4/1/11

Easy Week Night Meal

I'm always looking for recipes that are easy enough to make on a weeknight but nice enough to serve to company.  This meal meets all of these criteria.

Pork tenderloin can be intimidating.  I will admit that it looks disgusting in the packaging - a long tube of slimy, raw pork.  The pre-seasoned Hormel pork tenderloin is only slightly less disgusting-looking.  If you can get past the initial repulsiveness of it, pork tenderloin is not a bad option.

Pork tenderloin is a lean meat which means there is not a lot of fat to keep the meat moist during baking thus making it easy to overcook.  To avoid  an overcooked, tough tenderloin, I highly recommend using a meat thermometer.  Cook the tenderloin to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.  I used to think that, like chicken, a pork tenderloin shouldn't have any pink in the center if it were cooked correctly.  I was so wrong.  As long as the pork reaches 160 degrees, no more and no less, it will be perfect.

This recipe for pork tenderloin is quick and easy, and it is delicious.  This recipe will definitely be on the menu again soon.

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 Island Spice Pork Tenderloin
Ingredients:

For the spice rub:
2 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 pork tenderloins (about 2-2½ lbs. total)
2 tbsp. olive oil

For the glaze:
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tbsp. (2-3 cloves) finely minced garlic
1½ tsp. Tabasco sauce (I used Texas Pete.)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Combine the salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Stir together with a fork to blend.  Pat the mixture over the pork tenderloins.

Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof 12-inch skillet (I used my dutch oven.) over medium-high heat.  Place the tenderloins in the skillet and brown on all sides, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes total.  Remove from the heat, leaving the pork in the skillet.
 
Stir together the brown sugar, garlic and Tabasco in a small bowl until blended.  Spread the mixture evenly over the tops of the tenderloins.

Place the skillet in the preheated oven and roast about 20 minutes, until an instant-read themometer inserted in the center of each tenderloin registers 160˚ F.  Loosely tent the skillet with foil and let stand 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Source: from Annie's Eats, adapted from Pennies on a Platter, originally from The Gourmet Cookbook

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