30 June 2012

Grilled Chipotle Rhubarb Pork & Provolone Rosemary Quesadilla

I can now sympathize with Macaulay Culkin for I, my friends and readers, am home alone.  Take away the tarantula, shoplifting and Michael Jordan cut-out, and you have me.  

However, in the spirit of a true foodie, I am taking inspiration from Macaulay by indulging in my favorite foods while the hubs is away.  And while cheese pizza was the delicacy that abated his loneliness, I am getting creative and dreaming up new food possibilities to distract and comfort me.  

That, and overindulging in red wine.

I figure this is the perfect opportunity to perfect a new recipe that I can wow my gent with upon his return.  The time seems particularly ripe for some of my special favorites....such as rhubarb.

That being said, please forgive the extremely fast turn-around between new recipes and blogging.

This morning rhubarb made an appearance in my single-serving coffee cake alongside cinnamon and walnuts.  I am the kind of girl who cannot let delicious Honey Roasted Rhubarb sit for long in my refrigerator.  Therefore, it gave it a savory twist by creating a delicious pork marinade for a savory supper.  After all, you can never have too much of a good thing if it's a....fruit?  Vegetable?  Whatever...healthy and delicious.

Having gone without Mexican food for a few days, I felt the need to add some spice to my life.  Enter my friend chipotle powder (whom the hubs tires of more quickly than I).  This great seasoning adds spice, but also so much more.  The smoky richness that it brings to dishes is very unique and simply amazing when grilled.  

Pork tenderloin is one of my favorite meats because of its versatility.  It can be fried, breaded, baked, crock-potted, sauteed, roasted and grilled.  It is extremely low in fat and higher in protein than chicken.  Its firmer texture and fruity flavor set it far, far apart from chicken in my humble opinion.  Who says it's just the other white meat?

And what better accouterment is there for a fruity, grilled and savory dish than a fruity, grilled and savory side?  A wonderful side was a grilled quesadilla with fruity rosemary and savory provolone.  Not your average quesadilla, but this side is absolutely wonderful when topped with the Honey Roasted Rhubarb.  And a side of grilled mushrooms and onions is scrumptious with this dinner.
Best of all - this is a super quick meal.  Once you've begun marinading the pork, the cook time is all of 10 minutes.  Gotta love a fast, delicious meal.  So pull up your favorite pups and partake in this delicious dinner for one.  (Meal can easily be doubled or quadrupled for those non-Home Aloners as well.)  

Grilled Chipotle Rhubarb Pork & Provolone Rosemary Quesadilla 
  • 2 slices pork tenderloin, 1/4 inch thick 
  • 2 tbs Honey Roasted Rhubarb, plus more for serving
  • 1/8 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder
  • dash garlic powder & salt
  • 1 large whole wheat tortilla (I am obsessed with La Tortilla Factory)
  • 2 oz provolone, grated
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • olive oil
Combine prepared rhubarb, chipotle powder, chili powder, garlic powder and salt in a small bowl.  Stir well to combine.  Rub well into both sides of pork tenderloin slices.  Let marinade for at least two hours (mine went for 5).

When ready to cook, place a grill pan and a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  To cook the pork, place on grill pan and let cook for 4 minutes, then flip and cook for 3 additional minutes or until desired doneness is reached.  Serve over mushrooms and onions or greens and garnish with additional Honey Roasted Rhubarb.

While pork is cooking, add a small amount of olive oil to the cast iron skillet.  Brush with a basting brush to distribute evenly.  Place a large tortilla in the skillet and cook for about 30 seconds, until tortilla begins to brown.  Flip and lightly cook the other side as well.  Tortilla should start to rise and puff up.  Once both sides have been lightly cooked, add the provolone to one side of the tortilla and then sprinkle with rosemary.  Fold the non-cheesy half of the tortilla over and remove immediately from heat.  Flip and let sit on hot pan for about a minute, then flip again.  The residual heat will be enough to crisp the outside of the quesadilla and melt the cheese without burning the exterior.  Serve hot.

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