"What's for dinner?"
When strung together, those three words can strike terror into my heart.
Sometimes I just don't know what to cook.
Does that every happen to you?
Do you flip through old magazines, hoping a recipe will catch your fancy?
One rainy day, while watching Food Network, I was fascinated by the way Chef Anne Burrell put together a sublime dish--grilled pork tenderloin with an Asian marinade and a mirepoix of spinach and sugar snap peas.
By the time she'd plated the food, I'd already made a grocery list.
Asian Pork Tenderloin with a Spinach and Sugar Snap Pea Mirepoix
Source: Chef Anne Burrell, Food Network.
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
fresh ginger -- 1-inch, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 scallion, chopped
Zest of 1 orange
2 to 4 lb pork tenderloin
2 tablespoons coriander seeds (ground)
1 lb fresh sugar snap peas
1/2 pound baby spinach
1 scallion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1-inch piece of ginger, chopped
(my addition) 1 box Thai kitchen's Pad Thai Noodle Kit
Prepare marinade by combining first 6 ingredients. Place pork in a deep bowl
and add marinade. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and marinate for 2 hours.
Remove meat (reserve marinade) and sprinkle coriander over the pork.
Pour marinade into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reducing liquid somewhat.
As Chef Anne says, the liquid absolutely must be boiled vigorously (read her recipe HERE). I was a bit scared at this point, but the aromas from the pan soon calmed me down.
Remove pan from heat and set aside. This will be the sauce for the pork.
Prepare the grill.
Add pork to rack and sear on all sides. Scoot the meat to the edge of the grill and continue cooking. Chef Anne advised 7 to 10 minutes. But I just had to cook it a bit longer because I am chicken when it comes to pork.
Remove tenderloin from grill and let it "rest" for at ten minutes or so.
Meanwhile, remove stems from the sugar snap peas.
Remove stems from spinach.
Sea salt (or Kosher salt)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 (1-inch) piece of fresh ginger
1 scallion, sliced
Put salt and ice in a large bowl and set aside. This is your "water bath" to blanch the peas.
Place peas in a pan and boil for 4 minutes. Put peas in water bath. Remove peas, drain, and set aside.
Coat a pan with EVOO and add ginger, garlic, and scallions. Sautee until the scallions are soft and translucent. Add sugar snaps, tossing in the seasoned oil. Add spinach and keep tossing until the spinach wilts.
Remove from heat.
Prepare noodles. I only followed the 1st step of the directions, eliminating the egg, etc. I cooked the noodles, drained them, and returned noodles to the pot. Add Thai sauce and mix.
Drizzle with (boiled/reduced) marinade.
It sounds complicated. A hand-wringing sort of meal.
But it's really easy.
The fragrant marinade will wing its way from the grill to your kitchen, scenting the air with ginger. Best of all, for at least twelve hours, you won't have to face the age-old question:
What's for supper?