Weekly Winner:  Pretty As a Picture Pork

Since my job is cooking for other people, and some of those other people are good friends, it’s sometimes difficult to make something quick, easy and new for them when getting together. Chances are anything I’ve prepared they’ve had before or I just wind up throwing the same old burgers, steaks or ribs on the grill.  So last weekend when we were headed to friends for a cookout and I offered to bring the main dish, I wanted something new and different (and of course, I wanted to impress just a bit too).  But I also didn’t want to slave away preparing it (the cooking of said dish wouldn’t be a problem  – if a grill is there, the cooking responsibility falls to hubby).  I just had to get the dish ready.

As I was looking through recipes for something new (or at least new to them), along came this little gem:  Apple-and-Pepper-Layered Pork Tenderloin. Bingo!  We have a winner!  The recipe is from Chile Pepper Magazine and while it looks super fancy and dare I say even a bit fussy, it couldn’t have been easier to prepare.  As usual, I made a few tweaks to the dish.  First of all it calls for yellow jalapeños.  I have never seen a yellow jalapeño and since jalapeños in general can be a bit unpredictable as far as heat is concerned, I substituted poblano.  The recipe also says to alternate layering the apples, peppers and the prosciutto. Really?  that would mean only every third slot would get prosciutto and that just didn’t seem right.  This dish needed more pork-on-pork action.  I alternated between the apples and peppers but every slot got prosciutto, because, well… why not??  Finally the recipe calls for a 2-1/2 pound pork tenderloin.  I opted for two 1-1/4 pound ones and it worked perfectly fine.

Next time you want something different to throw on the grill, or you want to impress without the work, this is your meal.

Apple-and-Pepper-Layered Pork Tenderloin

Serves 6

Ingredients:

2-1/2 lb pork tenderloin (or two, 1-1/4 pound tenderloins)

1/2 Tbsp dried marjoram

1/2 Tbsp dried sage

1 tsp dried thyme

1 Tbsp dried oregano

1 Tbsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 of your favorite apples

3 yellow jalapeños, seeded and membranes removed and sliced lengthwise (or 1 large poblano seeded and deveined and sliced)

4 oz prosciutto

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the grill to 425F
  2. Cut slits across the pork tenderloin, about 1/2 inch apart, leaving about the same distance from the bottom to keep the tenderloin together
  3. Combine all the dry spices in a bowl.
  4. Drizzle the pork with the olive oil, then rub the spices into the pork, including in between the slits.
  5. Alternating the ingredients, stuff the slits with the apples, peppers and prosciutto
  6. Grill for 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 140F. Let rest for 5 minutes then serve.
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