For some cooks, hoisin sauce may have the sound of an offbeat and perhaps exotic ingredient. But it’s easily found in even small groceries, usually in the international section.
It’s a staple in Chinese dishes and isn’t the least bit strange, I promise. In fact, it’s like a fruity ketchup, pleasant tasting with a bit sweetness and without the heat that some palates don’t appreciate.
And it brings a quick flavor punch to this easy pork dish, making supper at home nearly as simple as carry-out – and far less expensive.
Start a pot of rice, cook a vegetable and you’ll fast be calling out, “Wash your hands, everybody. Supper’s in five minutes!”
It’s hot, it’s tasty and for whoever takes clean-up afterward, an easy job there, too.
BUTTER-SIMMERED CARROTS For a vegetable, try this simple technique for carrots. Cook a pound of carrots (prepeeled carrots are okay, hand-chopped more flavorful) on medium heat for about 10 minutes in a covered pan with ¼ cup of boiling water, a tablespoon of butter and a teaspoon of sugar. Remove the lid and raise the heat. Stir occasionally. The water will cook away, leaving the carrots to simmer in the butter. Once the carrots are done, add grated nutmeg or a dollop of mustard.
HOISIN & HONEY PORK TENDERLOIN
Time-to-table: 40 minutes
- Cooking spray
- 1 pound pork tenderloin
- Salt & pepper
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 – 3 green onions, chopped
Preheat oven to 375F.
Spray a large, oven-proof skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium high. When the pan is hot, add the meat (it should sizzle) and sear the bottom side. Season the top with salt and pepper, then turn the meat to sear the other side and season the new top side. Move the skillet to the oven for about 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center reads 150F or the color is ‘just barely past pink’.
(If making the carrots, start now.)
While the meat cooks, mix the sauce ingredients in a small pan and bring to a boil. Let it cook down just slightly, then keep warm on low heat.
Slice the meat and transfer to plates. Drizzle with hot hoisin-honey sauce and sprinkle with green onion. Serve immediately.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences.
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