What's a good side dish for spicy Pork Tenderloin?
November 1, 2006 3:09 PM   Subscribe

I need suggestions for side dishes that would accompany Island Pork Tenderloin.

I've made this recipe for Island Pork Tenderloin a bunch of times and it's really really good. The recipe includes a salad component that I may or may not also make. The pork is really good by itself though and given the more wintery weather that's coming, something a little more robust and hearty might be better than the salad or in addition to the salad.

The recipe is called "Island Pork" but given the spices involved I'm not sure what island it refers to (cumin, chili, cinnamon, sugar, garlic, Tabasco). It's kinda Caribbean, kinda fusion-ish so I'm at a loss for what to make with it. Ideas? There's nothing that's off limits though my dining companion has expressed a dislike for tripe. So that's off the menu.

And if it matters, this is for a dinner I'm making for a guy that I want to impress and have fall madly in love with me.
posted by otherwordlyglow to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Sweet potatoes
posted by thirteenkiller at 3:20 PM on November 1, 2006

Maybe this Eggplant Frittata that I intend to try.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 3:20 PM on November 1, 2006

Best answer: This sounds like it would go very good with yucca root. If you've never had it, yucca tastes like potatoes with a lot of fresh butter on them. If this recipe has enough juice/sauce you can easily just cook the yucca and chop it into cubes. Otherwise, yucca con mojo is a fantastic preparation. Rice and beans (or rice and peas as the Jamaicans call it) is also a traditional Caribbean side for a meat dish. I don't have a recipe I've made that I can give you, but this one looks very good, if a bit on the heavy side for my taste.
posted by TungstenChef at 3:22 PM on November 1, 2006

Black bean cakes underneath the tenderloins would also be good.
posted by TungstenChef at 3:25 PM on November 1, 2006

I would look for something that will balance well with the ot/sweet/spicy notes of the pork - I think a creamy, vinegar-based cole slaw would be a nice contrast, although I think most guys would probably prefer potatoes au gratin. Maybe it's just a coincidence, but most of the guys I know aren't big on veggie sides, except potatoes.
posted by chocolatepeanutbuttercup at 3:27 PM on November 1, 2006

Response by poster: most of the guys I know aren't big on veggie sides, except potatoes

True but this is San Francisco and you can sort of depend on most people having a pretty expansive palate out here. We went for Korean BBQ on our first date and he ate every bit of the weird sea vegetables and strange little dishes of oddness that they cover the table with. I'm not afraid of scaring him off with vegetables.

I like the yucca root idea but wonder if I can get it by Friday. Slaw might work but it's verging on the salad idea that I'm trying to get away from.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 3:36 PM on November 1, 2006

Rice is the first thing that came to mind. Maybe a Caribbean style red beans and rice dish.

I also like the sweet potato idea.

You could always do baked russet potatoes with butter, sour cream, and chives. It doesn't really 'go", but who doesn't love a baked potato? With the salad it should be scrumptious.

Good luck.
posted by LoriFLA at 3:38 PM on November 1, 2006

posted by oats at 3:40 PM on November 1, 2006

I like the yucca root idea but wonder if I can get it by Friday.

It's probably easier than you think, any Hispanic grocery should have it. Around here (Phoenix) pretty much every normal grocery does too.
posted by TungstenChef at 3:56 PM on November 1, 2006

Sweet potatoes. Only, Ginger Habanero Mashed Sweet Potatoes.

Dice 'em into cubes, boil 'em, mash them with butter and cream. Drop a habanero pepper, some peeled ginger, and a couple cloves of garlic into a food processor, and pulse until as finely chopped as you can get it. Mix this into the mashers. And as always, season with salt and pepper to taste. Voila!

(If you fear the habanero, start with half a pepper and add more if you deem it necessary. One habanero per a whole batch of mashed potatoes is pretty safe, though. It settles it down to a noticable spiciness, but not heat per se. Enjoy!)
posted by Darth Fedor at 3:57 PM on November 1, 2006

Pork schops 'n' appleshaush...It's schwell.

//Peter Brady
posted by Wild_Eep at 4:44 PM on November 1, 2006

how about fried plantain chips?
posted by mmascolino at 8:25 PM on November 1, 2006

I am all about the movement of using grits as more-than-a-breakfast food. My current favorite is making some variation of this cheese grits recipe, as it is incredibly tasty and way easy to boot. You can also sub in a nice sharp cheddar instead of goat cheese, which can get expensive.

It's a wonderful, hearty side dish that's perfect for the colder months, and I can tell you firsthand that grits go marvelously with pork.
posted by shiu mai baby at 4:42 AM on November 2, 2006

Couscous is my starch of choice with pork tenderloin. Any of the boxed offerings cook up easy/tasty.
posted by jbradley at 9:04 AM on November 2, 2006

As a follow up, I tried making the island pork recipe along with Darth Fedor's sweet potatoes. Both were FANTASTIC on their own, but together they were just too sweet. The pork needed to be paired with a more neutral starch like potatoes/yucca/rice, and the sweet potatoes will be great with something citrusy. Both of them are keepers.
posted by TungstenChef at 5:43 PM on November 5, 2006

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