Sweet and Spicy Island Pork with Coconut Rice

Island Pork and Coconutty Rice - Just the TipThis pork is goooooood. I wasn’t sure what I thought when I first saw the recipe, as it called for a ton of brown sugar and I’m don’t have a big sweet tooth. I do, however, have a salt tooth, so I just decided to reduce the amount of sugar called for and it was perfect. But, truthfully, I was drawn to this recipe because of the coconut rice. I mean, rice (I used basmati), cooked in coconut milk? Awesome. Life changing. If Brian didn’t think he hated coconut (he loved this rice so clearly he doesn’t), I would have garnished with some toasted, flaked coconut on top too. This whole meal was super easy and came together within 30 minutes. Weeknight score.

Island Pork with Coconut Rice
Serves 6
Just the Tip / Inspired by This Week for Dinner and Bon Appétit

What I used:

For the pork:

  • 2 pork tenderloins, about 2 1/2 pounds total (they come two to a package)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the rub:

  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2-1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

For the topping/glaze:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce (I used cholula)

What I did:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl, combine the rub ingredients. In another small/medium bowl, combine the topping/glaze ingredients.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large oven-safe frying pan (I used cast iron).
  3. Lay the tenderloins on a cutting board and pat it dry with a paper towel. Coat the pork with the spice rub all over. If your tenderloin won’t fit in your frying pan (mine did not), cut them in half, into 4 equal pieces.
  4. Add the seasoned pork to the hot pan and brown for 2 minutes on each side. Spoon the topping/glaze on the pork and transfer the pan to the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the pork reaches 140 degrees. If you do cut your pork in half to fit the pan, it will take less time – closer to the 15 minute mark.
  5. Let the pork rest for 10 minutes and slice to serve.

For the coconut rice:

What I used:

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 15-oz can lite coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

What I did:

  1. Shake the coconut milk can well and add to a medium saucepan with the water and salt and sugar. Bring to a boil and add the rice. Stir and bring down to a simmer, cover, and cook for 12 minutes until the liquid has absorbed. Fluff with a fork and eat it.

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