Sunday, March 27, 2016

Ancho-Chile Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Cilantro-Lime Quinoa and Fresh Pico de Gallo

I made up this nice plate for myself and snapped this photo with my iPhone as I sat down to eat my meal.  Just after I took this photo, I dropped my iPhone into my plate of food.  Doh!  Don't do that, but do try this recipe.  It's good!

Ancho-Chile Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Cilantro-Lime Quinoa and Fresh Pico de Gallo

We are trying to eat healthier and focus on lean protein with fresh fruits and vegetables, and we are trying to stay away from the carbs we love so much: bread, pasta, tortillas, etc.  For some recipe inspiration, I flipped through a magazine from 2014.  

I found a pork tenderloin recipe; I knew my husband would NOT go for the Pineapple-Papaya Salsa, so I made Fresh Pico de Gallo instead.  I also made up some Cilantro Lime Quinoa.  When I try a new recipe, I always wonder if it's going to be a flop, but my husband really LOVED this recipe.  He ate all the leftovers so we got 5 servings out of this recipe.

You can see the spice rub in the photo above.  I had all the ingredients on hand which is always nice. I thought I had purchased a PLAIN pork tenderloin but when I was opening up my packaged tenderloin, I saw it was called "original" (looks like it was pre-seasoned).  I did rinse my pork tenderloin under cold running water to remove some of the "goo" from the packaging and patted the tenderloin dry with paper towels before coating it with the spice rub.

Ancho-Chile Crusted Pork Tenderloin

1 pork tenderloin (I used Hormel brand: 1.5 pounds, the label read "original")
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt (I used kosher salt)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground ancho chile pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Combine all the seasonings in a small bowl.  Sprinkle over pork tenderloin (see notes above); coat the entire tenderloin with the spice mixture.  Place tenderloin in a gallon sized zip close bag and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. 

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.  Place pork loin in a baking dish (I used a 13" x 9" x 2" glass Pyrex dish).  Bake for about 35 minutes or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 to 155 degrees Fahrenheit.  I was in a hurry to get this on the table so I cooked this at 425 degrees.  The original recipe calls for cooking the pork tenderloin on the outdoor grill. 

Cilantro Lime Quinoa

1/2 cup quinoa, well rinsed
1 cup water
pinch of kosher salt
a few tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro leaves
the finely grated zest of 1 lime
the juice of half a lime

Bring the water and the pinch of salt to a boil.  Add in quinoa, cover with a lid, reduce to low; simmer for 17 to 20 minutes, without removing the lid on the pot.  When done, add in the cilantro, lime, zest, and lime juice from 1/2 a lime; fluff and stir with a fork.

Fresh Pico de Gallo

4 or 5 fresh Roma tomatoes, seeds and pulp removed, finely diced
1 fresh jalapeno, seeds removed, finely diced (use less if you don't like spicy)
1 fresh clove of garlic, finely minced
the juice of half a lime
1/2 of a small onion, I used a sweet Vidalia onion, finely diced
a few tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro leaves
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
a few pinches of granulated sugar to offset the spice/heat

Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl; toss with a fork to combine.

No comments: