It’s Easy to ‘Espresso’ Yourself with a Pork Dish that Combines Heat, Sweet, Acid, and Comes Together in 1 Pan.

Main Course / April 28, 2022

Each morning Americans of all shapes and sizes start their daily engines with a cup of coffee. In doing so we assign coffee a permanent place in our minds as a drink only, which can lead to coffee discrimination. And for those who know it’s wide breadth of flavor options aside from the base for a super-sweetened latte, we experience coffee shaming. Espresso, which is more of a coffee-making method than an ingredient, is usually considered only a beverage. You just don’t think twice about where it belongs.

Don’t call the AFLCO just yet. I think I can clear this up quickly with the ingredients in my newest recipe just invented last night. It is my Espresso Balsamic and Chipotle Chili Marinated Pork and Tomato Sauté. And it literally changed the way I look at flavors for meat for EVER. You see, coffee’s place in the world is much broader than to receive four pumps of vanilla syrup. It literally has something for everyone. And here’s a little history to get us started.

To quote theexoticbean.com we read, “It all started in Africa, or so the story goes. An Ethiopian goatherd was intrigued by his goats’ behavior after they ate the cherries that were sourced from a specific bush. That bush, Coffea Arabica, is now grown in a narrow band all around the world and drunk in myriad ways anywhere people happen to be living.”

Treehugger.com states, “Legends and various reports about coffee can be traced back as far as the 10th century. While those stories can’t be verified, what’s known for sure is that the undomesticated origin of coffee stems from the high mountain rain forests of the southwestern Ethiopian province of Kaffa. These mountains are home to a tree species, Coffea arabica, that produces a fruit called a coffee cherry.

“The fruit gets its name because it turns a bright red when it is ripe and ready to pick. The skin has a bitter taste, but the underlying “cherry” fruit is sweet. In fact, Francine Segan, a food historian, and author wrote recently in Zester Daily that it was because of the fruit aspect of the coffee cherry that coffee started out as a food, not a drink. A thousand years ago in Africa, locals would mash the ripe “cherries” from wild coffee trees to create a dried traveling food packed with protein and nutrients. It was, Segan mused, sort of an early version of the breakfast bar.”

I think you’re beginning to see why I was so excited to use the Espresso Dark Balsamic vinegar in my recipe development!

It’s true. Espresso Balsamic was divinely created for sauces that go with meats. As a marinade this is going to be my NEW GO-TO ingredient for beef or pork. The blend is perfect. You don’t taste each ingredient individually. Rather they form a unified element of perfection that coats the mouth in happiness. This dish is bold, slightly hot, perfectly acidic, and offers just a touch of sweet. Using the tenderloin of pork means it just melts away in your mouth. As far as the labor involved? If you can mix and use a sauté pan, you’re in business.

Let’s get to the important element, which is the recipe so you can undo your coffee assumptions and start enjoying experimenting with this delicious ingredient!

Espresso Balsamic and Chipotle Marinated ​Pork Loin and Tomato Sauté

with Cheesy Orzo & Blanched Asparagus

Serves 4 
You will not believe how intensely flavorful this entrée is. I’m pretty sure it is the BEST pork dish I’ve ever created or eaten! Don’t be put off by the word Espresso. This isn’t the base for your morning caramel macchiato latte. The coffee is a bean, and when roasted and blended with balsamic it becomes a culinary tool to intensify almost every meat dish imaginable. It pairs with the Adobo, lime, and garlic like Fred and Ginger are paired on the dance floor. Made. For. Each. Other.

INGREDIENTS:

1 ½ lbs. pork tenderloin sliced thinly
¼ C + 2 tsp Espresso Balsamic Vinegar from Olive This!
2 T harissa olive oil
¼ C coarsely chopped chipotle in adobo sauce
1 ½ t grated gingerroot
1 ½ t grated fresh garlic
1 t fresh thyme leaves
½ lime cut into chunks
½ t cumin powder
½ t paprika
1 ½ t kosher salt
½ t black pepper
2 T mild unflavored olive oil
1 ½ C tomatoes cut into 1-inch chunks
3 slices of red onion
2 T chopped fresh cilantro

METHOD:

Slice the tomatoes, chop the cilantro, and slice the red onion. Set aside.

Clean and trim the pork tenderloin and cut into very thin slices and set aside. In a large glass bowl add the harissa oil, espresso balsamic, grated ginger, grated garlic, chipotle in adobo, thyme, lime, salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika. Add the sliced pork to the marinade and stir well. Let marinate for at least an hour. If you put in the fridge, be sure and remove at set on counter for at least 30 minutes so the meat reaches room temperature.

Add the 2 T of regular oil to a preheated and very hot pan. Add the pork and all the marinade to the pan. Add the tomatoes and the cilantro. Then sauté until the pork is cooked through. About 5-6 minutes. Turn often. When pork is done serve atop the orzo surrounded by blanched asparagus and top with the red onion and a flourish of the remaining cilantro.

For the cheesy orzo: Boil ¾ C orzo in 4 C boiling water until soft. Drain. Then add ¾ C grated English cheddar, ¼ C half-n-half cream, 2 T salted butter, 1 t kosher salt and a dash of black pepper. Stir, cover, and keep warm until ready to serve.



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