Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Quick and Tasty

There's been a pork tenderloin in my fridge for a few days that's stumped me. I can turn chicken, beef, ham, and turkey into leftover magic, but pork is one that I have a hard time using in a repeat meal. The only thing I could come up with was pork fried rice, and since the kids don't like pork fried rice, that was out. This was an even worse case of stump the cook because it had a sweet application to it. It had marinated in apple cider, been basted with brown sugar and mustard, and rolled in pecans. I had resigned to the fact that I may not be using up this leftover tenderloin. Then today, Zander and I went grocery shopping, and I spied some fresh corn tortillas. Oh I loooove fresh corn tortillas crisped up in a bit of oil. At that precise moment in time, I knew we were having tostadas for dinner, and somehow, the pork was going to be incorporated into it. But how...

I spent some time today reading Rick Bayless and wrapped my head around a few things, and I also had Italian marinara going through my brain. So I merged the two cuisines. I started with a small onion, which I caramelized. To this I added bell pepper, garlic, and chipotle chiles. After cooking together, I added crushed tomatoes, and a little worcestershire. This cooked down until I had what was essentially a ranchero sauce- it screamed eggs to me! It was to this luscious Mexican inspired tomato gravy that I slid the chopped pork tenderloin. And the marriage was a perfect match. I let the pork simmer slowly for about an hour, and it made a fantastic base for a tostada. All it really needed was a handful of cilantro and it would have been perfect. Alas, no cilantro for me today. But all in all, it was an extremely satisfying and quick dinner. And it made tons of leftovers. This Pork Ranchero as I'm calling it will head to the freezer until it is beckoned forth for a repeat performance.

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