Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Tender pork with a side of fries...

Just a few days ago, we made our own potato chips and that had Jeff itchin' for another potato dish ever since. To try and quench his craving, I made these Garlic and Cumin–Seasoned Fries with Chipotle Ketchup as a side for tonight's dinner.

The preparation of the potatoes themselves was nothing too out of the ordinary - buttery Yukon golds are cut into a slender fry form and tossed with olive oil. Using our favorite trick as of late, the baking sheet is first heated up in the hot oven before the potatoes are added. Once the golden fries had come out from the oven, they were immediately and gently tossed with a seasoning mixture of salt, cumin and granulated garlic.

Where these fries turn the corner is the spiced up ketchup that is served along side. To the thick red ketchup, a mixture of fresh lime juice, a dash of sugar and chipotle chile powder is added. Just those few ingredients added a zesty depth with a smoky note that played off the cumin seasoning on the fries. We both thought these were quite good, but the garlic was a little weak for us - if you prefer a stronger garlic punch, how about trying those baked Garlic Fries instead? One note on the potatoes - if you cut your fries much bigger than 1/4" thick, you will need most likely need a few more minutes until they have sufficiently browned.

When I had pulled out this Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Maple-Chipotle Sauce recipe to make for dinner, I was expecting something that would end up being a sweet, yet spicy dish. Once I had begun making the dish, it dawned on me that there would be no heat here.

There is some extended downtime for this - the lean tenderloins are given a sprinkling with a spice mixture of salt, thyme, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper and allspice. The pork then needs to chill out for at least 2 to 3 hours to give those spices some time to work their magic - I would probably go ahead and do this in the morning if you wouldn't be home during the day. They tenderloins are drizzled with olive oil and roasted just until the centers are still fairly pink. While they are resting, the sweet sauce is prepared.

Here is where I thought the heat would come in - the original ingredient list actually called for the use of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. However, when you get to this point in the recipe, the directions only call for the smoky sauce and not the chiles themselves! I decided to go ahead and make it as is, but I probably should have added a chile or two since we tend to enjoy hotter foods. Into the same roasting pan that cooked the pork, the adobo sauce is swirled in, along with pure maple syrup, broth and a little cider vinegar. After a few minutes of heating through on the stove to warm up the sauce and loosen any of the flavor-packed crusty bits stuck on the bottom, the tenderloins are added back in for just a quick second to coat the outside with a bit of the sauce. The pork is then sliced and served with the remaining sauce on the side - we did push it through a sieve to ensure it was silky smooth, but you don't have to do that step. Now don't get me wrong, we quite enjoy the sweet/savory combination, but just a touch of heat would have made it that much better for us as it was fairly mild in that department.


  1. That maple chipotle sauce sounds perfect to me. I'm going to have to try that!

  2. I'm going to have to try this recipe. We love the chipotle flavor so this sounds really good. I might have to pair this with the garlic fries. I just looked at the recipe and photo for the fries and wow - we could probably eat those all day!

    I love your blog, Joe. I stumbled upon it by reference of Anna's cookie site and it's not one of my ultimate favorites.

    I blame you for making me go out and buy a new ink cartridge for my printer! So many wonderful recipes to try! :)

  3. errr.... I'm typo prone today. I meant to say that your site is NOW one of my favorites. My fumble fingers are sorry for the confusion. :)

  4. Ok, I have to keep a towel to wipe up the drool each day when I read the posts! So far I've made the Upside Down Shepherd's Pie (awesome) and the mini meatloaves and this weekend the Toffee Shortbread cookies are going in the oven.

    I'm heading to St. Paul next week to visit my son (in vet school out there) so you better watch out. You may find a guest on your steps, I'm sure I can find the way from the yummy aroma's surrounding your house :)

  5. Tracy - Let me know if you try it out!

    Jenine - Hee hee! I'm glad you like the site!

    Lisa - We'll be sure to have an extra plate of cookies and another seat at the table ready!

  6. I made the fries. So good. I did cut mine pretty thin, but they still took a little longer (maybe I'm bad at judging sizes, though, because oven fries always seem to take longer than the recipe specifies).
    The chipotle ketchup was really good, too.

  7. Jennifer - Glad you liked!