Dividing up the Neapolitan ice cream can be a real three-way tug of war. The tension builds throughout the meal as to who will be the first to pick out their favourite flavours and leave the dregs to the plebs.
The Chocolate fiends are the type who aggressively attack with a spoon to get their fix. The Strawberry fans use their seductive powers to lure the ice cream over to their spoon. The Vanilla hoarders are puritans, but they use their sense of entitlement to demand their vanilla share.
Here is a recipe for everyone to enjoy eating a little bit of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla... but it's not for dessert, it's the main event it's...
Cocoa pork tenderloin, roast strawberries and vanilla potatoes*
1 large Pork tenderloin
½ cup Cocoa powder
1 oz Brandy
20 Fresh or frozen strawberries, shucked and left whole
½ red onion, finely diced
Drizzle of oil
good pinch of salt
Just a little splash of balsamic
2 large russet potatoes
¾ cup heavy cream
½ Vanilla bean, split and scraped
good pinch of salt
2 Tbsp Butter
Preheat oven to 425˚F.
In a baking dish combine strawberries and diced red onions. Drizzle with vegetable oil and sprinkle on the salt. Toss a bit to coat evenly with oil. Blap them into the oven and roast until the strawberries just get slightly brunt on the tips.
When the strawberries are just slightly burnt on the tips, remove from oven and splash on the balsamic. Serve warm or room temperature with pork (put any leftovers on a sandwich with brie the next day).
Peel and quarter the potatoes and put them in a large pot. Cover with cold water and get the potatoes on to boil. Bring them up to just about a boil and reduce heat so it doesn’t boil violently and rough up the potatoes.
In a small pot combine cream, vanilla and salt. Bring to a simmer, shut off the heat and let the vanilla flavour infuse.
When the potatoes are fork tender, drain and put them back into the pot to let off some steam for 5 minutes.
Run the potatoes through a ricer or a mouli into a large bowl. Remove the vanilla pod and mix the cream into the potatoes.
Cocoa pork tenderloin
In a bowl combine cocoa powder, brandy and pepper to form a loose paste. Brush or rub the surface of the pork tenderloin liberally with the cocoa paste.
Get a frying pan on the stove over medium heat and let it get nice and hot for at least 5 minutes. Sear the pork on all sides to add colour (be careful not to burn the cocoa) and transfer the whole thing directly into the oven. Cook until the middle of the tenderloin registers 145˚F. Remove from the oven, transfer to a cutting board, cover loosely with tinfoil and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Get a nice ice cream scoop of potatoes on the plate, drizzle around the strawberries and place a lovely piece or two of pork tenderloin on top. Sprinkle a little finishing salt and some pepper on top.
Serves 4 as long as nobody fights over the flavours.
* If you are nervous about pairing these flavours on the dinner plate, just give it a try and you will be pleasantly surprised with the flavour combination. They work beautifully together in this savoury application.