Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cuban Spiced Pork Tenderloin, Soffrito Rice and Green Beans

I have been wanting to make pork tenderloin for some time now. I found a recipe by Rachael Ray that seemed different and interesting. I have never been a huge pork tenderloin fan, but I actually haven't had it that many times. Anyways, I originally planned to make the Cuban spiced pork tenderloin, which I did. However, I came across a fellow food blogger's pt recipe and I wanted to try it too. So, since Rach's recipe called for two pt's, I made one her way and one "for the love of cooking" way. I also made the recipe for Soffrito rice that went along with the Cuban spiced pork. I made so many substitutions that I am not sure it can be considered the same thing. The fact that she lists saffron as a spice to add to the rice makes me cry inside a little. For those of you that don't know, saffron is one of the (or THE) most expensive spices. Like ever. Gourmet to the max. I obviously didn't use it. I actually used paprika instead. (NOTE: I have started writing a blog that I will post later on "Appropriate Substitutions"...paprika for saffron is not really a good example...haha, not at all.) I am going to keep the recipe as she wrote it, though, because it is really just a simple rice side that is nice with the pork tenderloin. Rach's pt was good, lots of spice on the crust, which was nice with the rest of the meal. I would recommend using a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature after 25 minutes. I think 155F is good for medium. I needed 30 minutes to get it there (might be due to elevation). I also made some green beans to go with the pork and rice. I just put trimmed and washed green beans in a skillet with about a half a cup of water. Covered and cooked for maybe 5 minutes. Most of the water evaporated, but I drained the rest. Tossed with butter, salt and pepper.

Cuban Spiced Pork Tenderloin and Soffrito Rice

courtesy of Rachael Ray



1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil

2 slices bacon, chopped

1 small white onion, chopped

1 small green bell pepper, chopped

2 3/4 cups chicken broth

1 1/2 cups white rice

2 pinches saffron or 1/2 teaspoon turmeric



2 pork tenderloins, trimmed, about 2 1/2 pounds total weight

4 cloves garlic, cracked away from skin

4 bay leaves

2 teaspoons anise seed

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 limes, zested

2 tablespoons grill seasoning blend (recommended: McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning) or

coarse salt and pepper

EVOO - Extra-virgin olive oil, or vegetable oil, to coat

Optional garnishes: chopped mango or kiwi, or chopped cilantro and scallions


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Heat medium pot with tight fitting lid over medium high heat. Add oil and bacon and brown bacon.

Add onions and peppers and saute 5 minutes. Bring broth to a boil. Add rice. Cover the pot and

reduce heat to simmer. Cook 15 to 18 minutes, until rice is tender.

For pork, cut 4 slits into each loin and nest garlic and bay into meat. Place meat on nonstick

baking sheet. Combine the spices. Coat meat with oil. Rub spices over the pork tenderloins and

place in oven. Roast meat 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Let juices redistribute, then slice and

serve with soffrito rice and garnishes of chopped tropical fruit or chopped cilantro and scallions.

Printable Version

The Maple/Dijon pt was also great. If I had to choose, I would say I liked it better. They were both so different, though, it is hard to choose. It was much more moist. However, they were both tender. The two cooking methods are completely different. Rachael's method was much easier. The Maple/Dijon needed more babysitting.

Pork Tenderloin with Maple Glaze:
Recipe by For the Love of Cooking
Recipe adapted from
Epicurious and inspired by Sara

1 pork tenderloin
1 tsp dried sage
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
2 tsp olive oil
5 tablespoons pure maple syrup
5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Rub the entire pork tenderloin with the dried sage, sea salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the pork tenderloin and cook until brown on all sides, turning occasionally, about 5-6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low, insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the pork then cover and cook until thermometer registers 150-155°, turning occasionally, about 7-10 minutes longer. Transfer pork to platter; cover with a tin foil tent to keep warm.

Whisk 5 tablespoons maple syrup, 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard in small bowl to blend. Set aside. Add remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar to the same skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium then add the maple syrup mixture and cook until sauce thickens a bit, about 2-3 minutes. Return pork and any accumulated juices to skillet and coat the meat with the glaze. Transfer pork to cutting board, let the meat rest for 5 minutes before slicing into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Season glaze to taste with salt and pepper if desired. Spoon glaze over sliced pork and serve. Enjoy.

I plan to make Cuban sandwiches (my fav!) with the left over pork.