Sunday, October 1, 2023

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Lime and Ginger Marinade


And ... just like that ... summer disappeared.

In its stead, we are left with a few tomatoes lingering on withering vines. Maybe some stubborn green peppers. Marigolds are wonderfully bushy--even voluptuous, gorgeous, providing camouflage for monarch butterflies who pin themselves to their gowns like broaches.

 But, for the most part, the garden is done. Floral and veggie.

It's all about big-ass bounty. No-nonsense pumpkins. Grenade gourds. Chrysanthemum explosions.

We head indoors to decorate and to garden new recipes. 

Recipes that are a bit hardier. Substantial. Less light.  -burgs and -dogs on the grill wing it South like snowbirds.

Hence,  this recipe.

I have had this particular recipe since the late 90's when it was quite the hit, a child of the now sadly-defunct magazine "Gourmet." The Internet picked it up, in particular, the then-newbie and popular "Epicurious

I made it often, particularly in the summer ... But then I ended up in North Carolina where grills are not allowed in apartment complexes. I tried it without, but you do really need one. Even in the dead of winter.

I had thought this was on my blog but discovered I had mistakenly erased it. I have another pork tenderloin recipe and both begin with the word "marinated." I haphazardly must of nuked this one. I apologize to all who would have tried it. Loved it. Now is your chance.

Don't be put off by the combination of lime and ginger. It's wonderful. 

Please note: this calls for a pork tenderloin, not a loin. Those are two separate cuts of meat. 

I have never felt inclined to make the marmalade. It's up to you  . . . Serve with rice* and a fresh, green veggie such as asparagus or broccolini. Also great with grilled pineapple slices.

I usually half this recipe. Be sure to taste the marinade. I like to be able taste the lime. Some people add a bit of honey or sugar. I never have.

  • 6 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Cayenne to taste (I use Aleppo pepper)
  • 4 pork tenderloins, about 3/4 pound each, trimmed of silver skin and flabby parts. If they have a long "tail," I fold it over and secure with a toothpick. Or just cut it off to make a uniform loin.

To make the marinade: 

In a blender, or small food processor, blend marinade ingredients with  salt and pepper to taste. I like to be able to taste the lime.

In a large, sealable plastic bag, combine pork with marinade. Seal bag, pressing out excess air, and put in a shallow baking dish or on a plate to catch any leakage. Marinate pork, chilled, turning occasionally, at least one day--I've kept it up to two days.

Prepare grill.

Let pork stand at room temperature about 30 minutes before grilling. Remove from marinade, letting excess drip off, and grill on an oiled rack set 5-6 inches over glowing coals, turning every 5 minutes, until a meat thermometer register 160 F, 15-20 minutes. (I prefer 140-145 with just a bit of a blush in the center.)

Transfer meat to a cutting board and let stand 5-10 minutes. Slicing is individual preference and depends on the number of people you are serving. They recommend 1/2-inch slices. I don't really like thick slices or "chunks." You do you.



Marmalade: Warning, lots of stirring . . .

I have never made the marmalade, so I can't really vouch for it one way or another.

  • 1 1/4 lbs. yellow or red onions, chopped fine (about 4 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 fresh jalapeño chilies, seeded and minced (wear rubber gloves
  • 2 tablespoons honey or sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 water

In a large, heavy skillet, cook onions in oil with salt and pepper to taste over medium heat, stirring, until softened. Add Jalapeños and cook, stirring, one minute. Add honey or sugar and cook, stirring, one minute. Add vinegar and simmer, stirring, until almost all liquid is evaporated. Add water and simmer, stirring, until mixture is slightly thickened and onions are very tender, about ten minutes. Season marmalade with salt and pepper. Maybe made two days ahead and shilled, covered. Reheat before serving.

*If you have access to Stonewall Kitchen products, I highly recommend their Citrus Rosemary Sauce to use with the plain white rice. It has a "pineapple" vibe and it's something I mostly always keep on hand because it is so versatile.