Sunday, July 17, 2011

Grilled Chipolte Lime Pork Tenderloin w/ Mango Salsa

Personally I was skeptical about the mango in the salsa, at heart I am a tomato girl, but the taste is surprisingly amazing.  I was actually expecting this recipe to be an "in your face" bold flavor experience, but all the flavors came together more as a perfect melody than any one standing out.  Hot rice topped with cold crunchy salsa and the juicy pork makes this dish so delicious.  This meal is also very healthy, to make it even more healthy you can swap the white rice for a whole wheat, or other grain. 

The mango blends with the rest of the salsa flavors to balance it all out- salty, tangy and sweet.  It is just the "sugar" of the salsa, because a lot of salsas do have a little sugar added.  If you are still doubtful about the mango, try a bite of it with the mango, and if you don't like it, have a tomato standing by to substitute in.  But believe me it is worth trying- I bet you will be pleasantly surprised.

A little bit about pork tenderloin: it comes in cryovac and has two pieces- because there are two tenderloins in each pig.  It is a very lean cut with practically no fat, but when you get it you can clean it up a little bit if needed.  One thing you will need to do is remove the "silver skin" it will never break down and is tough and inedible.  Since I didn't take pics of this you can refer to this video to help with that How to Trim Fat from Pork Tenderloin

  • 2 ears of grilled corn (or about 3/4 cup of frozen thawed)
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped (color of your choice)
  • ½ red onion chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 mango diced
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp of cumin
  • about 2 tablespoons of EVOO
Just mix all ingredients in a bowl and put in the fridge until you're ready to plate.

Prepare any rice you like. I used jasmine rice- 3/4 cup of rice to 1 ½ cups of water with 2 chicken bullion cubes. Combine all in a pot, bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for about 20 mins.

Pork tenderloin:

I marinated the pork for about 6 hours- in the morning I put it together and by dinner time it's good to go. 

  • 1 lime, juiced and zested
  • 2 small garlic cloves minced
  • 3-4 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 chipolte in adobo chopped
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • couple grinds of fresh black pepper
 In a ziplock bag mix all the ingredients together and then add the pork. Put in the fridge. Longer it sits the better, but even 15 minutes will be better than nothing.

When cooking time comes, preheat your grill or grill pan to high. Put the pork on the grill* and as for the leftover marinade (if you feel comfortable doing this, some people are a little sketchy with the bacteria- but as long as you marinated the pork in the fridge the bacteria did not become immune to heat so as long as you boil it you're fine) add a cup of water to the ziplock and then pour it all out into a sauce pan.  Boil this mixture for ten mins- it will reduce and that's what we want (if it is reducing too much just add more water).  When the pork is cooked through to 140 degrees, make a tinfoil pocket and pour in the reduced marinade, then add the pork and seal it up.  This is called a post marinade- it just adds even more flavor.  Let this sit for ten minutes.  Then slice and serve over the rice and salsa! Enjoy!

Tinfoil pocket

*grilling time can vary.  I would say at least 15 mins.  I had a pork tenderloin that was about 1½ lbs. I was always unable to really judge the doneness of meat, so if you are good with knowing cook time and internal temperatures then wonderful, but if you're like me- invest in a digital probe thermometer (or regular meat thermometer) and you can guaranteed yourself a good piece of meat every time.  There is nothing worse than overcooked dried out meat.  When you use the thermometer, just make sure it is inserted into the thickest part of the piece of meat.

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