Barbecued Pork with Tequila Pepper Relish
While the entire dish is stellar, the barbecue sauce is worth saving separately -- it’s wonderful on anything grilled or broiled. The citrus adds a fresh note to the taste. The relish is also good with other foods.
- Pork Tenderloins - six, 7- to 8-ounce
- Barbecue Sauce
- Olive Oil - 1/4 cup
- Onion - 1 medium, peeled and sliced
- Garlic Bulbs - 1 whole, cut in half across the cloves
- Red Bell Pepper - 1, seeded, deribbed, and diced
- Tequila Sunrise Chili - 1, seeded and diced (alt. 2 small serranos or jalapenos)
- Jalapeno Chili - 1, seeded and diced
- Mixed Whole Peppercorns - 2 tablespoons (black, green, white, and pink)
- Coriander seeds - 1 tablespoon, whole
- Bay Leaf - 1
- Ripe Tomatoes - 6 to 8, diced
- Parsley - 1/2 bunch, chopped
- Lemon - 1/2, chopped
- Lime - 1/2, chopped
- Orange - 1/2, chopped
- Cabernet or other dry red wine - 1 cup
- Red Wine Vinegar - 1/2 cup
- Basil - 1 bunch
- Thyme - 1 bunch
- Marjoram - 1 bunch
- Cilantro - 1 bunch
- Molasses - 1 cup
- Pepper Relish
- Fresh Corn - kernels cut from 2 ears of fresh corn
- Red Bell Pepper - 1, seeded, deribbed, and finely chopped
- Yellow Bell Pepper - 1, seeded, deribbed, and finely chopped
- Tequila Sunrise Chilies - 2, seeded and diced (alt. 2 small serranos or jalapenos)
- Shallots - 1 tablespoon ,finely minced
- Garlic - 1 tablespoon ,finely minced
- Olive Oil - 1/3 cup
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Pinch of ground coriander
- Tequila - 1 tablespoon
- Grand Marnier - 1 tablespoon
- Juice of 1/4 lime
- Juice of 1/4 orange
- Champagne Vinegar - 1 tablespoon
- Demi-glace - 2 tablespoons (optional)
- cilantro, marjoram, basil, and thyme sprigs - 2 each, chopped
- Lettuces - 2 cups, shredded (suggested mixture: endive, radicchio, and bibb)
- Black Beans - 1 cup, cooked
- Blue Corn Tortillas - 3, cut into thin strips and crisply fried
- Edible flower blossoms - (nasturtiums, rose petals, sunflowers)
Trim the tenderloins of any fat and silver skin. Cut each into 2-inch sections and place them between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound with the flat side of a cleaver or the bottom of a heavy pan until the “paillards” are 1/2 inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
To make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, peppers, and chilies and saute, stirring frequently, until the peppers are soft and the onions are translucent. Add the peppercorns, coriander, bay leaf, tomatoes, parsley, lemon, lime, and orange and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, or until the fruit is soft, stirring frequently. Add the cabernet and vinegar and raise the heat to high, cooking until the liquid is reduced by half. Reduce the heat to medium-high. Add the fresh herbs and cook for 5 minutes, then add the molasses and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Puree the sauce in small batches in a blender or food processor and strain. Cool to room temperature, then add the pork paillards and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or overnight.
To make the relish: Saute the corn, minced peppers and chilies, shallots, and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt, pepper, and coriander. Remove from the heat and deglaze the pan with the tequila and Grand Marnier, stirring up the browned bits. Add the fruit juices and vinegar and stir in the demi-glace, if used. Stir in the fresh herbs and keep warm.
To finish the pork: Light a grill. When the fire is ready, put the grill in place and let it get hot. Remove the paillards from the marinade and place over the hot grill. Cook just long enough for the marinade to brown and caramelize, about 2 minutes per side.
To serve: Cover warmed plates with shredded lettuce. Place grilled paillards down the center of each plate, overlapping the slices slightly. Add the sauteed pepper relish around the paillards and decorate the plate with tortilla strips and a “confetti” of flower petals.