November 6, 2008

Mustard Herb-Crusted Pork Tenderloin

I found some pork tenderloin on sale for a great price at our local mega-super grocery mart. They were buy one get one free (or half price, if you want to get technical). I am just discovering all the yummy possibilities associated with cooking pork tenderloin. I like the idea of a two for one sale, since I can use the extra one for experimentation purposes. There are so many good-sounding recipes out there, and I will have plenty of options for selecting something new to try in the near-future. I figure I will make this recipe today, and save the second hunk o' meat for another application.
In reviewing my past blog notes, it seemed that we really liked this recipe a lot. It is originally from Cooking Light, and in my experience, you can never go wrong with Cooking Light. Ever. Never. Ever. At any rate, I am excited to have this particular dish again. I think I am going to pair this dish with some cous cous and asparagus. Yum!

Mustard Herb-Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients:
1 (1/2-ounce) slice white bread
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons grated fresh Romano cheese OR Parmesan
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1 garlic clove, minced
Cooking spray

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450°.

Place slice of bread in a food processor, and pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1/4 cup.

Combine the breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, cheese, and 2 teaspoons thyme in a shallow dish. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Combine Dijon mustard, fennel seeds, and garlic in a small bowl. Rub pork with mustard mixture, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture.

Place the pork on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160° (slightly pink). Let stand for 10 minutes. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces pork)

CALORIES 184 (30% from fat); FAT 6.2g (sat 2.3g,mono 2.7g,poly 0.4g); IRON 1.6mg; CHOLESTEROL 72mg; CALCIUM 72mg; CARBOHYDRATE 4.6g; SODIUM 351mg; PROTEIN 25.8g; FIBER 0.4g

Cooking Light, JANUARY 2007

Jen's Notes:
There are a couple of adjustments that I will make to this dish to suit my needs. I have dried herbs, instead of fresh...so I will probably reduce the quantity of the strongly flavored herbs, like fennel (only 1/2 to 1/4 teaspoon of fennel, at most). I will use Parmesan Reggiano in place of the Romano cheese, because I have Parm in the fridge. This time I do have homemade breadcrumbs, so I am excited to see the difference in flavor from the store bought ones I used the last time. Finally, I think I will bake my tenderloin in a roasting pan with a rack in the bottom. My notes from last time indicated that the bottom would have been a soggy mess if I did not use a roasting rack.



The Result:
I am mad. I am mad because this took TWICE as long to cook, this time. When I pulled it out after 25 minutes, it was literally so raw the temperature did not read on our meat thermometer. I got mad at the thermometer (it was crappy and unreliable) and made the husband throw it away. Then, I put it back in for another 15 minutes and it still was not done. At this point, I was able to cut an end piece of for my son and microwave it until it was cooked all the way through. I did not want to deal with a cranky, hungry toddler so we just fed him separately and waited for ours to finish cooking. I put the tenderloin back in the oven again, for another 10 minutes. Still rare to medium rare. Not good for pork. We decided to just bite the bullet and eat it anyway. We carved it and heated our pieces in the microwave so it was at least edible and not raw. Finally, while the husband and I were eating, we put the other half of the roast back in the oven to finish (another 15 minutes)so he could at least have some food for lunch tomorrow. Sheesh!
On a positive note, the flavor was good. I think the issue with the cook time may be that I used a different roasting pan this time. It has higher sides, and I think the meat was not exposed in the oven to the full cook temperature. That is the only thing I can think of...everything else I did was the same. The last time I made it the cook time was perfect. Ugh. The asparagus and cous cous was really yummy. Unfortunately, the whole meal was overshadowed by wrestling with uncooked pork. A total buzz-kill, to say the least!

1 comment:

claireknightly said...

I often have issues with pork cooking time, too. It drives me crazy!! I've had it take up to 45 minutes longer than a recipe said before. Will ends up with chicken nuggets or grilled cheese on those nights.