Sunday, August 24, 2008

Garlic Sesame Pork Tenderloin

This will be short, since I've got a kitchenful of activity today - making veggie quiche for my work lunches this week, making chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting for Cutie, and getting turkey burgers* in the freezer since I ran out. My friends have all assured me there is absolutely nothing fun going on at all today, anywhere, so I'm not missing a thing.

Garlic Sesame Pork Tenderloin

Get a large Ziploc bag and measure the ingredients directly into the bag. It's silly to dirty a bowl when all you're going to do is put it in a ziploc, anyway.

1 tablespoon honey
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil - this really does have to be sesame oil and not vegetable or canola
4 cloves garlic, minced - take the papery skin off and either chop finely OR smoosh through a garlic press
2 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark, it doesn't matter)
1 tablespoon dry sherry or white wine - this is not an essential ingredient and you can skip it if you wish. Adding it gives a little more depth to the marinade, but if you don't drink or won't ever use the rest of the bottle, don't bother
3 - 4 scallions, chopped - scallions are those long, thin green onions; they burn easily. You'll use this for garnish, so you don't have to chop these right now or add them in the Ziploc.

Add all ingredients into the bag, tightly close the bag, and shake vigorously to combine all ingredients.

Add the pork chops or pork tenderloin to the bag. Marinate 3 hours in the refrigerator; this is not a hard & fast timeline. You can easily let this go for 10 hours with no problem if you wish. Try and flip the bag over once an hour or so to make sure all of the meat gets immersed in the marinade.

Either grill the tenderloin OR bake it in a 450-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

THROW THE MARINADE AWAY. It is unsafe to use for anything else now that it has flavored raw meat for several hours.

If you're using the oven method, the easiest way I've found to do this is to take a cookie sheet with sides or a large-ish baking dish and line it with foil. Put a wire rack on top of the foil, spray it with cooking spray or vegetable oil, and put the meat on the wire rack.

Insert a meat thermometer halfway into the thickest part of the meat. When it reaches 160 degrees it will be pink but safe to eat; at 170 degrees it's thoroughly cooked.

When done remove from the oven and let the meat "rest" for five minutes or so. Without this resting period the juices will flow out too freely when it's cut and you'll quickly end up with dry meat.

And that's what I love about this recipe - the food does all the work. Mix up the marinade, and let the meat sit in it for hours. Take it out of the oven and let it sit for ten minutes.

Slice and serve!

*I'm using the Confetti Burgers recipe posted on July 4, with a twist. On Friday night Sweetie and I threw some vegetables on the grill and called it dinner. The leftover pieces of grilled squash, carrot, and red pepper have been finely diced and are going into the turkey burgers.

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