Pork Tenderloin Tips~Prepared Two Ways

For today’s blog post I was fortunate to find a large package of pork tenderloin tips  at a great price. I decided to prepare two different recipes to get the most out of my money. For the first recipe I prepared Pork Tenderloin Tips in Salsa Verde. This dish can be serve simply over rice or slice into smaller pieces for a tasty taco, enchilada or burrito filling. Salsa Verde pairs very well with pork and the tenderloin tips were tender and moist. For the second recipe I was looking to try out a new appetizer that would be both simple and delicious. The precooked bacon works well for any recipe that calls for wrapping, whether it’s for meat, vegetables or jalapeños.  I would not suggest using the precooked bacon from the store because it is very thin compared to what I used for this recipe. My inspiration for this recipe was of course the pork tips, but also the zesty sriracha seasoning I found. It really does taste very much like the hot sauce, but in a dry rub form. I try to challenge myself to learn a new cooking technique or method that I can incorporate into my everyday cooking. My favorite to date is the searing of meats on the stove top and finishing the cooking in the oven.  With the help of my trusty instant read thermometer and stove timer, I have had great success when it comes to this cooking method. The results are always a well cooked piece of meat.

 

Pork Tenderloin Tips in Salsa Verde

Pork Tenderloin Tips in Salsa Verde
Pork Tenderloin Tips in Salsa Verde

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin tips
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon chile pepper flakes
2 teaspoons lemon pepper ( I use a low salt, coarse grind)
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
Coarse sea salt or kosher salt to taste (I used a sea salt with chile flakes)

Olive oil
Salt
Pepper

For Salsa
10 to 12 tomatillos, peeled and washed
1 small red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 to 3 serranos, finely diced
Salt to taste
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Try toasting and griding your own spices. The flavors are amazing!
Try toasting and griding your own spices. The flavors are amazing!
Fresh Tomatillos
Fresh Tomatillos
Pork Tenderloin Tips in Salsa Verde
Pork Tenderloin Tips in Salsa Verde

Directions

1. Slice the pork tips into equal size pieces for more even cooking, set aside. Heat a small skillet to medium and toast the cumin seeds and oregano for a few minutes or until they become aromatic. Transfer to a mortar, along with the red pepper flakes and crush as fine as you can. Season the pork with spice mix from mortar, lemon pepper, garlic and salt to taste. Cover and set aside if cooking right away or marinate overnight.

2. Add the tomatillos to a pot, cover with water. For a smoother salsa, you cook add the onion, serrano and garlic to the boiling water with tomatillos and blend all together. I like to saute my onion mixture separately. Bring tomatillos to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Drain all of the water, transfer to the blender and let cool while you prep the other ingredients.

3. In a large, oven safe skillet, preheat 3 tablespoons of olive oil to medium for a few minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Brown and sear the pork tips on all sides, transfer the whole pan to the oven and cook for another 10 to 12 minutes.

4. In a separate skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil to medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and serrano. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 6 to 8 minutes. Blend the tomatillos until smooth, add to skillet with onion mixture and cook at a low simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Remove pork from oven and pour warm salsa over the pork and stir gently to scrape all the bits off the bottom of pan. Fold in the fresh cilantro. Yields 4 servings. Serve with rice, beans and warm tortillas.

Pork Tenderloin Tips In Salsa Verde
Pork Tenderloin Tips In Salsa Verde
I was lucky to find this almost 3 pound package of pork tenderloin tips for a great price!
I was lucky to find this almost 3 pound package of pork tenderloin tips for a great price!
Getting the most out of my spices in the pantry
Getting the most out of my spices in the pantry

 

 

Bacon Wrapped Sriracha Pork Tenderloin Tips

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Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin tips sliced into 12 equal pieces
2 teaspoons sriracha rub and seasoning
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon chile flakes
Sea salt or kosher salt to taste (I used a sea salt with chile flakes)

You will also need
12 strips thick cut bacon ( I like to slice my bacon so it just overlaps around the pork)
Olive oil
Sriracha hot sauce for basting

Found a sriracha dry rub/seasoning and I love it! Great for these pork tenderloin tips.
Found a sriracha dry rub/seasoning and I love it! Great for these pork tenderloin tips.
Precooking the bacon this way worked out great! It was still soft and pliable for wrapping the pork.
Precooking the bacon this way worked out great! It was still soft and pliable for wrapping the pork.

Directions

1. Season the pork tips with sriracha seasoning, pepper, garlic, chile flakes and salt to taste. Cover and chill for 1 hour or overnight.

2. To precook bacon, place the strips on a lined baking sheet. Place in cold oven and heat to 400 degrees F. Set your timer for 13 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer to a clean plate and let cool.

3. When ready, wrap the pork tips tightly with the precooked bacon, using a toothpick if needed. Season with a little more siraracha seasoning, set aside. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

4. In an oven safe large skillet or cast iron pan, preheat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. When hot, sear and brown the bacon wrapped pork for 4 minutes per side. trying to brown most sides. Transfer to preheated oven and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven, baste generously with sriracha hot sauce and place back under the broiler for 2 minutes.  If you are unsure that the pork is cooked all the way through, just take an instant read digital thermometer and insert in deepest cut of meat. You are looking for a temperature of between 145 to 150 degrees F. Remove from oven, tent loosely with foil paper and let sit for a few minutes. Remove toothpicks and serve right away. Yields 4 to 6 servings

Bacon Wrapped Sriracha Pork Tenderloin Tips
Bacon Wrapped Sriracha Pork Tenderloin Tips
Bacon Wrapped Sriracha Pork Tenderloin Tips
Bacon Wrapped Sriracha Pork Tenderloin Tips

Quick Cuban Style Black Beans~ Tasting Latin American

A few years ago I began teaching Mexican cooking classes at the local kitchen store. I also became very interested in learning some of the most popular dishes of Latin America. Besides Mexican food, Puerto Rican and Cuban food are also some of my favorites. The recipes are similar in ingredients when it comes to all three cuisines, with a few differences. Unlike many Mexican dishes, Cuban and Puerto Rican recipes will almost never include chile peppers in their ingredients.  For a while, I just could not get passed the idea of cooking without any chile peppers, lol! But, for a few years now, I often prepare meals and donate them to friends in need or groups of volunteers that help with local community projects.  And for those recipes, I have learned to scale way back on the chile peppers. It’s just my way of trying to help when I can and volunteer my time. As many of you know, I have been blessed with my dream job of working from home, cooking  and developing recipes  I love for the Hispanic Kitchen site.  It has been the most rewarding experience and continues to be a great blessing in my life. It’s the Hispanic Kitchen that inspired me to step outside my Mexican comfort zone and try my hand at a few popular Cuban dishes.  My friend Norma Torres, who is an awesome chef, blogger and recipe developer for Hispanic Kitchen as well prepares these most delicious Puerto Rican and Cuban recipes.

Quick Cuban Style Black Beans
Quick Cuban Style Black Beans

The Hispanic Kitchen site literally have thousands of delicious recipes posted from all over Latin America, Spain and the Caribbean.  Foods from Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Colombia are all equally delicious and ere definitely on my “To Try” list! For today’s post I am starting out with a quick and simple recipe for black beans. I prepared my first recipe for Ropa Vieja,(you can find recipe on my blog) which is a popular Cuban beef dish and is typically served with black beans and rice. And after spending all that time preparing the Ropa Vieja, I wanted a quick, but flavorful pot of black beans to serve with dinner that night.

Quick Cuban Style Black Beans
Quick Cuban Style Black Beans

Pulling ingredients I had available in my pantry and refrigerator, the Goya Jamon seasoning gives the beans a subtle flavor of smokiness. And the Knorr Sazon with garlic, onion, cilantro and achiote is great for any rice, bean or meat dishes. I keep them in my pantry at all times along with my regular spices. A quick and fresh version of sofrito is as easy as tomato, bell pepper, cilantro, garlic and onion. Freshly made is always the better option.

Quick Cuban Style Black Beans

Ingredients

2 roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped plus more for garnish
1/2 jalapeño, seeded. Here I go with the chile pepper!
1/4 cup water
Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white or spanish onion, diced
15 ounce can black beans in it’s broth
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 Goya Jamon season packet
1 Knorr Sazon with achiote, garlic, onion and cilantro season packet
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
Salt to taste

*This recipe will have more broth than usual

Directions

1. In the blender, combine the tomatoes, bell pepper, cilantro, jalapeño (if using), 2 tablespoons olive oil half of garlic and half of onion. Pulse to blend until fairly smooth. I prefer to not add salt at this time since the season packets both contain some salt.

2. In a medium pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Add the remaining garlic and onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the sofrito tomato mixture from the blender to the pot and cook for another 5 minutes.

3. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Taste for salt, cumin and pepper and season to taste. Remove from heat, garnish with some fresh cilantro and ladle beans with broth over rice. Yields 4 servings.

Next time, I will try the low and slow version for this recipe using a smoky ham hock and dried black beans.
Next time, I will try the low and slow version for this recipe using a smoky ham hock and dried black beans.
Tex Mex meets Cuban! How about some Ropa Vieja Nachos with smoky black beans, tender flank steak, jalapeños and your favorite melting cheese.
Tex Mex meets Cuban! How about some Ropa Vieja Nachos with smoky black beans, tender flank steak, jalapeños and your favorite melting cheese.

You can find the recipe for Ropa Vieja and Homemade Tortilla Chips-Totopos right here on my blog site. Just type it into the search bar or  search under catergories.

Using homemade chips or a good quality store bought chip, this is a tasty twist on traditional Tex Mex Nachos.
Using homemade chips or a good quality store bought chip, this is a tasty twist on traditional Tex Mex Nachos.

Black Beans Prepared In The  Pressure. Thanks to one of my favorite Chef’s Tyler Florence, I finally decided to take the plunge and cook a batch of black beans in my pressure cooker. It seemed simple enough. With a few “La Piña” touches added to the recipe I was on my way!

My first time cooking black beans in the pressure cooker. I will never cook them any other way!
My first time cooking black beans in the pressure cooker. I will never cook them any other way!

Ingredients

Olive oil
1/2 cup diced white onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano pepper, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 pound black beans, rinsed
1 packet Goya Jamon seasoning
1/3 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 cups water

*5 quart pressure cooker

I used a 5 quart pressure cooker for 1 pound of black beans
I used a 5 quart pressure cooker for 1 pound of black beans

1. Add 2 tablespoons oil to pressure cooker pot. Heat to medium, add onions, garlic, serrano, bay leaves and cumin seeds. Saute for 4 to 6 minutes.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  Then right before you cook, add 2 more tablespoons of oil to the beans. The oil prevents the beans from foaming up and clogging the valve. Very important that you don’t skip that step. Follow manufacter’s directions for pressure cooker. Lock lid, heat to medium/high until safety valve seals and locks. When the pressure valve begins to spin, turn heat to low and set your timer for 35 minutes.  after about 20 minutes, I turned the heat up slightly to finish cooking. Gently remove from heat. Once lock and seals opens and releases, them remove the lid.

Just took the lid off and all that steamy goodness aroma...aaaaahhh!
Just took the lid off and all that steamy goodness aroma…aaaaahhh!
All the times I have cooked black beans, they have never, ever come out this beautiful!
All the times I have cooked black beans, they have never, ever come out this beautiful!

Ropa Vieja~ Shredded Beef Braised in a Sofrito Sauce

Cuban Style Ropa Vieja is very similar to preparing a traditional Mexican Carne Deshebrada dish (Shredded Beef). Both are prepared with flank steak and are typically cooked low and slow in a sauce. For today’s recipe I wanted to do my best at preparing an authentic Cuban Ropa Vieja with the ingredients available to me. Lucky for me, there is a good size Cuban and Puerto Rican community where I live in central New York and Goya products are abundant! Just to state for the record, I am No authority of Cuban food, I just know that I love all the flavors and love learning about new cuisines. This is a great recipe to prepare for a large family style dinner or for make ahead freezer meals. Not only great served over rice, but extra tasty for flautas, tacos and burritos as well. Simple, fresh ingredients and spices are the base  and a great start to preparing any of your favorite cuisines. Challenge yourself and try a new recipe from a different ethnic back round. You may just be pleasantly surprised with the results!

Ropa Vieja, Steamed Rice, Black Beans and Tostones
Ropa Vieja, Steamed Rice, Black Beans and Tostones

Ingredients

For Garlic/Mojo Sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice
3 full tablespoons of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon white pepper
Salt to taste

Preparing Garlic Mojo Sauce for Flank Steak
Preparing Garlic Mojo Sauce for Flank Steak

Beef
2 1/2 pounds flank steak cut into 4 pieces

For Sofrito Tomato Base
Olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced into thin strips
1 large green bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 small red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 ful tablespoon garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons annatto powder
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Bijol coloring/seasoning or turmeric
28 oz can whole tomatoes (crush with hands before adding)
6 oz tomato paste
1 cup Goya brand cooking wine
2 cups water
3  full tablespoons chicken base powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste and 2 bay leaves

Tips~ As a last minute add-in, I sliced some pimento stuffed queen olives, about 1/3 cup and added them in. The peas were added in as a garnish on the second day and were not cooked in the ropa vieja.

Preparing Sofrito Base for Ropa Vieja
Preparing Sofrito Base for Ropa Vieja
The last few minutes of cooking time in my 5 quart pressure cooker.
The last few minutes of cooking time in my 5 quart pressure cooker.
The most tender, pull apart flank steak right out of the pressure cooker.
The most tender, pull apart flank steak right out of the pressure cooker.
Shredded Flank Steak Meets Sofrito Sauce
Shredded Flank Steak Meets Sofrito Sauce

Directions

1. In the blender, combine all of the ingredients to prepare the garlic/mojo sauce. Blend on high until smooth, taste for salt and set aside.

2. Now, if you are feeling adventurous, you could pressure cook that flank steak with the garlic/mojo sauce in 90 minutes! It will be the most tender, fall apart flank steak you have ever seen. Or, you could cook it for 4 to 6 hours on high in the crock pot. Whichever way you decide to cook it, you want the beef to be tender before adding it to the tomato base.

3. For 5 quart pressure cooker method: Add the beef and garlic/mojo sauce to the pot. Secure the lid and heat to medium/high heat. As soon as the safety lock seals, set your timer for 90 minutes, reduce heat to low. When ready, carefully remove from burner and wait until the safety valve releases to unlock the the lid. Shred the beef, cover and set aside. Skim most of the fat off remaining broth from beef and set aside.

4. In a large pot at medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions, bell pepper and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 8 minutes. Add all of the remaining ingredients in the order listed, stirring as you go until all is well combined. Add the shredded beef and beef broth reserved from cooking the beef into the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for a good 40 to 50  minutes or until the sauce thickens and reduces slightly.

On the first night, a little taste of the ropa vieja over steamed white rice
On the first night, a little taste of the ropa vieja over steamed white rice

You can find the recipe for Quick Cuban Style Black Beans right here on my blog site. Just search Cuban foods under categories.

Ropa Vieja, the second day. Served with  Cuban style black beans, steamed white rice and tostones
Ropa Vieja, the second day. Served with Cuban style black beans, steamed white rice and tostones

To Prepare Tostones 

Add some crispy plantain Tostones to the dish to make it extra special! Using a small knife, score the green plantain and peel. Using a sharp knife slice the plantain into 1 inch thick slices(6 pieces). Fry in canola oil heated to 350ºF. Drain onto paper towels. Using a tostonera or a flat bottomed bowl, flatten the tostones and fry a second time until golden brown and crispy. Season with salt as soon as they come out of oil. Serve right away.  

Green Plantains For Tostones
Green Plantains For Tostones