Guest Post from James in San Francisco:
One of the hallmarks of a true Bravado cook is the ability to create dishes that make your friends say “you remember that pork tenderloin you made, that was unforgettable, could you make that again?” You can insert anything you want to replace pork tenderloin in that last quote, but the point is, to make your dish memorable. One way to do that is take common cuts of meat and use exotic spices. So, here is an answer to that nagging question you’ve always had, “How do I use Chinese Five Spice?” Though recipes for Five-Spice powder can vary, its trademark warmth and pungency traditionally derive from cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise, and Sichuan peppercorns (white pepper or ginger are common substitutes). It can usually be found in the spice section of your supermarket or on Amazon.
One note with this recipe. I assume since you are all Bravado cooks, you have an elevated cooking skill set, so I may omit some basic steps and techniques, that you, would of course not need to be told about. Also, Bravado cooks are NEVER, I repeat, NEVER slavish to recipes. This isn’t Bravado baking folks, where exact measurements count. Bravado cooks, take ideas and make them their own.
Pork tenderloin with Chinese five spice.
One pork tenderloin.
In a small bowl, combine the two teaspoons of Chinese Five Spice, one table spoon brown sugar, two tablespoons of kosher salt.
Rub the mixture over the tenderloin and wrap tightly in plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator for at least an hour. This is not really a marinade, but a dry brine; it works on the same principle as a water brine, but without the water. As the salt extracts the juices from the pork it mixes with the other ingredients in the rub and then due to osmosis, the juices begin to go back into the pork, but this time take the salt and flavorings with it.
Incidentally, If you are not brining your chicken and pork EVERY time you cook, you are in the wrong blog. Bravado cooks always brine. Restaurants do, and so do Bravado cooks.
Unwrap the pork, dry it off thoroughly, and sear until brown on all sides. Put the skillet in the oven at 350 and finish until medium. Take the pork out of the skillet and put it on a cutting board to rest. Now, on medium heat, deglaze the skillet with your choice of liquid, preferably white wine (not chardonnay unless it is stainless fermented), add some minced ginger, sesame oil, hoisin sauce and soy sauce and reduce a bit. Put the pork back into the skillet and coat with the sauce.
Slice the pork, garnish with green onions, pair with sugar snap peas, sticky rice and a Riesling.