Thursday, August 3

Ginger Molasses Barbequed Pork

Last week I went to a cooking class which is held by two local women who've turned their passion for cooking into more than just a pastime. Holly and Lee have been teaching these classes in Holly's home for about 5 years now, and have attracted a large and loyal following. There is a new class every 6 weeks, often with a new theme. Some themes are so popular that people demand a repeat, but usually the material is fresh. A newsletter goes out which announces the theme and lists the dishes that they will be preparing for the class. The theme last week was "Can't Stand the Heat", and the last class sounded too good for me to pass up.

On the menu was Thai Spiced Watermelon Soup with Lump Crab, Swordfish Skewers with Cilantro Lime Butter Sauce, Pork Tenderloin with a Ginger Molasses BBQ Sauce, Toasted Caraway and Celery Seed Coleslaw, and Sundried Tomato Pesto Pasta. There is always a dessert, and it is always fabulous. Lee makes the desserts, and this woman is not afraid of butter and sugar, in fact, her desserts are always the richest I've had, but so good that they are well worth it. This time we sampled her "Chocolate Coma" ice cream, which was hands down the most luciously chocolately ice cream I've had.... it was like frozen chocolate pudding. She also made a Dulce de Leche ice cream that was wonderful.

These are all recipes that I am looking forward to making again soon, but I chose the Pork as my first repeat. This is a fabulous recipe. The barbeque sauce is so rich with molasses and sugars that it ends up being almost black, and the ginger is a new and welcome addition to your typical barbeque sauce. And if you're careful not to overcook it, the pork turns out so wonderfully tender. This recipe is a definite keeper. I had every intention of making the Coleslaw from class as well, but Whole Foods didn't have one ingredient I needed, so I canned the whole plan and just bought some premade coleslaw. Admittedly, I wish I had made the trek over to the Harris Teeter for my missing ingredient, but the substitute coleslaw worked in a pinch. I am going to include the coleslaw recipe as well below, because it is a great recipe to have in your repetoire.

Pork Tenderloin with Ginger Molasses BBQ Sauce
Courtesy of the Gourmet Everyday Chefs, Holly and Lee

For the Sauce:
6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons ketchup
6 tablespoons molasses (I used blackstrap)
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 serrano pepper, minced (seeds included if you want it hot)
1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger root, peeled and minced

For the Pork:
1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed and sliced into 1-inch pieces (I used Niman Ranch Pork)

Make the Sauce:
Sitr together all the ingredients for the sauce in a heavy saucepan. Simmer over moderately low heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened and reduced to about 1 cup. Remove from the heat to cool.

Make the Pork:
Take 1/2 cup of the sauce for the pork marinade and reserve the other 1/2 cup for the sauce. Marinate the pork with the 1/2 cup marinade for a few hours, or overnight. Removed the pork from the marinade and grill the pieces over medium heat either on a preheated indoor grill pan, or outdoors. Brush the pork with the marinade as you're grilling it, and remove the pork when it is barely pink in the middle. It won't take long to cook the pieces.

Heat the reserved sauce until warm. If you are making bbq pork sandwiches, use the sauce to spread on the buns. If you are serving a large platter of pork, pour the sauce over and serve immediately.

Note: If using the pork for sandwiches, a great topping is the Toasted Caraway and Celery Seed Coleslaw. You can also skewer the pork with fruits and vegetables for kebabs. Peaches, pineapple and tomato would all be delicious alongside this sticky pork.

Serves 6

Coleslaw with Toasted Caraway & Celery Seeds

1 tsp. caraway seeds
1 tsp. celery seeds
1/2 c. water
1 cup mayonaise
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. each kosher salt and fresh black pepper
1 lb. package coleslaw with carrots
1 granny smith apple, peeled and cut into matchsticks

In a small skillet, toast the seeds over moderate high heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the water and let cool.

In a blender, combine the mayo, cream, sugar, onion, garlick, vinegar, lemon juice, cayenne, salt and pepper. Blend until mixed, then add the caraway and celery seeds and their liquid and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Adjust the consistency with additional mayo if it is too thin.

Toss the dressing with the coleslaw and apples in a large bowl and refrigerate for several hours, or overnight.

Serves 8

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