Pork and Brine:
2 whole pork tenderloins
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp. ground black pepper
15 ounces water
3 ounces kosher salt
3 ounces sugar
1 sprig each sage, rosemary, thyme
4 cloves garlic
2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
15 ounces ice
1 cup red quinoa
2 cups water
½ pound bacon, cut into small lardons
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. minced shallot
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 T. sherry vinegar
2 T. parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1 T. thyme leaves
½ cup sun-dried bing cherries
¼ cup red wine
Brining the Pork:
1 Combine all of the brine ingredients, except for the ice, and bring to a boil, making sure that all of the salt has dissolved. Pour the hot brine over the ice. This will cool the brine quickly and dilute the salt content.
2 Trim the pork tenderloins of any sinew or excess fat. Once the brine is fully cool, submerge the pork into the brine. Allow to brine, chilled, for 2-3 hours. While the pork is on brine, prepare the quinoa salad.
Quinoa Salad and Pork:
1 Plump the dry cherries by soaking them in the red wine for approximately 2-3 hours and drain.
(Wine can be reserved for a later cooking use.)
2 In a medium sauce pot add the 2 cups water and 1 cup quinoa with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook according to manufacturer’s instructions. Once the quinoa is fully cooked, drain and remove to a tray or plate. Toss with half of the olive oil and allow quinoa to cool to room temperature.
3 Cook the bacon in a medium-sized sauté pan over medium heat until rendered and fully crisp. Add the shallot, garlic and thyme to the pan and sauté briefly. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the sherry vinegar.
4 Quickly add this bacon mixture to the cooked quinoa, along with the drained cherries and the chopped parsley.
5 For the pork, preheat a grill pan or prepare a charcoal or gas grill. Remove the pork from the brine, pat dry, rub with the 2 teaspoons olive oil and the ground black pepper and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Grill on all sides until medium well, approximately 15 minutes total.
Remove from the grill to a carving board and allow to rest.
6 To serve, divide equal portions of the warm quinoa salad onto serving plates, slice the pork and place on the quinoa salad.
Enjoy with a glass of Ziata Pinot Noir