Thursday, September 09, 2010

Cuban-Style Pork worthy of the clipping service

My stepfather, Dennis, is not known for his culinary expertise. He has two specialties in the kitchen: meatballs and meatloaf. (Yes, that's two.) Dennis does, however, have a penchant for clipping articles out of newspapers. If he finds out you are interested in a topic, you'll have your own personal clipping service whether you like it or not. The boy, for example, regularly receives envelopes in the mail with all articles pertaining to solar power Dennis can lay his hands on — no note, no post-it, just the articles neatly trimmed from the page. I think it's sweet. That said, with all his clipping, it is rare to find a recipe in his archives. Yes, he may find something on an unusual cocktail on rare occasion, which we then try out at the next family gathering, but, recipes are not the norm. That is why it is so unusual that the one I'm about to lay down was cut out by him back in the 90s. Something about it caught his eye and my mother, brothers and I have been making it ever since. It's chock full of citrus and garlic and easily straddles this strange season between summer and fall.  

Cuban-Style Pork 
Serves 4.

1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 Tb freshly squeezed lime juice
1 pork tenderloin or 4 boneless center-cut pork chops
1 Tb olive oil

Combine onion, garlic, cumin, cilantro, salt and pepper in a baking dish just large enough to hold the pork in a single layer. Pour orange and lime juices over and stir to combine. Add pork and marinate for 15-30 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat grill. Remove chops from marinade, scraping off excess. Grill until just cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side depending on size of tenderloin, or until a meat thermometer reads between145º and 155º. Remove and let rest five minutes before slicing to serve. 

If making chops, heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium high. Add pork, after scraping off excess marinade and cook each side 4 to 5 minutes, or until just cooked through.

While the pork is cooking, pour marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for 3 to 5 minutes to make it safe for consumption. Spoon over pork and serve with rice and baby carrots sprinkled with a tiny bit of cinnamon and allspice.

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