Possibly my number-one personal favorite recipe from the SimplySmartDinnerPlans vault is this Cuban-style pork tenderloin with soffrito rice.
The word soffrito is Spanish in origin and means to lightly fry something, such as sautéing or stir-frying. It’s a technique that the Spanish colonists brought with them when they settled in the Caribbean and Latin America beginning in the late 1400s.
But, soffrito is much older than that. The first known mention of the technique is referenced as sofregit in the “Libre de Sent Soví” (circa 1324). It’s one of the oldest cookbooks in Europe from the Catalan region of Spain.
Therefore, the conclusion can be made that soffrito has been an ingredient and technique in Catalan cuisine since at least medieval times.
Cuban Pork Tenderloin & Soffrito Rice
Active Time: 15 min. Total Time: 30 min.
- 1/3 tbsp. olive oil 1 bacon slice, chopped
- 1/3 small white onion, chopped 1/3 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth 1/2 cup white rice
- 2 pinches turmeric salt
- 10 oz. boneless pork chops or picnic ribs 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 1/2 bay leaves 2/3 tsp. anise seed
- 2/3 tsp. ground coriander 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 lime, zested salt & black pepper
- 1 tbsp. olive oil, to coat 1 mango (for garnish)
Preheat the oven to 450F.
Heat medium pot with tight fitting lid over medium high heat. Add bacon, and brown. Add onions and peppers and sauté 5 minutes, add the broth and bring to a boil. Add rice, turmeric, and salt. Cover the pot and reduce heat to simmer. Cook 15 to 18 minutes, until rice is tender.
For pork, poke 4 slits (just the width of your knife point) into each chop and nest garlic into meat. Place meat on nonstick baking sheet; place an equal portion of bay leaf beneath each. Combine the spices, and lime zest. Coat meat with oil. Rub spices over the pork and place in oven.
Roast meat 7-10 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 145F.
(See notes under Dinner #6 Pork Chops and Baked Apples for more information on cooking temperature.)
Remove from oven and tent loosely in foil about 10 minutes, to let the juices redistribute. Skin, seed & chop mango, then slice pork and serve with soffrito rice and garnishes of chopped tropical fruit or chopped cilantro and green onions (optional).
Suggested drink: Mojitos!
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