(I will edit this post to add pictures as soon as my computer that has all of my lovely images on it is functional again. In the meantime, use your imagination.)
I'm on a bit of a healthier eating kick lately. Watching my calorie intake and all that jazz to shed a few unwanted pounds that have snuck their way on to my hips. You know what? It works. I'm not a dieter. Never have been. But being aware of what I'm putting in to my mouth has really helped me cut out the junk. I was mildly appalled the first few days I tracked and realized how often I walk by the pantry and snag a treat in passing. I don't believe in giving up good food - just working on portion control. Tonight I roasted a pork tenderloin, served with a side of these lovely crispy roasted potatoes and a simple salad of mixed greens, oranges, strawberries and easy (lowfat) citrus poppyseed dressing. Total calories for my plate were around 700 for the meal and it was delicious and filling.
You'll need to plan ahead a couple of hours to allow the meat to marinate, but otherwise the hands on prep time is pretty short - less than 20 minutes. Butterflying and pounding the tenderloin, then browning it before finishing it off in the oven yielded very tender results. I fully intended on putting a diced pear in the stuffing but got distracted and forgot...feel free to add it yourself :).
Marinated Cranberry Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Two pork tenderloins, around 1 pound apiece (mine came packaged together, and they are each about the size and length of a woman's forearm)
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 red wine vinegar
1 t. kosher salt
1 T. raw sugar (or brown sugar)
1" of fresh ginger root, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
several grinds of pepper
Mix all ingredients in a gallon ziplock bag, then place the tenderloins in, squeeze the excess air out, flip it over a few times until the meat is well coated and place in the refrigerator. Marinate for at least an hour, preferably a few hours.
1/2 cup minced purple onion
1 T. olive oil
1 cup day old sourdough bread crumbs (I pulsed three slices in my food processor)
2 T. julienned fresh sage leaves
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup craisins
kosher salt and pepper to taste
Sautee the onion in olive oil until it begins to soften. Stir in the bread crumbs, craisins and sage leaves, and just enough broth to moisten it. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Prepare the tenderloins by butterflying each one lengthwise. Lay a piece of saran wrap on top then pound with a meat mallet until it reaches an even 1/2" thickness. Grind some pepper over the exposed surface of each piece, then divide the stuffing in half and spoon it down the middle. Fold the meat over the filling and secure with toothpicks.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, heat 2 T. olive oil. Sprinkle a little more kosher salt and pepper over each tenderloin, then brown the top and bottom of each in the oil, cooking for about 2 minutes per side. Place the tenderloins on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, until an instant read meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.
Remove from the oven and loosely tent with foil for about 10 minutes before slicing to allow the juices to settle. Lightly drizzle a tablespoon of real maple syrup over each tenderloin, then slice into 1" thick slices to serve.
This was the perfect dinner for a cold and dreary spring day. Enjoy!