Spicy grilled pork with cilantro pesto


We received a bunch of cilantro in our C.S.A. and I decided to make something other than pico de gallo with it. I thought cilantro pesto might play off the spicy pork in a more subtle way, but I was wrong. It wasn't subtle at all – it was rich and spicy and the next time I make it I'm going to triple the recipe. Because this only made about a cup, and the day after the dinner my husband and I were being terribly polite to each other.


“No, no. You said you wanted to make a cheese quesadilla, you should put the last of the cilantro pesto on that.”


“No, no. There's 2 pieces of pork left, you should have those and the rest of the pesto.”


So, if you aren't the only cilantro lover in the house, I would definitely recommend doubling the recipe.


Spicy Grilled Pork Medallions

1 pork tenderloin

Olive oil

3 teaspoons cayenne

3 teaspoons cumin

3 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons red chili flakes

Salt and pepper


Heat a skillet with enough olive oil to just cover the bottom. When the oil is hot but not smoking add the spices and chili flakes then stir them until they are well combined. Add the tenderloin to the pan, and sear it on all 4 sides. Make sure you salt and pepper the pork every time you turn it. When the pork is seared slice it into inch thick slices and finish cooking them all the way through on a grill. (If you don't have a grill you could finish them in the oven.)


Cilantro Pesto

1 cup of cilantro

½ small red onion, roughly chopped

1 hot pepper roughly chopped (I used a small Thai chili, but a jalapeno would work too. Always remember to wear gloves when working with hot peppers or wash your hands really well.)

¼ cup of almonds (if using raw almonds, saute in a teaspoon of olive oil for 3 minutes)

¼ cup of olive oil

Salt and pepper


Blend all of the ingredients together in a blender. Spicy cilantro-ness!

Makes 1 cup.




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