There is a great Mexican restaurant in my neighborhood; because it is so close, many local people don’t seem to notice it. However, it is very popular with out-of-towners. This friendly restaurant makes a great Spanish pork dish. Yes, the menu does have “Spanish” not “Mexican”. Their Spanish-style Pork Tenderloin is one of my favorite dishes. The portions are large and I always end up bringing home a delicious ‘doggy bag’ for later. You always get a free appetizer, free dessert, and after dinner drink. Plus, they have shared a recipe or two with regular patrons.
1-3 lb. pork tenderloin
8 small red potatoes, sliced in half
2 large onions, sliced in quarters or 8ths
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chucks
1 box of frozen peas
1-28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 cup cold water
1/4 of a 7 oz. can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (or start with 1 pepper)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large pinch of ground cumin
3 tblspns vegetable oil
Fresh cilantro, chopped to use as garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix together the following, crushed tomatoes, oil, garlic, cumin, water and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in a large roasting pan, mashing the chipotle peppers with the back of a fork. Place whole pork tenderloin in pan; baste tenderlion with mix and bake covered with a foil (fold foil tent-style) for at least 1-1/4 hours.
Add potatoes, carrots, onion and frozen peas to pan and stir to mix the vegetables in the sauce. Cover and continue cooking in oven for 50 minutes. Cook until pork is fully-cooked and vegetables are tender. Taste, if you prefer a spicier sauce, add more chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, a teaspoon or less at a time. Taste after each addition, when just right, mash peppers and blend in with rest of sauce.
Slice pork tenderloin and plate. Add a few onions, potatoes carrots and peas to plate, pour spicy sauce over pork and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. The Mexican restaurant serves with a warm plain cheese quesadilla. I recommend a couple of warm tortillas cut in half.
Makes 4 to 5 servings.
The restaurant also serve some kind of dessert quesadilla, made with bananas in brown sugar and rum or rum flavoring. I have not yet mastered that so I open a can of apple pie filling, and add to a pan with some butter and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. When it is caramelized and hot I eat it as is or add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.