Friday, January 1, 2010

The Dawning of a New Year

This will be quick, y'all - it's January 1 and I've got to get busy on organizing my house, losing 12 pounds, finding serenity throughout the day, being more understanding...

Mom grew up in central Pennsylvania, which was predominantly settled by Germans. In fact, my Civil War ancestor fought in the Pennsylvania German Regiment. A lot of the traditional family favorite foods in that area are heavily influenced German dishes. And Mom inflicted pork and sauerkraut on us every New Year's Day for "luck." Which always made me think the new year would suck, as I had once again failed to dodge the sauerkraut.

If pork is part of your New Year's Day tradition, here's a terrific Asian-inspired pork tenderloin recipe. Seriously, this stuff is the bomb. I like to serve it with rice noodles (an Asian New Year tradition) and snow peas.

The original recipe is written for the grill and involves hickory chips. You can get the original recipe here; my version is below.

Hoisin and Bourbon-Glazed Pork Tenderloin
Cooking Light, 2002

1/3 cup hoisin sauce (you can find it in the Asian section of a regular supermarket)
2 TBSP rice vinegar (rice wine vinegar is fine)
2 TBSP bourbon
2 TBSP maple syrup (we didn't have any - honey worked fine)
1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon chili paste with garlic (not essential - I wouldn't go out and buy it just for this recipe)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 1-pound pork tenderloins
Salt & pepper, cooking spray

Mix all ingredients (except salt, pepper, and cooking spray) in a large Ziploc bag, or whatever you use for marinating meat. Add tenderloins and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, coat the foil with cooking spray, and place tenderloins on sheet; dispose of marinade. Salt and pepper the tenderloins. Roast for 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the pork is 155 degrees.

Note: tenderloins usually have a thick end and taper sharply at the other. I generally end up whacking off the "tail" and removing it from the oven between 5 and 10 minutes before the rest of the pork is done. That way, all parts of the pork are done without any parts being overcooked.

Happy cooking in 2010!

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