Crown Heights Coconut Quinoa with Jerk Pork and Curry Mango Salsa
Ingredients (Serves 6-8) For Pork 2 pork tenderloins (2 lbs) 3-4 tbsp. jerk seasoning (bottled is fine, if not avail. see end of this post for a jerk sauce recipe) 1 bunch scallions, diced 1 tbsp. fresh thyme, minced
For Quinoa 1.5 cups (12 oz.) quinoa, uncooked 1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk 2 cups chicken broth 1 Vidalia onion Salt and pepper, to taste
For Mango Salsa 2 ripe mangoes 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped 2 tbsp. lime juice 1-2 tbsp. cilantro 1 tsp. curry powder (optional) 1 small habanero pepper, seeds removed and diced or 1 tsp. habanero pepper/Scotch Bonnet pepper sauce (optional)[caption id="attachment_303" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Jerk pork and some of the fixins'"][/caption]
1. Add the can of coconut milk to a medium saucepan. Slice half of the Vidalia onion into wide rings. Add onion to coconut milk and cover. Do not turn on heat. Let set for 30 min - 1 hour. This will infuse a sweet onion flavor to the coconut milk, which will give the quinoa a creamy texture and sweetness to set off the spice of the jerk sauce. Uniformly dice the other half of the onion and reserve for step 4.
2. Slice the pork tenderloins crosswise into medallions, about 3/4 in. thick. In a large bowl, cover the pork with the jerk sauce and use your hands to make sure each piece is thoroughly covered with sauce. Cover and chill, 1 hour - overnight.
3. While the pork marinates, peel and slice the mango. Toss in a blender with the rest of the salsa ingredients or just chop and mix everything by hand. Store the salsa covered in the fridge until mealtime.
4. Remove the onion rings from the coconut milk and toss or reserve for another use. Add the 2 cups chicken broth and quinoa and bring it all to a gentle boil. Once boiling, add the diced onions and lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and let cook for 15 min. Check after 10 min. The quinoa grains will look fluffy and translucent in the center when fully cooked.
5. Once quinoa is cooked, add salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat and keep covered on the stovetop until mealtime.
6. In a large saute pan, add 4 tbsp. canola oil, safflower oil or other oil suitable for high heat (do not use olive oil). Bring to high heat. Once the oil starts snapping in the pan, lower to medium heat. Use tongs to add pork medallions in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.
7. Cook the pork for about 3 min. on the first side, until you the meat cooked through almost to the center. When the meat stops sticking to the pan, carefully flip the pieces to the other side. Cook for about 1-2 min. additional, until the meat is white all the way through. Depending on the size of your pan, you'll need to cook these in 3 or more batches. Add the chopped scallions and thyme to the last batch, along with 1/2 cup water to loosen up the bits of meat and jerk sauce that have stuck to the pan. This creates a little glaze for the meat.
8. Remove meat from pan and cover with foil. Let rest for 3-5 min.9. Dinner's ready! Use a measuring cup to plate 1/2 cup of the quinoa in a mound, and top with the mango salsa. Fan out 3-4 pork medallions to the side of the quinoa. Garnish with a little additional salsa and a couple of sprigs of thyme if you're feeling fancy. Enjoy. ~~~ [caption id="attachment_302" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Crown Heights Coconut Quinoa with Jerk Pork Tenderloin and Curry Mango Salsa"][/caption] Try it out this week and let me know what you think. Let me know if you modify the recipe; I love hearing how people take stuff and run with it. You can, of course, substitute rice for quinoa and chicken for pork. If you can't get fresh mangoes, a peach salsa would be delicious here too. Thank you, thank you, thank you for reading and sharing MOTB with all of your friends. I love that we have this place to hang out to and get to know all the wonderful cultures and foods that make my city so amazing.
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~~~ If you enjoyed this post, please comment, subscribe, tell your friends on Facebook, or comment on Twitter using hashtag #MOTB. Also, if you like the site, join the discussion on the Facebook fan page. Thank you! UPDATE: Here is the video we shot that night of me talking about the recipe. ~~~ P.S. * Jerk Sauce recipe If you don't have access to bottled jerk sauce, make your own. It's super easy. Gourmet's version combines 3 scallions, 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme, 2 tsp. kosher salt, 1/2 tsp. ground allspice, 2 tbsp. lime juice, 1 tbsp. molasses (not blackstrap) and 1 tsp. habanero or Scotch Bonnet hot sauce (go easy on this last part or leave out altogether if you don't enjoy spicy foods). Mix it all up and rub all over the meat. You're welcome. ;-)