Memorial Day grilling: pork tenderloin
Memorial Day is a day for parades, picnics, and firing up the grill.
A typical Memorial Day in our northeastern Connecticut town brings old and new residents together, for the East Woodstock Jamboree. Classic cars pass through the streets, carrying the likes of the local World War II veterans. And don’t forget the bicycle parade for the children in the area. Leading the parade is the East Woodstock Cornet Band, founded in 1893 and a staple for most events in the area – they are a big hit at the Woodstock Fair on Labor Day Weekend.
This is the normal morning routine on Memorial Day in my hometown. In the afternoon, we grill up a feast.
Grilling in my family is pretty basic – hotdogs, hamburgers, and occasionally some grilled veggies. The grilled meal is considered the easy answer on a hot day in order to escape a too-hot kitchen. But outside of adding a few spices to our hamburgers actually preparing a meal for the grill is a relatively new concept.
Southern food maven Paula Deen has passed on her love of cooking to her sons, Jamie and Bobby. They have released a new cookbook this spring to help hapless cooks navigate the backyard grill for outdoor parties, picnics, and tailgates. To Jamie and Bobby everything tastes better outdoors and their casual language and humor in “The Deen Bros. Get Fired Up” will encourage even the most basic of cooks to try adding new flavors and seasonings to "hunks of meat" (their words). But this doesn't mean the recipes don't require some focus – preparation is the main ingredient in "The Deen Bros. Get Fired Up." You can check out their website and recipes here.
With plenty of great recipes, the Deen Bros. offer some good ways to make this summer a bit more exciting. My wife, a vegetarian, is especially looking forward to try the “grilled buttery pound cake,” the “smoky grilled guacamole,” and the “zesty grilled veggie sandwich.” And even though I thought the preparation was slightly complex, everyday cooks, may actually find the recipes simple and easy to follow, which is what most reviewers on Amazon noted.
I tried out the Herb-Rubbed Grilled Pork Tenderloin. The tenderloin came out great, but the preparation was not as easy as I thought it was going to be. I had fun, but the overall process took a little time. If you’re thinking about this meal for Monday, you may want to think about preparing a bit on Sunday night.
Be mindful of the time on each side, each grill is different, especially if you are using a charcoal grill. I definitely would recommend this recipe – it’s a great dish that can be paired with some grilled veggies, a cool beverage, and some sunshine.
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1-1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins
Using a mortar and pestle or the flat side of a knife, mash the garlic with 1 teaspoon of the salt until it forms a paste.
Transfer the garlic paste to a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil, vinegar, sage, rosemary, thyme, pepper and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt.
Smear the mixture all over the pork. Transfer the pork to a bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. Let come to room temperature before grilling.
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat, and brush the grate with oil or spray with nonstick cooking spray – (I used grilling tin foil).
Transfer the pork to the grill. Close the cover and cook, turning once, until a dark golden crust forms on the pork and the meat is just cooked through, 7 to 9 minutes per side.
Let the pork rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
– Kevin Curley is a Monitor contributor.
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