Pork Tenderloin with Corn Spoonbread - Feb 4th, 2009

I have discovered that my childhood dislike of pork was just that, a childhood dislike! Now that I know how to cook pork properly, I've found a wonderful addition to my library of figure-friendly proteins! Plus, pork is SO easy to cook, and takes flavors really nicely.

This is my own recipe, so I can actually write it down for you!

Seared Pork Tenderloin

14 oz Pork Tenderloin, trimmed of all visible fat
1 1/2 Tsp EVOO
1 Tsp Cumin
1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper (adjust to taste)
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 350degrees.

Pat the surface of the tenderloin, so that it isn't wet. Moist is ok, but we don't want a lot of surface liquid. Sprinkle all sides with salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne, and then rub to get it nicely stuck.

Using an OVEN PROOF saute pan, large enough to lay out the tenderloin, heat the oil over medium-high heat until you see the teeniest, wispiest little bits of smoke just over the surface of the oil. You need to look closely, as they're not super-visible, and you don't want anything to catch on fire!

Lay the tenderloin into the pan, preferably starting closest to you, and laying away from you, in case of any splatter. Sear each side until nicely brown, which is usually about the time that the meat will release easily from the pan.

Once the meat is seared, insert a meat thermometer into the middle of the meat. Remember that you want the tip of the probe in the middle of the tenderloin, not touching the pan, or that will give you incorrect readings. Pop the pan into the oven, and set your thermometer to (or watch for) 150degrees.

Once the meat has reached that temperature, take the pan out of the oven (remember, the handle will be HOT! Please use an oven mitt!), and tent the pan with aluminum foil. Leave the meat tented until the internal temperature reaches 160degrees.

Slice the tenderloin into 4 equal servings, and then slice each serving into 3-4 slices.


On the side of this, I served WW Corn SpoonBread, and Brussels sprouts.

As for the WW Corn Spoonbread, it was relatively easy to cook. You ended up having to do a couple of things at once, but if you get your ingredients organized, it ends up being relatively steamlined. This does bake for about 45 min, so it's a good recipe to make first, and then get your meats and veggies prepared.

I really enjoyed the spoonbread, but it isn't my favorite kind of cornbread. I actually generally prefer a drier cornbread, the kind you would make in a loaf pan, or muffin tins. This was dense, and moist, and rich, enough so that you didn't need butter for either the richness or the moistness. (My first instinct when it comes to cornbread is gobs of butter; my second, maple syrup.)

I have to say, there's nothing quite as fun as pulling something tasty looking out of the oven. You bake this in a souffle dish (or, in my case, a small casserole), and it comes out looking crusty and golden, with a beautiful domed top.

The recipe called for turkey ham, and I omitted that. (What part of the turkey does the HAM come from, anyways?! Really people...) I knew that the leftovers would probably be used for desserts, and I'm trying to stay away from as many pseudo-foods as I can.

I actually found this cornbread a bit TOO rich and moist. One serving of this is good, but I had 2 with the pork and while I enjoyed about the first 3/4, I found that by the end, it just wasn't as good. Also, because the recipe calls for kernel corn as well, you really need to make sure to eat it really hot, if you're going to have it plain.

On the 5th, after the smoked salmon pizza, I had the Corn Spoonbread as a dessert, topped with maple syrup. This is what I'd highly recommend this cornbread for. If you reheat the cornbread, letting it dry out a bit, and then top it with the sweet, slight bitterness of real maple syrup, it's a really wonderful treat! I mean, maybe that's just my fondness for maple talking, but the cornbread was a perfectly lovely vessel. I still have another serving left, and I'm looking for another excuse to eat maple syrup.... er.... cornbread!

Chantel's Ratings:

Ease of Preparation: 3.5/5
Appearance: 3/5 (but can be improved by proper presentation)
Taste: 4/5

Ease of Preparation: 3/5
Appearance: 4/5
Taste: 2.5/5

Hubby's Ratings:

Cornbread: 1.5/5 - The Sweet Corn overpowered the already weak Cornbread taste. Not even butter and maple syrup could save the palatability.

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