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Seared Pork Tenderloin with Smoked Paprika and Oregano
In the Extremadura region of Spain that is home to pimentón de la vera, or Spanish smoked paprika, we were taught that exposure to high heat blunts the spice’s unique earthiness, smokiness and notes of fruit and tobacco. This recipe illustrates how to best preserve pimentón’s unique flavors when searing is involved: the paprika is mixed with olive oil and then brushed onto butterflied and pounded pork tenderloin only after the meat has been browned in a hot skillet. Spanish smoked paprika is available in different degrees of spiciness. For this dish, if you have the choice, opt for sweet (dulce) or bittersweet (agridulce).
01In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, smoked paprika, dried oregano and sugar; set aside. Halve each tenderloin crosswise, then halve each piece lengthwise, stopping about ¼ inch short of cutting all the way through; open the meat like a book. Using a meat pounder or mallet, pound the pork to an even ¼-inch thickness, then season each piece all over with ½ teaspoon salt.
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