Thursday, January 04, 2007

Pork Tenderloin with Risotto and Green Beans

Lee and I had a pork tenderloin around and have been trying to find the best use for it. I saw a recipe online for pork tenderloin in a caper-olive sauce, but we didn't want the weight of a sauce--especially since I was making a risotto to accompany the meat. Here is what we did, instead.

The Risotto
Chop some vegetables (I used one onion, a couple cloves of garlic and some celery) and saute them in olive oil over medium heat until they start to soften. Then add about a cup of rice. I usually use arborio, but in the midst of daydreaming about grad school applications, added basmati instead. Surprisingly, it worked. After everything mixes together and the rice starts to turn translucent, deglaze the pan with some dry white wine (about a cup). Turn the heat down to medium-low and stir the mixture frequently with a wooden spoon. Meantime, take out a container of chicken stock. When the rice has absorbed the liquid, add about half a cup of stock and stir. Repeat this process until the rice is creamy and tender, with just a bit of bite left in the center. How much liquid this takes will depend on your rice and your kitchen, so be sure to taste the rice from time to time. Finish your risotto with a little olive oil or butter and perhaps some parmesan cheese (we added a couple ounces of parmigiano-reggiano at the end, grating it right over the pan with a microplane).

The Tenderloin
A little olive oil in the pan - sear on all sides, then turn down the heat and cover, turning every few minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 160. We didn't add a thing to the tenderloin--not even a dash of salt.

The Tapenade
Lee made an insanely delicious tapenade with one chopped garlic clove, a bit of chopped parsley, some kalamata olives and some capers. He finished the whole thing off with two teaspoons of port. It was incredible.

We served the tenderloin over risotto with some tapenade on top. On the side, green beans with toasted pine nuts. It was a successful meal, rice blunder aside, and everything came together pretty quickly once the risotto was finished.

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