This past week, while teaching two cooking classes, one in Massachusetts and the other in Maine, I featured cumin-scented pork tenderloins topped with fresh peach salsa from Sunday Roasts as the centerpiece for each menu. My students loved the refreshing taste of peaches used in a savory instead of a sweet role.
For the salsa, diced peaches are combined with chopped red onions, minced jalapeno peppers, and both lime juice and zest. Some chopped cilantro adds more color and rounds out the flavors. The pork tenderloins are rubbed with a mixture of ground cumin, coarse salt, and pepper, and then roasted for a mere 20 minutes.
You can make the salsa several hours ahead, and the pork tastes good either warm or at room temperature. Serve this vibrant summer main course with some blanched haricots verts and rice or offer it with corn on the cob and coleslaw for easy sides. This bracing salsa is sure to cool you down during the hot days of August!
Cumin-Rubbed Pork Tenderloins with Fresh Peach Salsa
Fresh Peach Salsa (Recipe follows)
2 pork tenderloins, about 1 pound each, trimmed of excess fat
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil for sautéing
Fleur de sel (optional)
1. Make the Peach Salsa and set aside.
2. Arrange a rack at center position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
3. In a small bowl, mix together the cumin and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Rub this mixture over all the surfaces of the tenderloins. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of a large, heavy ovenproof frying pan and set it over medium-high heat until oil is hot. Add the tenderloins and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes.
4. Roast the pork until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 150 degrees F, about 20 minutes. Remove the tenderloins to a carving board and let stand 10 minutes. Slice the pork and arrange, slightly overlapping, on a platter. If desired, sprinkle slices lightly with fleur de sel. Spoon some peach salsa over slices and pass any extra salsa in a bowl. Serves 4 to 5
Prep time: 25 minutes, including making the salsa
Start to finish time: 1 hour, including resting time for cooked meat
From Sunday Roasts (Chronicle Books 2011) by Betty Rosbottom
Fresh Peach Salsa
3 medium yellow peaches, ripe but not too soft
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1-1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, plus more if needed
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeno pepper, seeds and membranes removed
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus sprigs for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Peel the peaches (see cooking tip), halve lengthwise, and pit. Cut into 1/2-inch or smaller dice. Place in a medium nonreactive bowl with the onion, lime zest and juice, garlic, jalapeno pepper (use more for a hotter taste), cilantro, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Taste and, if desired, add additional salt and black pepper and up to 1 teaspoon more lime juice for a sharper taste. Marinate the salsa for at least 30 minutes. (Salsa can be prepared 2 hours ahead; leave at cool room temperature.)
Makes about 1-3/4 cups
Cooking tip: To peel the peaches, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add peaches for 60 seconds, them remove with a slotted spoon and drain. When cool enough to handle, peel skins off with a sharp paring knife.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Start to finish time: 50 minutes
From Sunday Roasts (Chronicle 2011) by Betty Rosbottom