Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Yay for grilling season! Yay for pork tenderloin! Yay for Alton Brown and this awesome recipe! Can you tell that I'm excited about this? Can you tell that my cheerleading skills are lacking? I once filled in as a cheerleader for my elementary school of 100 kids. Just one time. Probably because someone was sick. I can't think of any other logical reason anyone would have asked me to stand in front of a crowd and cheerlead with my marginal coordination and rhythm. That's the extent of my cheerleading experience. But, I've got spirit, YES I do... Today the weather is a little nasty, a backslide into winter. But on the day we grilled this pork loin, it was gorgeous. I'm looking forward to a whole summer of outdoor cooking.
I had a pork tenderloin left in my freezer from the Tuscan Style Tenderloin that I made last month. "Sunny and mild" was in the forecast, so I began searching for grilled tenderloin recipes. There are a whole lotta delicious sounding grilled pork tenderloin recipes out there, but this one caught my eye because the marinade called for chipotle chilies in adobo sauce and I just happened to have some in my fridge, leftover from that Spicy Black Bean Soup that I also made last month. I'd been thinking about ways to use them up, so this recipe became the front runner in my search.
You want to begin by making the marinade. You need the zest of one lime and 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice.
I keep forgetting that one scrawny lime never yields as much juice as I need. I squeezed and squeezed and didn't even come close to 1/2 cup.
Grapefruit to the rescue again! Remember my recent lime subtitution in the salsa for my Bacon, Spinach, and Salsa Wraps? Grapefruits make lots of juice. Yay for grapefruits!
Now squeeze in some honey.
And some garlic powder.
Pour the concoction into a container or a jar with a lid and shake it like a Polaroid picture...or until well combined. : )
Pour half of the marinade into a large, resealable plastic bag and put the other half in the fridge for later. Now for those Chipotle chilies...they've got enough of a kick that you just need one.
I cut it into pieces and added it to the marinade.
Then, I smooshed it around a bit to release the flavor.
Next, I dropped in my trimmed pork tenderloin, made sure it was coated with marinade, and sent it to the fridge for about 8 hours. You can marinate this overnight if you think about it early enough.
Grill time! You can see the instructions and my notes below.
While my husband grilled the tenderloin, I made a little aluminum foil basket.
Once the tenderloin reaches 140 degrees, put it in the custom made foil nest and pour the rest of the marinade over the top. Now wrap it up tight and let it sit for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle with some chopped cilantro.
This was grilled and rested to perfection!
Spoon a little of the juices from that foil nest over the top. Oh my goodness! Best grilled pork loin that I've ever had! The addition of the grapefruit actually gave this a subtle orange taste. Well...I guess it was a grapefruit taste, but you know what I mean, right?
Grilled Pork Tenderloin
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2009 copied from The Food Network website
Prep Time:20 min Inactive Prep Time:6 hrs Cook Time:15 min Level:
Easy Serves:4 servings.
•1 whole pork tenderloin, approximately 1 pound
•1 lime, zest finely grated
•1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
•1/4 cup honey
•1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
•1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
•1 chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce
•1 teaspoon vegetable oil
•1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Trim the pork tenderloin of any excess fat and silver skin.
Place the lime zest, lime juice, honey, salt, and garlic powder in a small, lidded jar and shake to combine. Pour half of the marinade mixture into a 1-gallon resealable bag, add the chipotle pepper, and move around to combine. Add the pork tenderloin to the bag and seal, removing as much air as possible and place in a container to catch any leaks. Marinate in the refrigerator for 6 to 24 hours, rotating the bag halfway through the time. Place the remaining marinade in a covered container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Remove the tenderloin from the bag and allow to sit at room temperature while preparing the grill. Remove the reserved marinade from the refrigerator.
Fill a large chimney starter with natural lump charcoal and light. Once the charcoal is ashy and white, approximately 30 minutes, dump the hot charcoal onto the lowest grate of the grill and spread into an even layer using extra-long tongs. Place the cooking grate back on the grill and cover with the lid; heat the grate to medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
Brush the grill with vegetable oil. Remove the tenderloin from the bag and place in the center of grate. Discard bag with marinade. Cover and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, turning every 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until the tenderloin reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.
Remove the tenderloin from the grill and place on a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil folded at the edges to create a basket, and pour on the reserved marinade. Wrap tightly and rest for 10 minutes. Remove to a cutting board and slice. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
My notes: 1) I used 2 tablespoons of lime juice and the rest was freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice. 2) We followed the grilling instructions exactly...at first. Then, it seemed a little silly to turn the tenderloins every 90 seconds. It was taking too long to get them to the correct temperature. We ended up letting them sit a little longer between turns.
For a printable copy of this recipe click here!