Thursday, August 26, 2010

Double Take: Margarita Pork Tenderloin

Remember how in Romeo and Juliet, Juliet said "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet"...this is totally true of this recipe. The name just didn't get it for me. The lime and cilantro did though. Things didn't work out so well for Romeo and Juliet, but the lime and cilantro worked very well in this recipe. Anyone for tender, flavorful pork from the grill with relatively short prep time and short grill time?...Yes, please!

Did I mention, tender? Some pork recipes can result in tough meat that is honestly unpleasant. The combination of citrus in the marinade seem to have tenderized the meat. On first taste, I thought the cilantro might have done an overpowering act. I like cilantro though, so this was not a problem for me. The next day, I reheated some leftovers for lunch. Still wonderfully juicy! Amazing. As an added bonus, the other flavors of the marinade seemed to blend into increased delisciousness. Ruthann and Kyndra are my witnesses. They liked it too. Ruthann even put it on the rare list of things she'd be interested in eating again from Ultimate Southern Living...(which if you've been reading these double takes, you'll note is a pretty short list). Yay, for a crowd favorite!


Margarita Pork Tenderloin with Green Bean Risotto


The only unrealistic part of this recipe was the serving size. Typically, I've found the recipes to be overboard on servings. In this case, their 6 servings was a scant 4 and a more realistic 3. We enjoyed the pork with the green bean risotto from last weeks post. The flavors went well together but I'm not sure I'd have enjoyed the risotto nearly as much without this pork. Without further ado, here's

How To: (from the All New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook with my notes for adaptation)

3 cloves garlic, minced
1 green onion, minced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced after seed removal
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped finely
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (This also comes in convenient squeeze bottles ...and for added oomph, try the key lime juice from the mixers section)
1 1/2 Tbsp tequila (I really think this just acted as a tenderizer. You could compensate with lime (1 Tbsp) and orange juice (1/2 Tbsp) if you prefer.)
1 Tbsp fresh orange juice (I actually used fresh but I wouldn't feel guilty using Tropicana.)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin (I'm not a big cumin kind of girl. I didn't find the flavor overpowering in this dish though. If you prefer smoky flavor, you could increase it a bit to suit your taste.)
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 (1 lb) pork tenderloins (There was plenty of marinade here for at least another pound of meat.)

Combine all the ingredients except the pork tenderloin into a ziplock bag or your marinating dish of choice. I used a 9x13 pyrex dish. It had enough room for all my meat. Slice the pork into 1" thick slices about 1" wide. Place in the marinade dish and marinate 1 hour. (This does not mean marinate before going to work. The juices which tenderize also start to cook the meat if you leave it marinating too long. Stick with 1-2 hours tops if you're having trouble pulling yourself together. You can always put the marinade together ahead of time and just toss your thawed meat in when you get home from work. )

Remove pork from marinade. Discard the marinade (Its in the recipe but I guess they want to make sure you know not to eat marinade from raw pork.)

Grill (with cover closed) on high heat (400 - 500 F) for 4 minutes on each side. (Perhaps my grill runs hot, but I was closer to medium on this and it came out perfectly.)

Closing Comments:

I feel like this recipe also reminds me of green eggs and ham. Maybe the title doesn't appeal to you (hey, maybe it does) but try it, try it and you really might like it! We did.

Disclosure:

I really do like pork cooked well. Mmmm.

Head on over to Fabulously Fun Food to see what Mel and Bender thought about this recipe.




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