Moroccan-Seared Pork Tenderloin with Israeli Couscous with Toasted Pine Nuts and Fresh Red Grapes
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Credit: Scott Samuel, Chef-Instructor, The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, St. Helena, Calif.
The National Culinary Review, November/December 2011
2 lbs. pork tenderloin, trimmed
¼ cup olive oil
1 t. kosher salt
2 T. finely chopped garlic
1 onion, small dice
1 cup small-dice red bell pepper
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
½ t. curry powder
2 cups Israeli couscous
2 cups chicken stock
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
3 T. currants
1 cup red seedless California grapes, halved
2 T. pomegranate molasses, for garnish
½ cup black seedless California grapes, halved
1 T. Moroccan Spice (recipe follows)
5 T. whole cardamom seeds
1 cinnamon stick
7 whole cloves
1 T. dried chile pepper
3 T. coriander seeds
¼ cup cumin seeds
1 T. ground turmeric
2 T. whole black peppercorns
1 T. whole white peppercorns
1. Trim silver skin off tenderloins; place in large zip-close bag. Add Moroccan spice, olive oil and salt. Seal bag; rub mixture into pork. Marinate 2 hours in refrigerator.
2. In small saucepot, saute garlic, onion and red bell pepper in extra virgin olive oil until vegetables just start to color. Add curry powder; cook another minute to bloom spice. Add couscous and chicken stock; bring to a simmer. Cover; reduce heat to low. Cook 10-15 minutes, until grain is soft. Remove from heat. Add pine nuts, currants and red grapes; toss to combine. Keep warm.
3. Preheat oven to 425°F. Put large oven-proof sauté pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle with olive oil; put marinated pork in hot pan. Sear 4 minutes; turn to other side, cook 4 minutes. Put pan in preheated oven; roast pork 10-15 minutes, until internal temperature is 145°F. Remove; rest 5 minutes. Slice on diagonal; keep warm.
4. To serve: Warm 8 plates in oven 1 minute. Remove; drizzle pomegranate molasses on each plate. Top with small mound of Israeli couscous. Put 3 slices pork on side. Garnish with black grape halves.
Method: In large saute pan, combine cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, chile pepper, coriander, cumin, turmeric and black and white peppercorns; toast over medium heat, shaking frequently, until spices just start to release aroma, about 2-4 minutes. Remove from heat; allow spices to cool completely. Grind in spice grinder. Place in small airtight container; store. Use within 1 month.
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