It's true: I'm already missing Costa Rica. How can I not when the weather is at the freezing mark and there's dirty, slushy snow on the ground? Not to mention there's barely enough sunlight to get my daily dose of vitamin D. It's utterly depressing.
I needed a pick-me-up. What's more perfect than a reminder of where you just vacationed? That's why I turned to a coffee-crusted pork loin over pureed yucca. I threw in a bourbon cream sauce just for good measure. For the time it took Ryan and I to scarf down our food (which I have to say wasn't very long), we temporarily forgot about the miserableness outside. We were comforted with the tastiness inside.
Correction: Everything was tasty but the yucca. It was my first time pureeing the starchy vegetable (I'd previously fried it). Costa Ricans have perfected their cooking technique; mine needs work. The flavors were there, but the texture was not. It would have been a perfect adhesive for wallpaper. So I'm reaching out: If anyone has a recipe for yucca that doesn't involve frying, I'd love to hear from you.
Coffee-crusted Pork Tenderloin with Bourbon Cream Sauce (adapted from both Epicurious.com and Bfeedme.com)
3 tablespoons ground espresso or coffee
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 to 1 1/3 pound pork tenderloin (will likely need more than one)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1. Mix first 10 ingredients well; sprinkle on a large plate.
2. Dry tenderloin, then drizzle with canola oil. Make sure the oil lightly (but completely) covers the meat. Roll the tenderloin in the spice mixture to completely coat.
3. Place tenderloin on a baking sheet, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
4. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook for approximately 20 minutes, depending on the size of the tenderloins and desired doneness (I removed the tenderloin at 140 degrees and let it rest for about 10 minutes to let it reach 145).
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup bourbon (brandy would also work)
1 cup beef or veal stock
6 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
Salt and black pepper to taste
1. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion and saute until translucent, then add garlic and cook for another minute.
2. Remove pan from heat and pour in the bourbon. Place pan back on heat and bring to a boil; reduce by half.
3. Add stock, cream and thyme. Simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper.