Baditude! [Pistachio-Crusted Pork Tenderloin & Cauliflower Puree]

I’m going to be honest with you. I’ve been sitting here for 30 minutes trying to think of where in the world (is Carmen San Diego?) to go with this entry. And all that’s come up is that I am hungry and would like to eat a block of butter covered in cheese. And no more salad. Pathetic, isn’t it?

Blogging is more complicated than it seems sometimes. You can’t just slap a recipe down with some photos and expect people to keep coming back. There’s got to be something that connects and keeps you reading. And I can’t, for the life of me, give that to you right now. I just can’t. My dog Ryder could probably tell you a more compelling story.

Our weekend was crammed full of travel, late nights and socializing, which I do well with, but in small quantities. I require (nay, demand) a lot of alone time in order to keep my head on straight and not walk around punching strangers. I didn’t get nearly enough of that this weekend so that is why I am taking it out on you. You’re just lucky I can’t reach through this screen.

I made us a nice dinner last night so we could start the week off fully satisfied and with full happy bellies.

I think you should make it sometime. Or don’t. Whatever. I don’t care. (I’m kidding. Really! I care so much. So much! About YOU!)

Now, please, enough story telling. Here comes the recipe!

Pistachio-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Cauliflower Puree

The combination of a sweet glaze and salted pistachios gives this pork a really lovely sweet-salty combination. The puree is as close to mashed potatoes as you can get without using potatoes. The texture is bang on and it makes such a pretty little bed for the meat.

I served this with two different options for sides. Roasted potatoes and kale salad with grape tomatoes, shaved Parmesan and a balsamic dressing. (recipe tomorrow!) Serve it with whatever you like best. Or just the pork and puree.

For the Cauliflower Puree
1 large onion, sliced thin
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
3 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste

For the Pork Tenderloin
1 medium-large pork tenderloin, trimmed of silver-skin and excess fat
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce (soy sauce will do in a pinch)
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 tbsp lime juice
1 1/2 cups salted pistachios, run through food processor to produce coarse crumbs

For puree:
In a large sauce pan over medium-high heat, add your olive oil and onions. Cook until onions are just starting to brown.

Add your garlic and cook for 10-15 seconds until fragrant. Add the cauliflower and milk. Cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until very tender.

Using a slotted spoon, add the cauliflower to your food processor/blender and puree. Add leftover milk from the pan slowly until you achieve your desired consistency. I did not add any since I prefer a pretty thick puree. Set aside. Can be made a day in advance, covered and refrigerated until ready to use.

(Just so you know, cauliflower puree dipped in the pistachio crumbs makes a nice little bite while you’re cooking. Just so you know. I don’t want to leave you out or anything.)

For pork:
Preheat oven to 425.

In a small bowl, add the ginger, garlic, honey, oyster sauce, and lime juice. Mix until combined. 

Spread the pistachio crumbs on a large baking sheet.

If you choose not to use salted pistachios, I would suggest rubbing the pork down with 1-2 tsp of salt. Using a pastry brush, generously brush the glaze onto the pork on all sides. Place the pork on the pistachio crumbs and roll the pork in them until covered.

Place the tenderloin on a rack in a roasting pan and cook for 20 minutes or until an instant thermometer reads 160 F (71 C).

Most importantly: Cover pork with tin foil and let rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. This will ensure a tender, perfectly blushing piece of meat.  

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