A while ago I picked up a cube of guava paste at the ol’ grocery store.  An impulse buy, I must say.  I had no idea what to do with it, but it seemed intriguing, so into the cart it went.  Into the cabinet it went when I got home.  And there it has been sitting – until today.  I decided it had sat on the shelf long enough.

In doing recipe searches, I found a lot of ideas for sweets and desserts, but I was thinking more on the savory side.  I had to dig, but I finally found a really good one!

The recipe is for a guava basted pork tenderloin with a jalapeno cilantro salsa.  The tenderloin sounded good, the salsa didn’t, so I made my own.

Guava-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

  • 1tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 7 ounces guava paste, chopped (3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • Two 3/4-pound pork tenderloins
  • Cilantro sprigs, for garnish

Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate. heat, stirring, until softened, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low. Add the guava paste and water and cook, stirring, until the paste has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce, ketchup and cayenne. Season with salt.

Set the pork tenderloins in a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish and brush them all over with half of the guava glaze.

Light a fire or heat a grill pan over moderate heat. Grill the pork, turning and brushing with the remaining glaze, until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer the pork to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil and let stand for 10 minutes.

Fruit salsas are one of the easiest things in the world to make… Just about any fruit will work – peaches and plums in season are my favorites.  I really love them on grilled pork or chicken, and they work really well with chips, too!

Fruit Salsa

  • 1 nectarine
  • 2 plums
  • 1 small can pineapple in juice
  • 1 small red onion
  • cilantro
  • jalapeno peppers to taste
  • salt and pepper

Finely dice all ingredients and mix.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

So I had the main part of the meal and was thinking of a rice dish when I stumbled upon a Cuban black bean and rice dish that translates to “Moors and Christians” for the obvious reasons.  It actually became the focal point of the meal, with the pork and salsa taking supporting roles.  It was really, really, really good.  Easy to put together – I had all the necessary ingredients – and nicely spicy.  I can see myself making this one again.  And again.

Black beans and rice is a popular Cuban dish said to bring good luck when eaten on New Year’s Day. In fact, this recipe is eaten often as a side dish. In Spanish, the dish is called Moros y Cristianos or Christians & Moors, with the black beans representing the dark-skinned Moors and the white rice representing the lighter-skinned Christians. It is fast and easy to make in less than 30 minutes.

Moros y Cristianos

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans or 1-1/2 cups cooked dry-packaged black beans rinsed, drained
  • 2 cups broth (chicken, beef, vegetable, or water)
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Saute onion, bell pepper, garlic, cumin, thyme, crushed red pepper, and bay leaf in olive oil until onion is tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir in rice, tomatoes, black beans, water, vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

The dinner really was fun, with lots of different flavors.  I like the spice, but you can turn down the heat really easily.

Yep.  Definitely a keeper.