Ginger Pickled Green Tomato with Oven Baked Szechuan Pork

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Submitted by totallyunoriginal

Introduction

While at first this dish doesn't seem like it focuses soley on tomatoes, just understand that the dish simply wouldn't be the same. Whats so exciting about some pork tenderloin with a bit of asian glop on top of it? Nothing! The pickled tomato adds a great contrasting tart/pungent gingery/sweet taste to the entire dish and changes it completely. Besides, I didn't want to make an Italian dish.

And thus, here are the ingredients.

File:Tomatoszchuanpork1.jpg

Preparation

For the tomatoes:

  • pinch of salt on tomatoes
  • 2 medium sized green tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • tablespoon of fresh crushed ginger
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed

Start off with slicing the tomatoes, VERY thinly, as thinly as you possibly can.


File:Tomatoszchuanpork2.jpg


Next, put the ginger and water into a pot until it begins to boil, then add the garlic, sugar, and vinegar. Oh god, boiling vinegar is worse than pepper spray, I dare you to take a BIG whiff of it. While you wait for the mixture to boil once again, put the sliced tomatoes into a tupperware container and sprinkle some salt between every few slices you put in.

File:Tomatoszchuanpork3.jpg


When the vinegar finishes boiling, pour it into the tuperware container and drink whatever doesn't fit. I swear, it's delicious. So just put that off to the side.


For the sauce:

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • half a sprig of star anise
  • 1 tblspoon sugar
  • 1 tblspoon salt
  • 4 sticks of celery, chopped up
  • half tblspoon of ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic cut into chunks
  • 2 tblspoon black bean sauce
  • 2 1/2 tblspoon hoisin sauce
  • 4 tblspoon mushroom soy sauce(NOT REGULAR SOYSAUCE, GET MUSHROOM. It's got less flavor, but is very dark and gives your sauce a gorgeous dark hue. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any of it, and well...I'm lazy)
  • dash of pepper
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tblspoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch

Cut up the vegetables like so:

File:Tomatoszchuanpork4.jpg

The celery is already in the pot, but just cut it into managable peices. Now stick the garlic, celery, salt, ginger, sugar, star anise, and onion into the pot with the water and wait for it to boil.

While it's boiling, add the black bean sauce, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, and hoisin sauce into a bowl that you think can hold this and all of the boiling water. Toss on a dash of salt and pepper while you're at it.

File:Tomatoszchuanpork5.jpg


Allow the water to boil for another 5 minutes or so to get flavor and then pour it into your waiting bowl and mix it all together. Then place both the pickling tomatoes and sauce aside for about half an hour.

File:Tomatoszchuanpork6.jpg

Chill out to some Elliot Smith and then get back into that sweatshop of a kitchen. Now we start to cut the meat, you should have gotten about 2 pounds of unseasoned pork tenderloin. Trim off some of the excess fat and cut the pork like so:

File:Tomatoszchuanpork7.jpg

Sprinkle some salt and garlic onto the cuts of pork. Take a cup of the sauce and put it in a bowl or container of some sort, then soak the pork in it for another hour or so(longer if you so desire).

When it's done marinating, begin to preheat the oven to 350F. You have a seasoned cast iron pan right? Good, because we're going to sear the pork!

File:Tomatoszchuanpork8.jpg

Wait until the pan is super super hot, and toss on the pork. Let it sear on one side for about 5 seconds, then flip to the other side for 10, and then flip back to the first side. Add about 1/4 cup of the liquid you were using to marinate the pork into the pan and stick it into the oven for about 40 minutes, check every 5 minutes after 30 to make sure it doesn't overcook or dry out.

Now we can go about making our sauce. Well, thickening it, it's pretty much made. Authentic szechuan sauce generally is not thickened, but we're doing it anyways! Toss a bunch of the sauce onto a small frying pan or saucepan and wait until it begins to simmer. Mix the cornstarch with equal parts water and then slowly mix it into the sauce when it begins to boil.

File:Tomatoszchuanpork9.jpg

After the pork and sauce is done, just put it onto a plate however you want it. I did it like so:

File:Tomatoszchuanpork10.jpg


There should be enough for 2 servings, as I had cut one tenderloin into two peices for the plate. Savor the sweet and sour saltyness melt into your mouth!