Saturday, July 5, 2014

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

Summertime and the living is....HOT! Yes, summer is here and the heat is on. I don't know about anyone else, but when summer hits, I hate cooking indoors. The kitchen gets too hot, baking is definitely out of the question, and some foods just don't taste good during the summer. Besides, I love grilling! Who doesn't want to use the grill, especially during the summer?

Right now, there isn't much in either the refrigerator or the freezer, but I did find a 1.5 lb portion of a pork tenderloin we'd frozen some time back, and I found a recipe for grilled pork tenderloin that wasn't "pork choppy": Balsamic Pork Tenderloin. This looked easy and much faster than most marinated meats, so I decided to give it a try. The recipe calls for 1 lb pork tenderloin, 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon snipped fresh rosemary, 2 cloves minced garlic, 3/4 teaspoon black pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Mix 1/4 cup of the vinegar (reserve the remaining 1/2 cup to make a glaze later), oil, rosemary, garlic, black pepper, and salt in a bowl, put the tenderloin in a large bag, and pour the vinegar mix over the pork. Close the bag and allow to sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour (or longer, if you wish).

I don't have fresh rosemary or garlic, so I used 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder instead. Here's what the pork looks like when it's done marinating:

The instructions from Diabetic Living say that you should prepare your grill for indirect grilling over medium heat and to have a drip pan to collect the drippings, however, I didn't have anything that I felt was suitable to put on the grill, so I simply wrapped the pork in foil. I have to say that if you cook the pork over the flames but have the meat covered in foil, I'd suggest lowering the cooking temperature even further, say down to low, so the meat does not dry out too fast. Either way, cook the meat for approximately 40 minutes or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 155 degrees F. Here's the pork after it's cooked: 

Once you've started the meat, prepare the balsamic glaze. Take the 1/2 cup vinegar, pour into saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for the next 5 minutes. You should have about 1/4 cup vinegar left. 

When the meat reaches the 155 degree mark, brush all sides of the pork with the glaze and grill for 1 minute more. Remove from grill, cover with foil, and wait 15 minutes, during which the pork's temperature will continue to increase. Slice and serve!

I had some leftover rice and green beans, plus I made some corn (pork and corn always seem to taste good together!), so this made for a nice meal with an easy clean-up!

I don't always like vinegar based dishes, and balsamic vinegar has a very distinctive taste. Yet, this was good, and fairly easy. My biggest suggestion if you try to make this is to watch the meat closely the first time you make it. It's very easy when cooking on a grill to over cook your food and end up with something dry and tasteless, especially if you're trying something new. 

According to Diabetic Living, a 2 ounce serving of this pork should have 126 calories, 4g total fat, 54mg sodium, 4g carbohydrates, and 16g protein. 

Till next time, happy eating!

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