Saturday, August 27, 2011

Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin and Garlic Lemon Farro

One night this week, I made Ina's delicious Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin. It is featured in Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, on p. 126.  Below is a picture of the ingredients that we started out with.  For this recipe, I only used 2 tenderloins, and I cooked them on the grill instead of in the oven, because it is just too hot right now to fire up the oven.

I have to go off on a little tangent here.  A lot of people think that pork loin and pork tenderloin are the same thing.  The fact of the matter is that they are not.  A whole pork loin weighs about six pounds.  A whole pork tenderloin weighs about one and a quarter pounds.  Both are nice lean meats.  Pork loin is mostly white meat, where as pork tenderloin is dark meat.  Dark meat is wonderful for grilling, because it doesn't dry out as quickly as white, and is therefor much more forgiving if you have to chase down your toddler in the middle of cooking and it goes a little longer on the grill or in the oven.  I encourage you to try dark meats.  The next time that you want to grill up some chicken try the boneless skinless thigh in place of the boneless skinless breast.  You might just be pleasantly surprised.

So back to the recipe.  I started the tenderloins on a blazing hot grill to sear the juices in, and then dropped the grill back to about medium high.  The total cooking time for the tenderloins was about 20 minutes, and then I let them rest for about 8 minutes.  When I cut in to the tenderloins, there was a small amount of pink right at the center of the loin, which is how I like it.  If you don't want to see any pink, just cook it a little longer.  Here is the tenderloin on the grill.  I forgot to take a picture of the finished product.

Beautiful grill marks.  While the pork tenderloin was on the grill, I had a pot of farro going in the kitchen.  I just cooked a cup of farro according to the package directions, with a pinch of salt in the water.  In a medium bowl, I squeezed the juice of one lemon, and added a tablespoon of olive oil, a chopped clove of garlic, a pinch of salt, and a grind of fresh black pepper.  I stirred the farro in, and added a bit of chopped parsley.  That is really all there is to making the farro.  Here is how the finished product looks.  If you are a fan of tabbouleh, you will like this farro.

I served this meal simply with a spinach salad and some steamed broccoli.  It was delicious and I will definitely make it again.  I really like herbaceous recipes.  I have thyme, rosemary, parsley, mint and basil growing in my garden (read that as my hanging baskets).  There has been a lot of research lately showing that herbs are nutrient dense more so than regular greens, so please use them liberally in all your dishes.  The marinade for the pork would be wonderful on chicken or even fish (with a shorter marinating time).  If you upped the rosemary, it would be delicious on lamb as well.  The recipe was another winner in our book.

Thank you Ina for the simplicity of this wonderful recipe!!

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