Land of Leftovers

I'm going to share a secret with you. Pork tenderloin is my favorite cut of meat. There are lots of reasons to love it.

  1. Its name isn't lying -- it's a delectably tender piece of meat.
  2. It's a very healthy cut of meat -- boasting the American Heart Association's food certification as a heart healthy food.
  3. Its versatility -- as you'll find out with the recipes included in this article.

Here's our special selection of recipes featuring pork tenderloin:

  • Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Blackberry Mustard Sauce
  • Simple Jambalaya
  • Oriental Bulgur Bowl

The recipes in this month's column begin with an elegant meal of grilled pork tenderloin. After grilling the tenderloin to perfection, it's served with a wonderful blackberry mustard sauce that compliments it nicely. The leftover sauce can also be paired with chicken or other meals featuring pork. Then, cubed leftovers of the tender grilled meat are featured prominently in two very different recipes.

First, a cajun-inspired jambalaya gets its kick from a veriety of peppers and its smoky flavor from leftover pork tenderloin and lean smoked sausage. It can easily be served as a meal all its own or paired with some crusty bread and mugs of chilled beer for those with heartier appetites.

Then, the rest of the leftover pork finds its way into a bulgur dish that takes its flavor cues from those in the Orient. Snow peas, matchstick carrots and shitake mushrooms all come together to make a delightful dish that's also low in fat and high in flavor. Just grab a fork -- or a pair of chopsticks -- and dig in!

As always, I look forward to hearing from you about your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the form provided at the end of this article or email me directly at . And now, on to the recipes ...

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Blackberry Mustard Sauce

You can easily make the sauce while the pork tenderloin is grilling. Make sure that you use a meat thermometer to insure that the meat is fully cooked without over cooking it.
  • 1/2 c. soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. red wine
  • 2 T. honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs. pork tenderloins
  • 1 c. fresh or frozen blackberries (If using frozen berries, thaw)
  • 1/3 c. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup
  • 3 1/2 T. balsamic vinegar

In a large resealable bag, combine the soy sauce, red wine, honey and garlic. Add the pork tenderloins and seal the bag, turning to coat completely. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

Remove the pork and prepare the grill. Cook the meat over medium heat (or 4 inches from the coals) for about 10 minutes per side or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 160 degrees. Remove the meat from the grill and let it rest 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the blackberries, mustard, maple syrup and vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat -- stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving dish. Cut the pork tenderloin into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange on serving plates and spoon the sauce over the meat.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes, plus marinating time

Simple Jambalaya

This jambalaya is easy to make and it freezes well too. To reheat frozen leftovers, try dropping a frozen block into a crockpot and adding a little water. Set it to the lowest setting and you should have a hot dinner waiting for you at the end of the day!
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 c. brown rice
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 c. chicken broth
  • 1 T. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 c. cubed pork tenderloin
  • 1 c. sliced smoked turkey sausage
  • Salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the pepper, onion and garlic. Saute until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Add the rice and continue cooking until the rice is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add the undrained tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the chili powder and cayenne pepper; reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the meat and simmer an additional 10 minutes. Check the seasonings and add salt, pepper and hot sauce before serving.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Oriental Bulgur Bowl

Finding bulgur in an orient-inspired dish is unusual, but the bulgur adds a nutty flavor as well as a serious fiber boost.
  • 1 c. dried shitake mushrooms
  • 2 c. chicken broth, boiling
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 c. snow peas
  • 1/2 c. matchstick carrots
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 c. bulgur
  • 1 c. cubed pork tenderloin
  • Chopped tomato and green onions for garnish

Rehydrate the mushrooms in the boiling broth and soy sauce. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a skillet coated with cooking spray, saute the snow peas, carrots and pepper. Add the bulgur and saute an additional 5 minutes. Add the liquid from the mushrooms and bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer for 7 minutes.

Chop the rehydrated shitake mushrooms and add them and the pork tenderloin to the skillet. Cook an additional 5-7 minutes or until the mushrooms and meat are heated through.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 35 minutes