I had one of those packages of two pork tenderloins, about 3 pounds, and I didn’t feel like just using one and freezing the other, because I’m all about the cook once, eat twice way of cooking when I can, so I can do other things, like finish the pirate costume for my granddaughter that you can read about on my sewing blog. I almost didn’t get to the second meal on this trip, though, as the first dinner was so good, my husband went back for more. But it’ll work out because the second dinner is one where a smaller amount of meat can be stretched.
The first meal was Spanish-Style Pork Kabobs from the Weber Grilling site, without the onion and peppers, and substitutes of rice vinegar for sherry vinegar and ground chipotle for cayenne. I think I cut my chunks a little larger than the original, but the important thing was the marinade, which set up the meat for the second meal of Spanish Rice. Sometimes it’s hard to find marinades or sauces for grilling that aren’t sweet, but this one scores on that point. In addition, it has that splash of vinegar that brightens up a spicy dish.
You can follow the link above for the specifics, but it’s really just 3 steps: marinate, skewer, and grill. Here are the ingredients for the marinade, with my substitutions:
- ⅓ cup finely chopped parsley
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced or grated
- ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
The second meal is a Spanish Rice made with tomatoes from our garden, roasted poblano peppers from our friend Greg, and the remaining grilled pork, shredded. Spanish rice is one of those dishes that is often simply an accompaniment to a meal, but it becomes a main dish with the addition of meat. Technically a Mexican recipe, not a version of the Spanish Paella, I’m going to slip in a pinch of saffron for a nod to that famous Spanish dish. The marinade used for the pork kabobs has the flavors I’m looking for, but there won’t be enough on the cooked meat to flavor the rice, so I’ll be adding a little more of some of the original marinade ingredients.
Spanish Rice with Pork Tenderloin
The time depends on the kind of rice you use and how quickly it cooks.
12 oz cooked pork tenderloin, shredded (about 1-2 cups)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup long grain rice (mine was Jasmine), rinsed
about 8 small-medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and pulsed in a food processor
1 tablespoon garlic, minced or grated
3 roasted poblano peppers, peeled and seeded
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pinch saffron threads
1 teaspoon salt
chicken stock to make about 2 1/2 cups of liquid with the tomatoes
- Rinse and drain the rice and set aside to dry a bit.
- Heat olive oil in large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Saute onions until translucent, then add rice and continue sauteing and stirring until the rice is well coated with oil and crackling in the pan.
- Add tomatoes, mashing them in the pan as they heat. Cook the tomatoes until all the water evaporates or is absorbed by the rice. This gives the rice a head start in cooking.
- Stir in the garlic, peppers, and spices.
- Stir in the shredded pork.
- Add enough chicken stock to make about 2 1/2 cups total liquid. In the end, I used about 1 1/2 cups chicken stock before the rice was done.
- Cover and simmer until the rice is done, which could be anywhere from 15 to 45 more minutes, depending on your rice. I have had rice that will not cooperate, so I’m not going to be too prescriptive about the time here. I don’t know how or why it works, but if you have exhausted the cooking time and your rice is not tender, turn off the heat and let it steam, covered, for 15 minutes and it will usually be done.