I must confess to you all, I have made many more things in my kitchen lately than I have been sharing. I seem to not be able to keep up! There are several sweet treats and a soup or two that will be posted here soon…promise. It has simply been hectic lately, and after a day at work, I’ve come home and prepared dinner, and finally sit down to eat, my brain is done for the day. D-O-N-E. If I attempted a blog post after all that, it would be less than fun to read, believe me! It would go something like this:
I made this tonight. It was good. You should make it too. Yum!
So if my posts are discussing dishes that were actually prepared, oh, a week or two ago, please don’t judge!
For today, I am sharing with you a dish that I made Sunday night. Usually, Sundays are my “cook all day” days. However, I had little energy or time to spend in the kitchen this past Sunday. The requirement for dinner was that it a) be uncomplicated, b) be relatively quick, and c) only use ingredients I had in the kitchen, because I sure wasn’t about to go to the store.
Enter Coffee-Chile Pork Tenderloin.
My dear friend Suzanne turned me on to this delicious rub recipe from Ellie Krieger a while back that uses espresso and chile powder. She used it on a steak, and raved about it. I loved the combination of flavors, so I opted to make it, using what I had on hand – a pork tenderloin. What to serve with a smoky, lightly spicy dish such as this? I had several sweet potatoes from the farmer’s market, so I opted to serve them simply – mashed with a bit of rosemary.
This rub recipe certainly did not disappoint. The tenderloin was juicy and flavorful, and the rub wasn’t spicy at all. It provided a pleasant burst of flavor in every bite. At first I was slightly skeptical of how the coffee would play into the flavor, but it blends so well with the other spices. (If I didn’t tell you there was espresso powder in the rub, you would not have guessed.) I’d be interested to taste it on a steak next time!
As for the sweet potatoes, you hardly need a recipe. My measurements below are approximate, so please feel free to add a bit more milk and/or butter to adjust to your tastes.
Overall, this was a perfect meal for a gorgeous Sunday night. My husband commented, as dinner was cooking, how wonderful it was to be at home, with all the windows opened (it was a breezy, sunny 65-70 degrees Sunday evening), and with the delicious smell of fall in the kitchen. I agreed. It was indeed the perfect setting for a lovely evening at home.
Coffee-Chili Pork Tenderloin, as adapted from Suzanne Collier and Ellie Krieger
1 T canola oil
1 1/2 t finely ground espresso powder
1 1/2 t ground chile powder, such as ancho or cascabel
1/2 t dark brown sugar
1/4 t dry mustard
1/4 t ground coriander
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t kosher salt
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
1 pork tenderloin, about 1 1/4 lbs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Coat a cast iron skillet with the canola oil, and bring to medium-high heat.
In a small bowl, combine all spices. Pour out on a plate. Place the pork tenderloin on the plate, and press into spices, rolling the tenderloin until all of it is covered in the spices. Let sit for a few minutes.
Place tenderloin in pan. Sear for about 3-4 minutes, and turn over. Sear again for 3-4 minutes. Continue to sear all over, and once you have made your final “flip” of the tenderloin, place skillet in oven on middle rack. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the center reads 150 degrees. (remember, the meat will still continue to cook for a few minutes after being removed from the oven) Tent with foil and allow to rest for 8-10 minutes, and then slice.
Mashed Rosemary Sweet Potatoes
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
4 T butter
1/2 t finely chopped fresh rosemary needles
1/2 c milk
salt and pepper to taste
Place diced sweet potatoes into a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and reduce to medium. Allow to cook for 10 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft and cooked throughout. (I test them by stabbing a fork into a piece, if it slides in easily and the potato breaks apart, it’s done.) Drain potatoes. Pass through a potato ricer (one of my most favorite kitchen tools, it makes potatoes perfectly creamy and fluffy!) or use a potato masher. Place back into saucepan, and add butter and rosemary. Stir to incorporate. Add milk, a little at a time, until the proper consistency is achieved. Season with salt and pepper to taste.