I’m trying to shift gears to lower fats and less sugar – an urgency that seems to reassert itself every spring, before vacations, and just as the holidays begin.
For years I’ve been focusing on whole grains and fresh local vegetables, olive oil, and what are now called MUFAs – the monounsaturated fatty acids, plant-based fats found in avocados, some oils, olives, nuts and seeds, and dark chocolate. But I also have a lifetime love of sweets to overcome. As South Beach proponents can affirm – getting refined sugars (and refined flour) out of the diet for two weeks can break the cycle of craving.
I’d also like to say I’m going to be eating less animal product however, I have a freezer full of meat to use up.
Tonight’s dinner is a restorative after a week with a ferocious cold: lean and intensely flavorful, this is a quick peppery pork tenderloin with just 4 oz of meat per person. Asian sauces like oyster, fish and soy can be salty but the mildness of rice and vegetables offsets the brine. Serve this stir fry over a simple mound of brown basmati, with steamed broccoli and carrots to fill out the plates.
Pork tenderloin stir-fry
1# pork tenderloin (trimmed)
1/2 slivered sweet onion
2 green scallions
1 fresh red cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp black peppercorn
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2.5 Tbsp. oyster sauce
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2.5 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice
Combine the ingredients for the stir fry sauce and set aside.
Slice the peeled onion into very thin half rounds. Remove chili stems and cut into matchsticks. Trim scallions and cut into 1″ lengths (you can set aside a couple tablespoons of the greens to garnish.) Coarsely pound black peppercorns in a mortar and set aside. Slice the pork tenderloin into 1/2″ thick rounds. You can slice the rounds in half for even faster cooking.
Heat oil in a wok (or a large skillet) on medium-high. When the oil is hot, add sliced onion, frying until golden – you want to cook them beyond translucent to enhance the sweetness. Add red pepper slice and scallions and stir. Add the sliced pork tenderloin and pounded black pepper. Stir well and cook until the meat is nearly cooked through. And the stir fry sauce and stir well to coat the meat and turn off the heat.
Serve over a bed of brown basmati and a mound of steamed broccoli. Garnish top with toasted sesame seeds, finely chopped scallion greens or crisp fried ginger.