September 2, 2008

The Result: Mustard Herb-Crusted Pork Tenderloin

The Mustard Herb-Crusted Pork Tenderloin was really good. It is very similar to another recipe that I have for Herb Crusted Pork Loin (the difference being a Pork Loin is a larger, different cut of meat...not the same thing as a tenderloin). I liked the addition of the mustard mixture, but I would have to say that a little fennel seed goes a long way. It has a strong licorice or anise type of flavor, and can be overpowering if you use too much. If the fennel quantity indicated in the recipe was any more than 1/2 teaspoon, it would have totally ruined the dish. I would probably recommend a little less than 1/2 of a teaspoon, just to be on the safe side. With that said, I do think that the fennel added a more complex dimension to this dish and I would not subtract it all together. Just be careful!
The cooking time was perfect, the meat came out tender and juicy and just tinged with a pinkish hue in the center...perfectly cooked! With carry-over cooking during the resting period, it was just right. Another important point, don't skip the 10 minutes of rest time before cutting. During that period,the juices have a chance to redistribute and make the meat absolutely succulent. So yummy!
The store bought breadcrumbs and Parmesan worked out just fine. I don't think the other ingredients could have made this recipe any better, and I saved a step in the process. Also, I would recommend my idea of using a rack in a roasting pan. The bottom crust would have gotten really soggy from sitting in the pan drippings; if the meat was not elevated on that rack.

For the veggies, I chose brussel sprouts which are not my favorite. The husband loves them. I choke them down because I know they are good for me. I have noticed that the large brussel sprouts seem much more bitter to me. Sometimes, I actually don't mind them (the small ones) and I think "hey, these are okay". Then, on nights like tonight, I just wanted to spit them out (the large ones). Ugh. I seriously think that there is a direct correlation between the size of the brussel sprout and the bitterness quotient. It is very scientific! The husband thinks I am crazy...he doesn't think that they are bitter at all. I guess we just have different palates. He hates feta cheese and coconut...I love feta cheese and coconut. I do not like brussel sprouts...brussel sprouts are his favorite vegetable (my favorite is asparagus, in case you were wondering).

Overall, this is a keeper. It was much easier than my other recipe, and the additional components of mustard and fennel totally enhance the flavor of the pork. I love that this dish was so satisfying and still considered healthy. My other pork loin recipe has a lot more fat and calories. I think this is a great substitute, without any sacrifice. This is another great Cooking Light recipe, for sure!

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