Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Recipe: Crisp Roasted Pork Tenderloin on Farfalle

     I've been in central Illinois for about six years now and have noticed we have some signature regional foods. One is the Horseshoe. I'll get into that another day. The other is the pork tenderloin. We have a fair amount of pig farms (we have one right up the highway that you can smell if the wind is right), so quality pork products are readily available.
     Keep in mind, when you hear "tenderloin," you may not be thinking of the tenderloin I am thinking about. There is the pork tenderloin that is also known as the "pork fillet."

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Pork tenderloin/fillet
     Then there is the Midwest tenderloin. This kind of tenderloin is just a thin slice of pork. It's similar to a wiener schnitzel. Tenderloins down here are generally served on a bun or horseshoe, heavily breaded and fried and drowning in a sea of gravy/cheese/mayonnaise. Mind you, that's not a bad thing.

Pork tenderloin sandwich
     Why am I bothering with this distinction? Well, the recipe for today calls for the bigger pork tenderloin, not the sandwich cut. However, I went ahead and used sandwich cuts because it was what I had in the house and I was too damned lazy and cheap to get the right ingredient.

     I managed to locate a fairly healthy pork tenderloin recipe in the McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant Cookbook. Go figure I'd find a good pork recipe in a seafood cookbook. Just make sure to plan ahead for this dish; the pork needs to marinate overnight. It's a nice, light alternative to the tenderloin gut bombs that are normally offered around here.

Crisp-Roasted Pork Tenderloin 
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped green onions, both white and green parts
  • 1 cup corn oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4T grated lime rind
  • 2T freshly grated ginger
  • 2T soy sauce
  • 1/2t salt
  • 1/2t ground white pepper
  • 2 small pork tenderloins (I used six sandwich tenderloins)
  • Vegetable oil spray
  • 1 1/4 cups plain bread crumbs
  • 2T finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2T finely chopped green onion
  • 1 pound dry fettucini, linguini, or spaghetti, (we used farfalle)
  1. Combine onion, oil, lime juice and rind, ginger, soy sauce, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Lay the pork tenderloin in a baking dish and pour half of the liquid mixture over all of the meat, turning to coat evenly. Cover the dish and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Reserve the remaining mixture for the pasta.
  3. Preheat oven to 450F. Lightly spray baking dish with vegetable oil spray.
  4. In a pie plate, combine the bread crumbs, parsley and green onion. Stir to mix and set aside.
  5. Remove the tenderloins from the marinade and wipe off the excess. Pat dry with a paper towel. Coat the meat with the bread crumb mixture. Place the pork in the prepared baking dish and roast approximately 30 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 140F (cooking time will be less if you go with the sandwich tenderloins; I nearly burned mine when I didn't adjust for the thinner cuts of pork).
  6. While the pork is roasting, cook the pasta per package directions and toss with remaining marinade. Allow the pork to rest for a few minutes, then cut into 1/2 inch slices and lay over the pasta.
Serves 6.

Good times!

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