Mrs. Regueiro's Plate: New Mexican Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Potato Tamales

Monday, March 23, 2009

New Mexican Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Potato Tamales

My husband fell in love with this meal so much that he requested it for his birthday. Two years ago, my favorite date couple and us had visited Mesa Grill in Las Vegas. This was the dish I had enjoyed, and I bought the book right away. The pork tenderloin by itself is really juicy and has all those wonderful Southwestern spices and twists that Bobby Flay often uses. I had prepared myself with 2 extra days for food prep. The most time consuming part of these dishes were the sauces and the tamales. I truly felt like a saucier! I'll have to make another post for the Red Pepper sauce and the cilantro oil that you see on top of the pork tenderloin. It gives a great additional kick and splash of color. I don't know if I could do a Throwdown with Bobby Flay, but I certainly can cook one of his dishes! Enjoy!

New Mexican Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin, served with Sweet Potato Tamales & Pecan Butter
Adapted from Mesa Grill, Bobby Flay

Main Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin
New Mexican Spice Rub, recipe follows
Bourbon-Ancho Sauce, recipe follows
Sweet Potato Tamale with Pecan Butter, recipe follows

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Heat olive oil in a medium saute pan, over high heat. Season pork with salt on both sides. Dredge pork in the spice rub and tap off any excess.
3. Sear the pork on both sides until golden brown. Cook in the oven to medium doneness, about 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Let pork rest for 5 minutes before slicing into 12 slices. Plate 3 slices per plate. Drizzle with the Bourbon-Ancho Sauce. Also, drizzle with Roasted Red Pepper sauce, Cilantro oil, and chopped chives for garnishment. Place a Sweet Potato Tamale, topped with Pecan Butter next to the slices of pork.

New Mexican Rub:3 tablespoons ancho chile powder
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon pasilla chile powder
2 teaspoons chile de arbol powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons allspice
Kosher salt
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

Bourbon-Ancho Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons bourbon
3 ancho chiles, soaked, seeded, stems removed and pureed
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup apple juice concentrate, thawed
8 whole black peppercorns
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
Kosher salt

1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft.
2. Add the bourbon and cook until completely reduced. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until reduced by half.
3. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, return mixture to the pan, and cook to sauce consistency, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of bourbon and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt.

Sweet Potato Tamales:
24 dried corn husks
4 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels, preferable fresh
1 small redonion, chopped
1 1/2 cups water
9 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon), melted
2/3 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large or 2 medium sweet potato, roasted at 375 degrees for about 1 hour or until soft, then peeled and flesh mashed
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Pecan Butter, recipe follows

1. About 2 hours before you plan to form the tamales, clean the husks under running water. Soak them in warm water for 2 hours, or until softened.
2. Puree the corn, onion, roasted garlic, and stock in a food processor. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and cut in the butter. Using your fingers, mix in the cornmeal, honey, and salt and pepper until there are no visible lumps of fat.
3. Fold in the sweet potato puree, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and maple syrup. The mixture will be a lot looser than you think it should be, but when the tamales are steamed it will dry out.
4. Remove the cornhusks from the water and set aside the best 20 husks. Drain and pat dry.
5.Tear the remaining husks into 1-inch wide strips to be used for tying. Lay 2 husks flat on a work surface, with the tapered ends facing out and the broad bases overlapping by about 3 inches.
6. Place about 1/3 cup of masa mixture in the center. Bring the long sides up over the masa, slightly overlapping, and pat down to close. (If the masa drips out a little at the seam, that is no problem.)
7. Tie each end of the bundle with a strip of cornhusk, pushing the filling toward the middle as you tie. Trim the ends to about 1/2-inch beyond the tie. Arrange the tamales in a single layer on a steaming rack, cover tightly with foil, and steam over boiling water for 45 minutes.
8. To Serve: slice a slit on top of each tamale and push both ends of the tamale toward the middle to expose the masa. Top each with 1 tablespoon of Pecan Butter.

Pecan Butter:
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup toasted pecans, toasted and finely chopped
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Kosher Salt and freshly ground pepper
Combine the butter, pecans, maple syrip, and cinnamon in a bowl. Season with salt & pepper and mix well. *Tip, I use a mini food processor to mix everything.* Scrape onto a sheet of plastic wrap, form into a log, and wrap well. Refrigerate until solid, at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. Remove from the refigerator 10 minutes before using to soften slightly.

***It's one of the best meals that I have enjoyed cooking and eating! But I do prefer the restaurant experience, it's always nice to re-create that savory moment at home, too!***
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