Peppery Pork Tenderloin
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Total time: 2 hours 15 minutes; active time: 5 minutes
PORK TENDERLOIN is a year-round favorite in our home, both for everyday cooking and for special occasions. But somehow pork seems most compatible with the flavors of fall: apples, caramelized onions, roasted squash, and, in this month's menu, Gingered Sweet Potato Puree.
The tenderloin (see "Pork Tenderloin Basics") is a lean cut that requires little preparation and cooks quickly. In fact, the only problem you might encounter with pork tenderloin is its tendency to dry out when overcooked. You can avoid this problem if you marinate first, cook quickly with direct heat, and use an instant-read thermometer to test for doneness. Then just whip up the sweet potatoes and bok choy, and you have a fall menu that's easy enough for everyday, yet elegant enough for special guests.
-- Judy Feagin
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- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup Italian salad dressing
- 1-1/2 to 2 pounds pork tenderloin
- 2 to 3 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
Instructions:Combine soy sauce and salad dressing in a shallow dish or a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Add tenderloins. Cover or seal; chill at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours, turning occasionally.
Remove tenderloins from marinade, discarding marinade. Place tenderloins on a lightly greased rack in a broiler pan. Rub pepper over surface of pork. Broil 4 inches from heat, 5 to 6 minutes on each side, or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of meat registers 155°. Let stand 5 minutes under a tent of aluminum foil. Slice tenderloins into 1/4-inch slices.
Note: To grill pork tenderloins, grill over medium-high heat about 20 minutes, turning once, or until meat thermometer reaches 155°. (Be sure the lid covers the grill.) To roast pork tenderloins, bake at 450° about 25 minutes, or until meat thermometer reaches 155°.
Gingered Sweet Potato Puree
- 4 large sweet potatoes (about 3 pounds)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- Garnish: fresh chives
Instructions:Yield: 4 servings
Total time: 55 minutes; active time: 10 minutes
Pierce sweet potatoes several times with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 450° 45 minutes or until tender; peel.
Beat potatoes and next four ingredients in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Garnish with chives.
Note: Gingered Sweet Potato Puree can be prepared ahead of time. Spoon into a lightly greased 2-quart baking dish. Cover and refrigerate. To reheat, bake at 350°, uncovered, 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Braised Baby Bok Choy
- 4 heads baby bok choy, cut in half
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- Pinch of salt
Instructions:Yield: 4 servings
Total time: 10 minutes; active time: 5 minutes
Saute half of the bok choy in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 1 minute or until lightly browned. Set aside. Repeat with remaining bok choy. Return bok choy to skillet. Add broth and salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute or until tender.
Pork Tenderloin Basics