Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cherry Chile Salsa with Pork Tenderloin

I love it when cherries are in season- they are one of my favorite fruits!  I load up on them when they are on sale because they are so expensive normally.  I bookmarked this recipe from Serious Eats and I'm glad I remembered to make it this summer before cherries go out of season!  The cherries are combined with hot chile peppers, lime juice, and cilantro to make a delicious sweet and spicy salsa to go along with some roasted pork tenderloin.  The salsa was the perfect complement to the juicy pork, and probably the first time I've used fresh cherries in a savory dish.  The salsa would also be great with sturdy tortilla chips if you cut the cherries into smaller pieces.

  • 2 lbs pork tenderloin (preferably two smaller ones, but we ended up with one huge tenderloin cut in half)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 lb fresh cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 large or two small jalapeno peppers thinly sliced, with option to omit seeds to keep heat level down
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
In a large zip lock bag, combine the pork with the vegetable oil, 4 tablespoons of lime juice and half of the cilantro and shallots.  Marinate at room temp for about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, combine cherries with jalapenos, sugar, olive oil, and the remaining cilantro, shallots, and lime juice. (You could omit sugar if your cherries are super sweet). Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.  Stir occasionally to mix the flavors.

To cook the pork, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (or preheat a grill to medium-high).  Remove from marinade and season well with salt and pepper. Heat a cast iron pan over medium heat and brown your tenderloin on each side.  Place into a large baking dish and cook for 45 minutes to an hour (depending on the size of your steak and actual oven temp the time will vary).  Check with a thermometer to ensure pork is at least 145 degrees F in the center before removing from the oven.  Let it rest 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve with the delicious cherry salsa piled on top.

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