Friday, August 10, 2012

Southeast Meets Western Frontier: Herb-Roasted Pork Tenderloin

An Herb-Roasted Pork Tenderloin is a hardy dinner treat especially when you include the root vegetables like celery root, turnips, ginger and carrots.  Top it all off with some cornbread and fig preserves, and you have a complete home-cooked meal.  **I set the smoke alarm off four times with this dish**

Step One:  Gather ingredients.

Root vegetables, tenderloin and cornmeal.
I used the following ingredients:
  • 1 whole celery root, peeled and diced
  • 1 whole parsnip, peeled and diced
  • 3 whole carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 whole turnip, peeled and diced
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Skim milk to thin cornmeal batter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin
  • Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup fig preserves
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Step Two:  Prep Oven at 425 deg F
Pre-heat oven at 425 deg F.  When cooking at this temperature, there is a good chance you will set off the smoke alarms.  Toss vegetables with a pinch of sea salt, black pepper and sugar; and tablespoon of olive oil.  (The sugar will keep vegetables like turnips from having a bitter taste.)  Let these bake 15-20 minutes until slightly browned.  Keep the fan on to help prevent smoke alarms.  After removing the pan of baked vegetables, place a seasoned cast iron skillet in the oven for 5 minutes to melt the butter.  (To this pan, add the cornmeal batter consisting of the cornmeal, flour, egg and skim milk, and bake 45 minutes.)

Step Three:  Keep a George Foreman Grill on Standby
Once again, the George Foreman to the rescue.
The seasoned pork tenderloin should have baked in 15 minutes, but I didn't find this to be the case.  It was still pink and runny inside so I took it out of the oven (smoking of course) and placed it on the George Foreman grill for 6 minutes.

Step Four:  Spread Sweet and Sour Sauce
Kinda like sweet and sour pork tenderloin.
I mixed the fig preserves and apple cider vinegar into a sauce and spread it onto the pork tenderloin while it was still hot. 

Step Five:  Final Serving Dish
Sliced and served over veggies.
I sliced the pork tenderloin and served it over the baked/roasted vegetables.

Step Six:  Momma's Cornbread
Mini-cornbread skillet.

Ree's recipe originally called for fried cornmeal cakes, but my palate prefers non-greasy cornbread.  This skillet size cuts nicely into 6 slices.

184 cal/ 18 g carbs/ 3 g fat/ 20 g protein per 3 1" servings

340 cal/ 38 g carbs/ 10 g fat/ 23 g protein plus cornbread

  1. While the pork tenderloin stores well (for a week), I would recommend serving it immediately.
  2. The cornbread stores well in the refrigerator and re-heats well.  (followed of course with butter and preserves or honey or molasses... ;)
  3.  BEWARE- SMOKE ALARMS happen with this recipe! 

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