Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Pork tenderloin review and a bonus green bean recipe!

I'm out of the habit of taking pictures while I cook, so you'll have to trust me that last night's Pork Tenderloin a la Mexicana was delicious and beautiful. Rick Bayless has done it again, and you should go buy his book right now. Mean it.

As you can see at the recipe link (or in your new copy of Mexican Everyday that you just bought), the pork tenderloin is cut into one-inch cubes, browned, and then set aside while you build a sauce of roasted poblano pepper strips, canned tomatoes, garlic, broth, and a couple herbs. It's a very simple, quick dish, as are most in this book, and it doesn't taste like much until the pork and the cilantro go in at the end. The meat was tender, the sauce was warm and satisfying, and it was all so lean and healthy that I didn't mind helping myself to seconds.

But even given all that, the real star of last night's meal was the garlicky green beans we had as a side dish. I struggle with green beans sometimes - we like them roasted, but that gets boring and I didn't want to turn on the oven. Spicy in a skillet is good but I really want fresh garlic, and it always burns. Plus my skillets are too small for a couple pounds, which we'll easily eat in a day or two. My solution was to brown thin garlic slices in oil with crushed red pepper flakes, remove all that from the oil and add two(ish) pounds of beans to the hot pot, and then just stir them around over high heat while the rest of dinner cooked.

It was amazing. So here's my first recipe of the revamped blog. Probably not original, but it's

Our New Favorite Green Beans

Cooking oil
2 lbs. trimmed and washed green beans
4 large cloves garlic
sprinkle of crushed red pepper

Heat a wok or pot (like this one) over medium-high. When it's hot, add a big drizzle of cooking oil - not extra virgin olive here because of the high temps. Slice your garlic thinly and add it to the hot oil, along with crushed red pepper to your desired heat. I used about 1/4 tsp. Stir the garlic around constantly until it's pretty uniformly brown, and then remove it with a slotted spoon.

Add the green beans to the still-hot oil, turn the heat to medium, and stir or toss them every few minutes or so while your main dish cooks. Color is good here - the little ones at the bottom of the pot were almost black, and they tasted great. Once everything else is ready, just salt your beans to taste, toss in the garlic chips, and serve. Bon appetit!

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