The holiday’s are finally over, and for me that’s really a good thing since I’ve been eating pork (in its various forms) non stop from Thanksgiving through New Years. Our family is from the South, and in the South for the holiday’s pork is king. We also took a vacation to Puerto Rico for almost 2 weeks in December and I think that the Puerto Rican’s received the same “pork is king” memo that us Southerners did because I really think that I might actually be on pork overload. I’ve vowed that I will not eat another fattening pork shoulder, ham, fried chunk or sparerib for at least a month (and I’m a porkaholic so after awhile I will be going through withdrawal). I’m sticking to (in the words of Dr. Oz), 2 legged and no legged animals ie. chicken, turkey and seafood (non fried of course).
I always go through this every January 3rd, after my New Years left overs are finished and I’ve assessed the damage that I’ve done to my waste line, and within 2 weeks I generally cave because, did I mention it before? I’m a porkaholic. But this year I think I’ve found the perfect compromise, a way for me to sneak in pork this month…Pork Tenderloin! Weighing in at 39 calories an ounce it’s only 6 more calories an ounce than boneless, skinless chicken breast and a heck of a lot more flavorful. Don’t get me wrong, tenderloin doesn’t have the flavor of a slab of ribs, but compared to a dry piece of chicken it will do just fine. The trick to making a really good pork tenderloin is to not over cook it, and to get it hormone and antibiotic free. Tenderloin should either be grilled or roasted at a very high temp (450F) until an instant read thermometer reads 135-140 degrees. If you have gone past 140 degrees you will have a leathery piece of pork. Let the pork rest for at least 10 minutes to let the juices redistribute and then slice on a bias against the grain (the center should be pink and moist). Pair it with a mango chutney or a cherry compote and it’s actually pretty delicious. A nice change if you are trying to “watch your figure” after overindulging for the past month!