Austin is buzzing about Brio, the latest showcase for the considerable talents of chefs Raymond Tatum and Robert Mayberry. Building on Texans’ love of barbecue, Mexican food, and home cooking, the two have blazed a culinary trail that not only respects the basics but gives them a cosmopolitan twist. This smoky grilled pork tenderloin is set off by a russet-hued cascabel chile sauce; an accompanying black-bean-stuffed ancho chile offers an emphatic variation on the usual poblano. Sautéed red chard would make anyone happy to eat his greens. A fried tortilla crescent perches atop a dollop of guacamole to add a crisp finishing touch.
Cascabel Chile Purée
8 to 10 dried cascabel chiles
2 cups chicken stock
Seed chiles and toast in a sauté pan. Put stock and chiles in a saucepan and simmer 15 minutes. Purée in a blender.
Marinade for Pork
1/2 cup chile purée (recipe above)
1 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup peanut oil
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
salt to taste
4 pork tenderloins, 4 to 6 ounces each, membrane removed
Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl, add meat, and refrigerate at least 6 hours. Grill to desired doneness. Slice into medallions just before serving.
Cascabel Cream Sauce
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup chile purée (recipe above)
3/4 cup heavy cream
Reduce stock by half over high heat. Add purée and cream and reduce over high heat to desired thickness.
4 medium ancho chiles
1 cup cooked and seasoned black beans, well drained
1/4 cup mild goat cheese
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar, such as Vermont
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 to 3 tablespoons sliced green onions, tips and stems
beer batter (your favorite recipe)
Steam chiles 10 minutes or until pliable. Cool, slit lengthwise (making cut as short as possible), and remove seeds but not skins. Combine next 5 ingredients and stuff chiles (do not overfill). Dust chiles in flour and shake off excess. Hold each chile by stem and dip in batter. Deep-fry at 325 to 350 degrees until golden brown.
Wilted Red Chard
2 to 3 bunches red chard
2 tablespoons mild vinegar
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste
Remove thick part of chard stems. Sauté leaves with remaining ingredients until just barely wilted.
To serve, place grilled pork medallions on top of sauce, with chiles rellenos and chard to side. Guacamole garnish optional. Serves 4.
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