Roast pork with black beans and plantains is easy and delicious. (Kate Lawson / The Detroit News)
After the new year, I promised myself that I was going to climb out of the food rut with both feet and, so far, Iíve succeeded. I had been growing tired of the same old seared salmon (although I always swear itís the best dish whenever I make it) and was relying too heavily on pasta (and in return, it me) and potatoes were appearing too often. Meatloaf is fine, once every couple months or so, and while I adore pork chops, my husband isnít too crazy about them and chicken breasts can become boring. So Iíve been looking to other varieties of fish and meat and subbing in some different grains for a side dish.
Next to chicken, pork tenderloin is probably one of the easiest meals you can prepare. The lean meat takes to a marinade with ease and cooks up tender and juicy. Itís wonderful to roast or grill (weather permitting) and pairs beautifully with brown rice, bulgur, quinoa and a variety of beans. Here, Iíve marinated the pork in some citrus and paired it with black beans for a Caribbean-style meal. I figure if we canít be in a warm climate, at least we could eat like the islanders. Feel free to add roasted peppers or poblanos instead of the bell peppers. If you want to spice it up some more, add a dash of cinnamon, or cayenne and a drizzle of honey. This dish feeds four, but you can serve two and plan for leftovers.
Pork Tenderloin With Black Beans and Plantains
Marinating the pork in citrus juices gives it a flavor that is perfectly complemented by the slightly spicy sauce. If you cannot find plantains, use ripe bananas.
1/2 cup orange juice
Ĺ cup olive oil
Ĺcup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 bay leaves
2 12-ounce pork tenderloins
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped red or yellow bell pepper
Ĺ cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 15- to 16-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
1 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash of hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
2 large, ripe plantains halved vertically and cut into sections (Plantains are a starchy variety of banana available at Latin American markets and some supermarkets. When ripe, the skin turns dark and the fruit becomes soft.)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
Combine first 8 ingredients in 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking dish. Add pork loins, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add pepper, onion and garlic; saute until onion is tender and golden, about 7 minutes. Add beans, broth and cumin. Simmer until slightly thickened, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove pork from marinade; discard marinade. Season pork with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and saute until brown on all sides, about 10 minutes per batch, place skillet in oven.
Roast pork 10 minutes. Arrange plantain slices around pork. Bake until thermometer inserted into thickest part of pork registers 160 degrees and plantains are tender, brushing plantains occasionally with pan juices, about 20 minutes.
Arrange plantains in center of platter. Cut pork into 1-inch-thick slices. Arrange pork around plantains. Rewarm beans. Stir in cilantro and orange zest. Spoon beans around edge of platter and serve. Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 526 calories; 24 g fat (5 g saturated fat; 41 percent calories from fat); 38 g carbohydrates; 111 mg cholesterol; 124 mg sodium; 42 g protein; 7 g fiber.