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One Pot Spanish

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Written by Carolyn Jung   
Monday, 08 June 2009
ImageI do most of the cooking, and my husband washes most of the dishes. Even trade, don't you think?

If he had his way, though, every meal I cooked would be made in one pan. Period. In his world, salad, sides, and entrée would magically be prepared by dirtying only one dish.

I haven't yet figured out how to accomplish that without everything ending up tasting like everything else. But there's no denying the allure of that concept.

So that's why my eyes always perk up whenever I spot any type of "one pot'' cookbook. "One Pot Spanish'' is no exception. It has the added attraction of being written by Penelope Casas, a veteran cookbook author and noted authority on Spanish cuisine.

To be sure, the book takes some liberties. Sure, all the dishes for the most part are actually cooked in one pan. But to make a complete meal out of any of them, you'd have to round them out with other accompaniments, which would of course require more dishes to make - and wash.

Casas does make that easy to do, though, because her cookbook is filled with recipes that take you from salad to soup to rice to vegetables to meat to desserts. Enjoy everything from Moorish-Style Salad with Cumin and Paprika to Lentil Soup Madrid-Style to Chorizo, Tomato and Pasta Stew to Oxtail Stew with Juniper Berries to Catalan Cream.

I was enticed by "Solomillo De Cerdo En Jarabe De Granada'' (Pork Tenderloin in Pomegranate Syrup). The dish is characteristic of Andalucia's Moorish heritage with its sweet and savory flavors.

Pomegranate juice is reduced in a saucepan. When it has cooled, the juice is mixed with white wine, rosemary, thyme, parsley, and bay leaves to form a marinade for pork tenderloins. The pork is then roasted in the oven, with its marinade becoming a flavorful sauce for the meat.

The pork emerged from the oven extremely tender. The herbs added complexity to the dish. But I was disappointed that the pomegranate flavor wasn't more pronounced, and the thin sauce not nearly as syrupy as I thought it would be.

If I made the pork dish again, I might increase the amount of pomegranate juice to be reduced, and maybe stir in a little honey to give the resulting sauce more body.

Neither of those changes would require another pan - much to my husband's approval.

Solomillo De Cerdo En Jarabe De Granada (Pork Tenderloin in Pomegranate Syrup)

From One Pot Spanish: More Than 80 Easy, Authentic Recipes by Penelope Casas, Sellers Publishing 2009

This recipe shows the influence of Andalucia's Moorish heritage in its sweet and savory combination. Any dish made with pomegranate is surely of Moorish descent (the symbol of the southern city of Granada is, in fact, the pomegranate; and the city's name derives from the fruit). Pork with fruit is, of course, a well-known match, and pork with pomegranate is one more example of that ideal pairing.

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened pomegranate juice
  • ½ medium Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 3 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 T minced parsley
  • 1 T minced fresh rosemary leaves or ½ t dried rosemary
  • 1 T minced fresh thyme leaves or ½ t dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pork tenderloins, about ¾ to 1 pound each
  • Chicken broth or water as needed

Put the pomegranate juice in a small saucepan and boil over high heat until juice has reduced by half. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.

In a deep bowl large enough to hold the tenderloins, stir together the pomegranate juice, onion, wine, oil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves and salt and pepper to taste. Add the tenderloins, turning to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, turning tenderloins occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 375F. Remove the tenderloins from the marinade and put in a shallow roasting pan.  Scatter the onion from the marinade around them and add just enough of the marinade to moisten the pan, reserving the remainder. Roast the tenderloins, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes, until a meat thermometer registers 145F, adding more marinade occasionally to keep the pan juices from burning.  By the time the meat is done, you should have added all the marinade, if more liquid is needed, add a little chicken broth or water.

Transfer the tenderloins to a cutting board, tent loosely with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut the tenderloins at an angle into ½-inch slices and arrange on a platter. Drizzle with the juices from the roasting pan.

About One Pot Spanish: More Than 80 Easy, Authentic Recipes

ImageSpain's history and geography together create one of the world's most varied and rewarding cuisines. Well-known author Penelope Casas, widely considered the foremost American authority on Spanish food, expertly shows why Spanish cooking has always been the perfect fare for the ages: the freshest ingredients prepared simply - a perfect opportunity for one-pot cooking.

Available from Amazon.com

Disclosure: Review copies of books discussed in this post may have been provided to Project Foodie by publicists and/or publishers.

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