 medium sweet or yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 medium head escarole, washed and roughly chopped
2 large mushrooms, diced
10 (or so) fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
1 stem of rosemary leaves, pulled off stem and chopped (about 1 tbs)
1 tsp cayenne pepper flakes (optional)
sea-salt to taste
6 cups cooked basmati rice
Dipping sauce: 6 tbls soy sauce mixed with 6 tbs mirin. Divide between 2 or 3 bowls for the table.
*This can easily be a vegetarian/vegan or Blood Type A Diet recipe. Use extra firm tofu which you should squeeze of excess moisture (enough for 4 to 6 servings) and follow method below or follow method here.
1 – If you are going to cook rice, put it on right away and let it be cooling until you need it. If you already have leftover rice, take it out of the fridge and stir to loosen.
2 – Mix the eggs in a shallow bowl with the hoisin, soy and mirin. Place flour in a shallow bowl or a dinner plate. Put panko crumbs on a dinner plate. Place a big platter or plate on the counter beside the other plates and bowls.
3 – Make sure the pork is dry and then dip each piece in flour, then coat with egg mixture (by dipping), and finish by pressing each side into the panko crumbs. Place on the waiting platter or plate. When they are all dipped and rolled, place in the fridge. * I find they cook so much better when they are cold*
4 – Next make your dipping sauce (see method in ingredient list).
5 – Put big saute pan on medium heat and add 2 tbs of oil. Add onions and cook for about 7 minutes.
6 – Add the mushrooms and continue to cook for another 5 or so minutes. You may have to add more oil. Add the chopped herbs and some sea-salt (about 1/2 to 1 tsp) and stir into veggies.
7 – Cook until onions are nice and soft.
8 – Add the chopped escarole and cayenne flakes (if using) and cook until the greens wilt (about 4 or 5 minutes).
9 – Add the rice and stir until it has completely warmed through. Cover with lid and keep warm on lowest heat (or turn off and reheat right before serving)
10 – Put large saute pan on medium/high heat and add about 3 tbs oil. When it is hot add the pork in a single un-crowded layer. Cook until crispy on both sides (about 2 to 3 minutes per side). Remove to a plate and keep warm in low temperature oven until you have fried all of the batches. You will need to add more oil as you go.
Serve pork alongside the rice and drizzle a little of the dipping sauce over the pork before serving. Each person may add more dipping sauce or hot sauce as they please.
The pork can be easily substituted for tofu (I did) and prepared exactly the same way. (Check above for further instructions)