Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Two Dinners of Latin Flavors

With the same three recipes (Coconut Rice with Ginger, Chiles, and Lime, Quick Black Beans, Cuban Pork Tenderloins) , I ended up with two different meal options.

Option 1 (The Tacos ):
(my personal favorite)

Option 2 (plated together in separate areas):

A very good friend of mine, Karen, is moving out of the area this week. Joe and I stopped by her home as she was packing-up the place. We found ourselves in the kitchen and mentioned we were on the way to Trader Joe’s. That reminded Karen that she had a ton of food that she was going to have to throw away, so Joe and I walked away with most of the contents of her freezer, including a pork tenderloin.

I’ve only bought pork tenderloin a few times. Most of them were for Joe to grill when friends were over. He made them, I didn't. Other times I bought a pork tenderloin it was already marinated for me, and then Joe cooked it. So this pork tenderloin was a new adventure for me.

What to do with pork tenderloin? Well, the bags of rice in my pantry came to mind. And just the other day I while digging for something in there, I saw some unsweetened coconut flakes. A recipe came to mind.

The Coconut Rice with Ginger, Chiles, and Lime recipe is a Molly Katzen recipe I made once many years ago. It comes from her cookbook Vegetable Heaven. And just my luck, I had most of the ingredients on hand!

The Cuban Pork Tenderloin Marinade was an afterthought to the rice. I went to Recipezaar.com to look at pork tenderloin recipes. Cuban Pork Tenderloin was a highlighted recipe in my search and seemed a perfect match, sharing some of its ingredients with the rice recipe. I really didn't mess with the recipe listed there.

And what Latin dish with white rice doesn't have black beans? None! I ended up throwing them together on the fly. But it's a tasty little side dish, and it's quick and easy.

The tacos were a complete surprise! The day after I made the pork (option number 1), I was running out the door to take my dog Elvis to the vet. I was hungry and only had a minute to grab something because I was already late. I threw together a mini taco and microwaved it for one minute and literally ate it on my way out the door. That is not the proper way to do a taco. But I immediately noted that these tacos were better than the dinner plate I had put together the day before.

After I got home, I redid the tacos, making them the correct way. Here's a link to Taco-Making 101.

And these are the recipe posts for the meal components:

Coconut Rice with Ginger, Chiles, and Lime

Quick Black Beans

Cuban Pork Tenderloins

1 comment:

dizzy said...

i saw your tacos on tastespotting, and the recipes looked so amazing i was inspired to make them! i tried the whole thing- having the pork, rice and beans the first night, and tacos the second. DELICIOUS! My husband did his own take on the beans, but other than that we followed the recipes exactly. We only had 2 hours to marinate the pork, but it stilled turned out great, and the rice recipe is incredible. I agree that the tacos are the tastier option- and I loved what a fast dinner they made the next night. Today for lunch i am having leftover rice (it makes a lot!) and some chicken my husband threw on the grill. Thanks so much for the inspiration!