Ancho-Grilled Pork Loin Capped with Smoky Paprika Cream, Served over a Zesty Black-Eyed Pea Salad and Fire-Roasted Poblano Pepper
- 1/2 pound dried ancho chiles
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 pound center cut pork loin
- Salt and pepper
- Black-eyed pea salad:
- 2 poblano peppers
- Olive oil
- 1/2 pound dried black-eyed peas
- 2 plum tomatoes
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 ear fresh corn
- 4 ounces Lime Vinaigrette
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons smoky paprika
Place the anchos in a large saucepan and cover with water. Place the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the peppers for 15 minutes, or until soft to the touch. Drain, run under cold water, and drain again. When cool enough to handle, pull the peppers open and remove all of the seeds. Place the flesh in the bowl of a food processor. Add the honey, garlic, and salt. With the processor running, add the oil in a slow stream. Process until the mixture forms a paste. Set aside. Sprinkle the pork with salt and pepper and set aside. Spray a large saute pan with cooking spray and place over high heat for 1 minute. Place the pork in the hot pan and sear for 1 minute on all sides. Remove from pan and let cool for 10 minutes. When cool, coat the pork liberally with the ancho paste. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Fire up your grill on high and grill the pork until the internal temperature is 120 degrees F, about 7 to 10 minutes per side. Use a instant-read meat thermometer for this - they're virtually foolproof. Remove the pork from the grill and wrap it in foil for 10 minutes.
Black-Eyed Pea Salad:
Place the poblanos over an open flame (one of your stove burners will do) and roast them until charred black on all sides. Place them in a paper bag and close it tightly. Set the bag aside until the peppers are cool enough to handle. Next, remove them from the bag and peel the skin off and discard - it'll come off very easily. Rinse peppers under cool water, cut in half, and remove the seeds. Drizzle each half with a little olive oil and set aside.
If you're more organized than me you can soak the peas overnight. Drain them the next day, place them in a saucepan, cover them with water, and add a little salt to the water. Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let the peas simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, adding water as needed, until tender. Remove from the heat, drain, and set aside.
Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes, pepper, and onion into large dice and set in a large mixing bowl. Cut the corn off the cob and add to the bowl. Add the peas, lime vinaigrette, and cilantro, and toss. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Mound the salad onto the center of 4 dinner plates. Place 1/2 a poblano on top of each of the salads. Next, uncover the pork and slice into 1/2-inch slices. Divide among the plates, placing the pork on top of the poblanos. Quickly whisk the sour cream and paprika together and top the pork with a dollop. Serve the rest on the side. Serve immediately.Lime Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon Cilantro Pesto
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
Pour the lime juice into the cleaned bowl of the processor. Add the Cilantro Pesto and, with the processor running, add the oil in a slow stream. Process until the vinaigrette emulsifies. Add salt and pepper, to taste, and pulse. Set aside.
Recipe courtesy Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh