Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tenderloin of Pork

On a cool Thursday evening in late August, I found myself at a crowd-free Costco. Wow! This doesn’t happen too often. No crowd at Costco? 

I thought to myself, “Is the store about to close?” “Is this Super Bowl Sunday?” I glanced at my watch, noticed it was only 6pm and realized, “No dummy, it’s only Thursday.”  (And the Super Bowl isn’t until, like, October.)

Pushing the massive cart up and down the aisles, I looked around for any sort of inspiration. Holiday décor was beginning to appear. “Maybe they will have some fabulous wrapping paper or some interesting Christmas lights.” Then, once again, I realize it’s Costco. In my view, they rarely have anything fabulous

I picked up a few necessities, like a 24-pack of croissants (believe it or not they’re very good and even better when warmed and browned in a 425 degree oven for about six minutes), a block of Tillamook cheese and some organic greens.

In the meat department, peruzing the 25-pound packages of meat and poultry, I stumbled upon pork tenderloin. I’m intrigued. I think to myself, “Pork tenderloin is delicious, grills perfectly and is just right for dinner any night of the week.” I toss one into my cart and off to checkout I go.

I prepared the pork tenderloin simply, using a balsamic-rosemary marinade I discovered in the recipe section of my favorite kitchen store’s website.

Into a ziplock bag went some balsamic vinegar and olive oil (two pantry staples,) a few shakes of a good quality low sodium soy sauce, a bit of brown sugar, some chopped fresh rosemary (direct from my herb garden,) a couple cloves of chopped garlic and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper. 

I placed the pork in the bag with the marinade and zipped it tightly shut. After giving the bag a couple shakes, I put the bag in a bowl to rest for two hours.

About a half hour prior to cooking, I ignited the outdoor grill and brought the temperature up to a scotching hot 600 degrees.

After I removed the tenderloin from the bag, I dried off the pork with a paper towel or two. Placing it on the oiled grill grates, I turned the meat several times until the outside was charred evenly and the internal temperature read 140 degrees farenheit.

Once the tenderloins were ready, I removed them to an oval French white porcelain platter and covered them with aluminum foil for about 10 minutes. 

I sliced the tenderloin thinly on a diagonal and served it on a basketweave patterned French porcelain plate with roasted asapargus spears and a tumbling of baby red potatoes. A sprig of fresh rosemary added a nice little touch for the photo.

As I began to savor the tender, succulent, perfectly cooked meat, I realized I hadn’t added ANY salt. Oops. The small amount in the low-sodium soy wasn’t sufficient for seasoning. Nevertheless, a small sprinkling of Maldon saved the day, and the meal. Dinner was delicious. 

Pork tenderloin is fantastic any night of the week and it’s elegant enough for a dinner party. Next time, impress your guests or the in-laws with pork tenderloin: It’s what’s for dinner.

Cheers,  Brad

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