I can't get enough of spicy foods - seriously, the hotter the better - and as I've mentioned, my love of hot sauce runs deep (have you ever had Chipotle Tabasco? Go buy some and put it on everything). Although I find regular hot sauces (like Frank's...go buy Frank's Red Hot and put that on everything too) to be crazy-delicious, they generally don't have enough heat for me. So when I saw Habanero Tabasco - I was amped, until I tasted it. Habanero Tabasco is not a condiment my friends - it's a screaming ball of fire that needs to be taken seriously....
But to be honest...it burned so good. Now all I needed was a way to use it.
So I did what any Internet-loving foodie would do when in need of a recipe - I turned to Facebook. And Facebook delivered - like it always does (thanks Kate!).
Last night, I made Caribbean Pork w/ Pineapple (rum-soaked pineapple, my friends). The recipe was an amazing combination of sweet and spicy - the raisins and rum-soaked pineapple offset the salty spicy flavor of the habanero hot sauce and tasted complex enough to keep my tastebuds interested.
I know what you are asking yourself - why is this a cautionary tale?
Well, to be honest - as I was making this recipe, I thought to myself "3 teaspoons of habanero tabasco isn't enough heat - I need more" so I liberally doused the entire recipe. And then I tasted the sauce - and my head exploded. And then I started coughing, and then my lips started burning. And then....I was filled with regret. (note: Sheila, if you are reading this - believe me when I say, this is the perfect amount of heat for you, the rare exception to this warning)
The good news is that after about 20 minutes of cooking and the addition of the pineapples - the heat mellowed enough for me to eat this without fear of destroying my entire palate. And as I said above - if you like hot, this recipe is good.
My tip? Follow this recipe, use 3 teaspoons of Habanero sauce. I also advise adding about a teaspoon of salt (it need salt to cut some of the sweet).
Serve it over plain brown rice to absorb some of the heat.
PS...Pork tenderloin is super healthy, so don't be scared to eat it. It's lean and a nice break from poultry.
Caribbean Pork with Pineapple (via Tabasco.com)
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add pork and cook until lightly browned on all sides, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer pork to a shallow baking dish. Add onion to skillet with drippings and place over medium heat; cook 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, broth, raisins, lime rind, and remaining 1 teaspoon TABASCO® Habanero Sauce; cook 5 minutes longer, then pour over pork.
Cover pork and bake in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, combine pineapple and rum in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; cook 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Spoon pineapple over top of pork and bake, uncovered, 5 minutes longer.
Makes 6 servings.