Tropical Pork Tenderloin cooks with bright island heat, it's the spice rub that makes this one of my long-time favorites. The pork stands alone but is designed to pair beautifully with Tropical Salad Supper, salad greens tossed with a citrus vinaigrette, fresh-sliced mango, sweet peppers and avocado. Be sure to cook an extra loin or two, the meat is extra-good later, sliced thin for sandwiches or a great protein-rich snack.
“Meat makes me nervous,” a new cook confided. His nervies don't apply to drive-through food, as amply evidenced by an expanding waistline and elevating credit card debt.
We talked it through, how to cook meat safely. He soon proudly reported, “I’ve cooked meat twice. It’s not that hard!” He’s right. With a few tips, it’s easy to cook meat safely.
IN THE GROCERY STORE Starting at the grocery, keep meat separate from other items. At the meat counter, slip it into nearby plastic bags. At check-out, ask for separate sacks.
ONCE HOME At home, thaw meat in the fridge or (especially vacuum packs) submerged in cold, not warm! water.
WASH YOUR HANDS! Wash your hands with soap before cooking, then again each time after touching the raw meat. This can mean several hand washings so designate one towel for drying.
SEPARATE RAW MEAT Once a cutting board, platter or knife touches raw meat, don’t use it again until cleaned in hot soapy water. I use two boards, one for trimming the meat (then straight into the dishwasher), another for veggies and later slicing the cooked meat.
MEAT THERMOMETER Get a meat thermometer! The new ones chime when the right temperature is reached. This is the meat thermometer I've used for many years, available on Amazon, used for everything from a piece of chicken to a whole bison!
CLEAN-UP After supper, use a fresh dishcloth to clean the counters, stove and knobs, faucet, microwave handle, fridge door and anything else you may have touched. For good measure, use a second dishcloth and wipe again with hot water primed with a tablespoon of bleach or the ever-so-convenient disposable bleach wipes. Then send the dishcloths and towels to the washing machine.
TROPICAL PORK TENDERLOIN
Time to table: 40 minutes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound pork tenderloin
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
(Wash your hands!) Preheat oven to 350F. Heat a large, oven-proof skillet on medium high, then heat olive oil. (If your skillet has a wooden handle, wrap it in two layers of foil.) While skillet heats, mix spices in a small bowl. With your hands, rub the spices over the meat. (Wash your hands!) Sear meat (see ALANNA’s TIPS), turning occasionally, for 4 – 5 minutes.
Combine glaze ingredients and pat atop meat. Place skillet in oven for 20 minutes or until a meat thermometer reaches 145F. Remove skillet from oven, cover with foil for at least 3 minutes. (Should Cooked Pork Be Pink?) Slice thin on the diagonal and serve immediately.
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