Weekly Winner – Turning Hipster and Going Green in One Single Meal.

There’s not a whole lot I haven’t done with pork. After all, it is the Best. Meat. Ever (in my humble opinion, at least).  And while I’ve applied a great variety of nationalities to pork including Thai (as this recipe is), I’m not terribly familiar with Green Curry Paste.  I’ve used Red Curry Paste many times and adore it, but not the green variety. 

I also have to admit right up front that this incredible photo is not mine. It belongs to Bon Appetit where the recipe is from. Mine?  Well, let’s just say it would not convince you to make this dish!  I’ve got a way to go with food photography. So anyway, I decided to go with the professional model (mine, obviously was not covered in cilantro).

Green Curry Pork Tenderloin is hard to describe.  Its citrusy, spicy, creamy, and luscious all at the same time.  The pumpkin seeds add crunch and the sear on the pork adds a meaty, toasty note.  By cooking the tenderloin at such a low temperature, the pork comes out juicy, tender, and evenly cooked throughout.

So, now you know what I mean about “Going Green”… but what about the “Turning Hipster” part?  Well, I surmised that this sauce was going to be tasty and would require a side dish worthy of holding on to said sauce.  Because it’s a Thai Curry sauce, I immediately thought of white rice.  But as it is still January, and I am still all aglow with healthy, nutritious resolutions I decided to think “outside the rice bowl”.  The answer was obvious … it was time to try out Cauliflower Rice! For those of you not phased by the latest culinary trends, Cauliflower Rice is made by putting cauliflower in a food processor and pulsing it until it’s the size of rice.  Then simply sauté it up and you have, what I found out, was an amazing substitute for rice. Don’t get me wrong – you still know its cauliflower but it serves the rice purpose beautifully.  If you don’t like the taste of cauliflower you probably won’t like this unless you heavily flavor it with something else.

So there’s a summary of the hipster-green dinner I prepared last night.  Now for the recipe:

Green Curry Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients:

Tenderloin:

¼ cup soy sauce

2 tablespoon fresh orange juice

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 pork tenderloin (about 1½ pounds)

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon grapeseed or vegetable oil

Sauce And Assembly:

1 tablespoon plus ½ cup grapeseed or vegetable oil

1 medium shallot, chopped

1 garlic clove

¼ cup prepared green curry paste

1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest

1 14.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk

1 tablespoon agave nectar

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

¼ cup cilantro leaves, plus more for serving (I used parsley for the sauce only)

Unsalted, roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas; for serving)

Preparation:

Tenderloin:

Combine soy sauce, orange juice, maple syrup, and sesame oil in a large resealable plastic bag. Add tenderloin; close bag, pressing out air. Chill, turning once, 4–12 hours. Remove tenderloin from marinade and pat dry; discard marinade. Season lightly with salt.

Preheat oven to 250°. Heat grapeseed oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Cook tenderloin, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of tenderloin registers 130°, 20–25 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Sauce and Assembly:

While meat is cooking, heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large saucepan over medium. Cook shallot and garlic, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add curry paste and lime zest and cook, stirring constantly, until paste is slightly darkened in color and very fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add coconut milk, bring to a simmer, and cook until reduced by half, 20–25 minutes. Let curry mixture cool.

Transfer curry mixture to a blender and add agave, lime juice, ¼ cup cilantro, and 2 Tbsp. water; blend until very smooth. With motor running, add remaining ½ cup oil in a steady stream; blend until sauce is thick and emulsified. Transfer to a small saucepan and heat over medium just until warmed through.

Serve pork over sauce topped with cilantro and pumpkin seeds.

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