We started with something on the grill, because that is his comfort zone.
One of my favorite recipes for pork loin called for it to be rolled in herbs, then seared and browned before being finished in the oven.
I thought this recipe would be a great adaptation for the grill, because after covering the meat with herbs, you wrap pancetta around it, adding another layer of pork and sealing the herbs in a crispy crust on the grill, before finishing it on indirect heat.
And it is a great idea, with one problem. The pancetta slices were too thin and small, so that even though they were secured around the meat with kitchen twine, they quickly fell off into the grill when my husband tried following the directions of turning "frequently."
Part of the problem was turning it before it was cooked. But I also think it would work better with prosciutto, which would wrap more securely, or even thick-cut bacon.
The method added a lovely layer of flavor to the pork tenderloin, and provided a crispy crust, while keeping the meat juicy and moist inside. So, I think we'll try it again, and hopefully add one more go-to dinner to the list.
MICHAEL: OK, who says one can't live on lasagna alone? I can certainly live off it for a week at a time, anyway. And I also can make French toast. And I can grill stuff. But being married to the food editor, folks, is intimidating. Her standards and skills have soared in the last decade, while mine, well, let's just say I'm still in culinary kindergarten.
So I have decided to play along, to confront my fears. And it was like grade school. I got to cut up the fresh spices with her fancy scissors, and measure them out in little cups, and mix them all together with olive oil to make the herb sauce (?) that we spread on the pork. It was fun. She also whipped together a great salad of fresh zucchini and we sat ourselves down to a wonderful dinner - no kids!
Pork Tenderloin Wrapped in Pancetta
Makes 4 servings
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
4 teaspoons herbes de Provence (a mix of thyme, fennel, rosemary, oregano, tarragon, and marjoram)
4 teaspoons olive oil
2 pork tenderloins (about 2 pounds)
Freshly ground pepper
16 slices pancetta,
prosciutto, or bacon
1. Stir rosemary, herbes de Provence, and oil in a small bowl. Rub all over pork; season with salt and pepper.
2. Wrap pancetta (or prosciutto or bacon) slices around pork and tie at 2-inch intervals with kitchen twine to hold together. Cover and chill. (Can be made one day ahead.)
3. If using a charcoal grill, build a medium-hot fire; push coals over to 1 side of the grill. If using a gas grill, heat all but 1 burner to high.
4. Grill tenderloins over hot part of grill, turning, until a crisp brown crust forms on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. (If you try to turn the meat and it sticks, let it cook a bit longer, until it pulls away easily.)
5. Move tenderloins to cooler part of the grill to gently cook through; cover and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of each loin registers 145 degrees, 15 to 20 minutes longer.
6. Transfer tenderloins to a cutting board. Let rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.
Per serving: 336 calories, 40 grams protein, trace grams carbohydrates, no sugar, 18 grams fat, 114 milligrams cholesterol, 720 milligrams sodium, no dietary fiber
- From Bon Appetit
Contact Maureen Fitzgerald at 215-854-5744 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Twitter@mydaughterskit. Read her blog, "My Daughter's Kitchen," at www.philly.com/mydaughter.