Saturday, May 28, 2011
This Little Piggy Pork Tenderloin
Raise your hand if you've ever gotten to the point you don't know if you're pitching or catching... That's what I thought. Everyone reaches that point at one time or another. That's the way it's been for me the last few weeks. I've been slammed at the office, spent four days out at a conference and am training some new folks. Then, there's the house... Painting the house reached the crisis point this year. The south wall was peeling. Time to quit dithering over whether we do it or hire someone. Time to quit dithering over changing the color and paying for two coats or keeping the color relatively the same and adding shutters. And, before we have the house painted, how many windows have wood that's failing which means replacing windows? And, the carpet in the screened porch? At probably 30 years old, it's seen better days. I wasn't really excited about my sweetie being up on scaffolding scraping and painting. And, I don't have time to be of much help. So, we got quotes. The plan was that the screened porch would be torn apart and fixed up the first week. Then, the windows would be replaced followed by the house painting - all within the span of about a month. That was well over a month and a half ago. The monsoons hit. Rain every day. Nothing was happening. My house looks like, umm, well, you all can fill in the words here. Let's just say there isn't a room in the place that's nice and neat and tidy. And, it's driving me nuts. Now, on top of everything, I had the brilliant (well, it seemed that way at the time!) idea that as long as we had all of the knick-knacks packed away and the wall stuff safely stored in the attic and the furniture moved out from the walls, we might as well paint the interior. So, thanks to my wonderful brother, Ken, and Porter Paints we got a lovely discount on the best paint in the world. I'm not sure how many gallons are in the garage but there's a stack of them. And, this weekend it's finally time to start painting! Rumor has it that if it doesn't rain all next week, I'll get my screened porch back AND the painter will at least do the interior of all the windows. Whew! That'll be one home maintenance task that won't have to be repeated. Thank goodness!
Needless to say, cooking has taken a backseat to everything else. I've made a few fun dishes but most of the recipes I've marked to try have been cooling their heels on the desk. Finally, Friday evening arrived. Connie wasn't playing bridge because his beloved Boston Bruins were playing in the Stanley Cup playoffs. That meant I didn't have to worry about a quick dinner and could actually make something new. I'd been thinking about this pork tenderloin recipe from Big John's Speedway Grill and decided it was a perfect time to make it.
What did we think? Had I not goofed and used onion salt instead of onion powder, this would've been awesome. As it was, it was a bit salty. But, the flavors were still incredible. I'll absolutely use the grape leaves to wrap meat again. I'm thinking next time with chicken stuffed with feta... The other comment I'd make is that the rub stuck to the grape leaves and not the tenderloin. So, be sure to serve the grape leaves under the tenderloin slices.
This Little Piggy Pork Tenderloin
4 T dried thyme
4T dried crushed rosemary
4 T dried basil
4 T lemon pepper
1 t garlic powder
1 T onion powder
2 c water
2 lemons, juiced
20 grape leaves
2 pork tenderloins - 1 to 1 1/2 lbs each
roll of butchers twine soaked in water or grilling bands
Heat your grill or start your charcoal. Here's Connie's Crankshaft moment:
Squeeze the lemons into the water.
Soak the grape leaves in the water for at least 10 minutes. Pat the tenderloins dry. Lay the grape leaves out on a cutting board.
Pat the rub onto the tenderloins. I wound up sprinkling a bunch of the rub on the grape leaves. Wrap the tenderloins and secure the leaves with the twine or grilling bands.
Grill over medium heat until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 125 for medium rare. Turn them once at about 7-8 minutes. Let the tenderloins sit for 10 minutes after removing them from the grill.
Serve over the grape leaves.
Thanks to Big John's Speedway Grill for yet another fantastic recipe!