Week 1, Day 1 of My Eating Well Challenge. This meal was absolutely fantastic. The pork was super-juicy and the flavor of the rub did not overpower that of the pork. The only thing it needed was more salt. But it is the watermelon salad that is going to become a household recipe. If you invite me to a barbecue this summer, it’s what I’ll be bringing. It is bright and interesting, savory, sweet and refreshing.
Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin
From The Essential EatingWell Cookbook
View the recipe and nutritional info. at EatingWell.com.
Makes 6 servings.
The bright fresh taste of a watermelon and cucumber salad makes a sensational counterpoint to the fiery spice crust on this succulent pork tenderloin. It’s important to brown the meat before roasting, since this cut cooks too quickly for the surface to brown and caramelize in the oven. Grill enthusiasts may omit the stove-top browning (Step 3) and grill the tenderloins over medium heat, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes.
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt
2 teaspoons chile-garlic sauce
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed
4 cups Sweet & Tangy Watermelon Salad (recipe follows)
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
2. Mix sugar, coriander, cumin, salt, chile sauce and 1 teaspoon oil in a small bowl to form a smooth paste. Rub the paste over the pork.
3. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork; cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the baking sheet.
4. Roast the pork until just cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes (an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center should register 155°F). Let stand, loosely covered with foil, for 5 minutes. (Note, my tenderloin was thin – it only took about 15 minutes in the oven, so watch carefully. -taetopia)
5. Meanwhile, make Sweet & Tangy Watermelon Salad. Carve the pork into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Serve with the watermelon salad.
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar (I cut this to 2 teaspoons. -taetopia)
2 cups diced seeded watermelon
2 cups diced cucumber
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, toasted
Stir together vinegar and sugar in a medium bowl until the sugar almost dissolves. Add watermelon, cucumber and cilantro; toss gently to combine. Just before serving, sprinkle with peanuts.
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