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If you are like me, when you think about curry you’ll imagine pieces of meat or veggies swimming in a spicy sauce. This is not it. The pork tenderloin is marinated in a flavorful orange-soy mixture, then grilled. The curry sauce is spooned over it, and to add another layer of flavor and texture pumpkin seeds are sprinkled on top. This was one of those dinners that surpassed my expectations. We could celebrate a Wednesday with it, but instead it opened our week to a good start: we enjoyed it for dinner after a very busy Monday.
GREEN CURRY PORK TENDERLOIN
(slightly modified from Bon Appetit, May 2013)
for pork marinade:
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 pork tenderloin, butterflied
for pumpkin seeds:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
for curry sauce:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 small shallot, chopped
2 heaping tablespoons green Thai curry paste
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk (I used light)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Combine soy sauce, orange juice, maple syrup, and sesame oil in a large resealable plastic bag. Add pork and seal bag. Chill, turning occasionally, at least 8 hours or up to 1 day.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pumpkin seeds and toast, shaking pan often, until seeds are brown, about 4 minutes. Add cumin seeds, then gradually add sugar, then lime juice, tossing constantly to coat seeds with melted sugar and juice. Transfer pumpkin seed mixture to a foil-lined baking sheet; spread out and let cool. Season with salt.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add curry paste and lime zest and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add coconut milk and bring just to a boil, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced by half, 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Transfer coconut milk mixture to a blender. Add cilantro, lime juice, brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons water and blend until smooth. With motor running, drizzle in remaining 2 tablespoons oil and blend until creamy. Season curry sauce with salt and pepper, return to pan, and cover to keep warm.
Remove pork from marinade; pat dry. Grill pork until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 140°. Let rest 10 minutes. Slice pork and serve with curry sauce and cumin-spiced pumpkin seeds.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: At first this recipe seems doable on a weeknight. But I will be honest with you: when we come home from work I want dinner preparation to be as simple and painless as possible. The idea of making a sauce that involves grabbing (and later washing) the blender, toasting the pumpkin seeds, assembling everything AND thinking about a side dish to go with it leaves me searching for another recipe right away… ;-) So, I made all the components on a Sunday afternoon, no hurries, not pressure. The pumpkin seeds went into the pantry, the sauce in the fridge. The pork went to sleep in the marinade. Next day I cooked some white rice, sliced juicy heirloom tomatoes, sprinkled them with Maldon salt and balsamic vinegar, a tiny little drizzle of olive oil. Grilled the pork, warmed the sauce, and felt like a Kitchen Goddess.
Side note: these pumpkin seeds are excellent to snack on, the recipe makes more than you’ll need and that is a good thing! 😉
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