Chorizo Jalapeño Poppers
An ode to one of my favorite cuisines - Tex Mex - with a little upgrade in the form of chorizo and more cheese.
Easter was beautiful and sunny, and perfect for grilling.
And so was the Saturday before. Saturday, we ambitiously worked in the garden for a really long time, and got a lot of great stuff done. Then we walked the mile or so to the library, another mile or so to the grocery store, and then a half mile home. Then we were exhausted, and made strawberry lemonade and read our books and sat in the backyard and took in the beauty of Portland when it is actually sunny (which it will be for several months on end when it is summer, but spring usually has rain).
Then, as I may have mentioned, we were tired. And we went to Fire on the Mountain, and it was delicious. And something that occurred to me along the way is that NoPo doesn’t reall have a (local) ice cream shop. Let’s get on this! Seriously.
Anyways, we proceeded with our delicious grilling plans the next day. And then we demolished them all.
Here’s what you need to recreate this dinner:
For the rice underneath:
Cook the rice with half coconut milk, half water. If you fudge a little bit in either direction to stay within one can of milk, it won’t matter. Toast the almonds for five minutes in the oven at 350 and add to the rice later. Don’t start the rice until after the other stuff is on the grill. Salt it well.
For the rest:
A word about buying pineapple: Do not buy pre-sliced fresh pineapple, ever. A comparison at the store this weekend showed that buying it sliced is literally quadruple the cost and it could have been sliced days ago (that’s why sliced is in the chill chest and the full fruit lives in a bin). You can handle cleaning a pineapple! All you have to do is cut the top and the outside off and it takes about three minutes. You can use an oven mitt to protect your hands. 🙂
A few hours before you begin, fill a 2-quart tupperware or similar with water and add 1/4 cup with salt. Add the pork tenderloin and let marinate.
Begin prepping your coals about an hour before you want to eat. Clean the pineapple by slicing off the top and bottom, then setting it on one of the flat sides and slicing down with a chef’s knife to remove the skin. Slice down again to cut in half, and then slice into spears by placing each half with the large, flat side down.
IMPORTANT: Cook the pork on the grill until the internal temperature reaches at least 145 degrees. This is a relatively recent allowance by the USDA – for years the recommended temperature has been 160. 160 is still recommended for larger cuts.
The pineapple will be done soomer than the pork, so maybe add it to the grill (keep them separate!) 10-15 minutes after you start the pork. Turn the pork so that each side gets nice char on it.
Serve the pork sliced into medallions over the rice, with the pineapple spears on the side. Bites combining all three are recommended. I would say that the tenderloin was about three regulation servings of pork – maybe a scant four.