Um, update: I initially wrote, that my curry sauce was not as creamy as the picture with the original recipe and couldn’t quite figure out why, eventually I chalked it up to a good Photoshop job.. That was before, a full 72 hours after making it, I walked by the fridge at work, looked at the freebie drinks (coconut waters) and realized.. aha! I used Coconut Water instead of milk and isn’t this whole thing a bit humiliating?! Now we know that if you’re up for a bit of water instead of milk, I can vouch for coconut only, you’re in luck. It still pairs wonderfully with curry.
The kindness of strangers [it seems to me] is kind of what keeps the world spinning, not in the Moon’s tidal pull turning counter clockwise type way, but in the when a stranger buys your coffee or holds a door open or carries the groceries or runs towards the victims of a bomb blast type way. Two separate friends on Facebook who are completely independent of each other and live in very different, very distant states, posted their experience with random acts of kindness this morning (strangers buying coffees and groceries) and it got me thinking.
That’s what keeps everything going when everything else appears to be not going so well. I don’t really need to point out the obvious tragedies as of late for some horrific thing to pop into all our minds, but I did want to talk about random acts of kindness and compassion and even if we see someone buying a service man/woman a coffee it’s contagious and it’s hard not to pass it on.
So let’s be kind and pass it on, okay? And let’s take care of ourselves and each other and if that means cooking a pork tenderloin in a way that makes you feel really good, food network star type really good, let’s all do that too. This recipe isn’t the easiest or quickest and it certainly doesn’t come out looking like they purported (not a far cry, but my curry sauce didn’t come out nearly as creamy looking), but it is super delicious and takes the kind of care that will have you feeling like if you can do this, you can do anything and you will look at how wonderfully everything turned out and that will make you want to knock on your neighbor’s door and share heaping plate of it.
Well, your very first instinct may not be to share because it’s so good that at first that will seem impossible, but then you’ll remember the whole random acts of kindness talk we just had and you will.
These seeds are dangerously yummy, you may want to double the amount you make to account for all that you’ll inevitably need to munch on while you get your food network star like grove on. I nixed the sugar because I like the spicy/salty sans sweet combination, and I used olive oil instead of the suggested oils: less complicated. Oh and the pork is cubed and takes minutes to cook [least we can do since I strongly suggest marinating the pork the night before], you’ll thank me later. And finally, the food!
Green Curry Pork with Toasted Cumin Pumpkin Seeds, adapted from Bon Appetit
for the marinade
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
boneless pork loin, cubed (the curry yields enough sauce for 2 lbs of meat, if you don’t need that much than get less depending on how many people you want to serve, or if you have a side or not and/or if you want leftovers for yourself the next day read: best lunch ever #lunchboxenvy) also: I bought my meat at Whole Foods and they are happy to cube the meat for you, lifesaver.
for the cumin spiced pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas!)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
sea salt to taste
for the curry
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 small shallot, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/4 cup green Thai curry paste (mine came in a 4 ounce jar)
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk (if you only see 11 or twelve ounce bottles, I did and not to fear it’s plenty) <————- update, that’s not true! don’t mistake ‘milk’ for ‘water’ !!
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
sea salt, freshly ground pepper to taste
for the marinade
Combine the ingredients in a good sized plastic bag, the large kind, and add your pork and keep in the fridge, turning occasionally if you can. Let sit overnight or at least for a few hours.
for the seeds
Heat a medium sized pan over medium heat and add olive oil. After it’s a bit hot and the oil gets shiny, add the pumpkin seeds and toast over medium heat for about five minutes (the seeds will start to brown). Stir often, turning the seeds over and moving around the pan. When the seeds begin to brown, add cumin seeds and lime juice. Mix it in well with the seeds, letting the lime juice coat the seeds before it starts to evaporate. After a few minutes, when everything looks toasted and together, move to a lined baking sheet or large plate (I used a paper towel to soak up any excess oil). Season to taste with a bit of salt and pepper.
for the curry
Heat the olive oil in a medium sized pan over medium heat and after it gets warm, add shallot and cook for about a minute, add garlic. Stir the garlic and shallot around for another minute, then add the curry. Add the coconut milk next, and stir, let the milk reduce by about half (10-15 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool. While cooling, you can wipe the pan with a few paper towels and cook the pork (Directions below!). When the pork is hot and done, remove from the heat and cover to keep warm. Then finish the curry sauce: with cooled curry, combine curry, cilantro, lime, salt and pepper to a food processor and blend. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
for the pork
I had the butcher slice my pork because I thought this method would be easier and quicker, and it was. I added a bit of olive oil to a medium sized pan and over medium heat, I removed the pork from the bag with a spatula that scooped out the meat but let the marinade drain back in the bag. Discard marinade, and cook pork cubes until brown on all sides and cooked through (don’t over cook, or depending on how well done you like your meat, I left mine a bit pink in the middle). Alternatively if you have a thermometer, you’ll want it to read 140′. When the pork is hot and done, remove from the heat and cover to keep warm. Finish curry.
When your curry is done, place pork pieces on a plate and drizzle with curry sauce, lastly topping with pumpkin seeds (if they’ve lasted this long!). Serve immediately, mine went really well over a huge bed of white rice or green salad even. Enjoy!