Coffee Marinated Pork Tenderloin and Coffee Ice Cream
While visiting Japan, I was reminded of some of my favourites from our family recipes as much as I got inspirations for new recipes. Before I began to forget all the foodie excitement, I quickly started trying to recreate and adjust the Japanese recipes back in Canada. Today, I posted this tenderloin recipe that my twin sister always prepared for our family and friends at her BBQ / garden party along with other amazing dishes. This is the one of the easiest yet tastiest dishes when you crave good protein for dinner.
Inspired by this recipe, I thought I would group together all the coffee influenced recipes from my travel journal. It took me a couple of attempts to achieve the texture and taste that I desired for this. Although I NEVER drink instant coffee due to its inky taste, for this recipe I used good quality organic freeze dried ones, made by Mount Hagen Organic Café, that I had picked up from a local organic store. As a result, the recipe was easier to execute and I loved the result!
I’m planning to introduce matcha (Japanese finely ground green tea) influenced recipes as a counterpoint to today’s coffee recipes sometime soon, so stay tuned!
Coffee Marinated Pork Tenderloin
I really liked the pork, marinated for only 2 hours, since the smoky roasted coffee flavour enhanced the taste of the pork. I also experimented with marinating pork overnight, but the coffee tasted a little acidic after many hours of oxidation while being marinated. Nevertheless, it’s important to grind the coffee beans with a spice grinder just before making the rub for the best result. So I’d stick to the 2 hour marinating method, as it gave me plenty of time to do other chores in the kitchen and to prepare the best matching salad (recipe below) to accompany this dish. The grainy texture and saltiness from the rub don’t require any other sauce aside from a citrus note from the following salad to help balance everything out. Oh, you’ll love this combination!
Serves 3 to 4
1.5 lb pork tenderloin
1 tablespoon freshly ground coffee
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Make the rub by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl. Rinse the pork and pat dry. Rub the pork all over and marinate it covered for 2 hours in a refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 390F. Roast the pork on a rack in a baking pan until the thermometer inserted into the centre reaches 142F, for about 20 to 25 minutes. Cover the pork with a piece of tin foil and rest it on a cutting board for 5 minutes. At this point, the temperature rises about 5 degrees. If you desire the meat with a slight pink tint when you slice it, watch the timing of carving closely. But make sure the meat reaches 145F to ensure safe consumption.
Slice the pork and serve warm along with the following spinach salad.
Lemony Spinach Salad
Serves 3 to 4
If you plan to serve this salad with the above pork dish (as I strongly recommend!), you can start preparing it when the pork is 10 minutes away from being done. The key to this salad is to take time to infuse the flavour of the pancetta into the onions and mushrooms over low heat. Also be sure to combine the hot onion mixture into the spinach to lightly wilt the leaves. No salt is added to the dressing due to the amount of saltiness derived from the pancetta.
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
100g thinly sliced pancetta, cut into strips
½ onion, thinly sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
A lump of goat cheese
150g baby spinach, washed and drained well
Big handful of pecans
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
In a large skillet, melt the butter and add the olive oil over low heat. Sauté the pancetta, onion and mushrooms until the onion becomes very tender. In the meantime, make the lemon dressing. Combine the lemon juice, olive oil and black pepper in a small empty glass jar with a lid on, and shake until emulsified.
Roast the pecans until they give off a nice roasted scent, for about 5 minutes. I use the heat that is left after I take the above pork dish from the oven.
Combine the spinach, the hot onion mixture, pecans and lemon dressing in a large bowl. Crumble the goat cheese over the salad and toss well.
Serve with the pork tenderloin.
Coffee Ice Cream
Makes about 1 quart
1 ¾ cups whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
2 ½ tablespoons good quality instant coffee
1 ½ cups whipping cream (Avalon for the best flavour if you are local)
¼ cup Kahlua (coffee liqueur)
½ cup Kahlua
A bar of white chocolate
In a saucepan, heat 1 cup of milk over medium heat. In a small bowl, beat the eggs, add the sugar, and mix well.
While stirring the egg mixture, add the hot milk in a few instalments. Return the mixture to the saucepan and add the coffee. Stir well and continue cooking until the mixture thickens, about 12 minutes.
Remove from the heat, strain to another large bowl and let the temperature drop a little bit. Add the remaining milk, cream and the coffee liqueur, and whisk well. Cover the mixture and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
Churn the ice cream mixture according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze in a sealed container overnight.
When serving, simmer down the coffee liqueur to about half of the amount or until thickened. When it cools down, it gets thicker. Transfer to a small jar for serving. Leave the chocolate in a warm place to let it slightly soften. For the topping, shred the chocolate using a vegetable peeler.
Serve ice cream in an individual chilled glass. Pour a generous amount of coffee syrup over top, and sprinkle with the shredded chocolate.