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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Honey Sesame Pork Tenderloin

My lovely cousin, Shelley Sheppard, submitted this recipe for the cookbook, and it sounded so delicious. I love every ingredient that is in this dish --- and we all know I love pork. I love it so much that I feel like the need to write a haiku about it:
Cooked, cured, smoked
I love it all so.
My dear swine.
Here are the ingredients:

1/2 cup soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. grated fresh ginger
1 T. sesame oil
1 - 1.5 lb. pork tenderloin
1/4 cup honey
2 T. dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup sesame seeds

First, mix the soy sauce, garlic, ginger and sesame oil in a large plastic bag. Marinate tenderloin in it for at least 2 hours, preferably all day. My ziploc bags were too small, so I went with this plastic container. I put the pork in the marinade before I went to sleep, so it was very well-marinated when i cooked it for dinner the next evening. This picture is kind of gross, but I figured I'd show it anyway. I would normally write what I think this looks like, but I am trying to get you to cook this, not throw up.
Preheat oven to 375. Combine honey and brown sugar in a shallow bowl. Speaking of "honey" and "sugar," I've been in a bad habit of calling people this at work lately. I am pretty sure it's considered inappropriate, possible even flirtatious, at the office but it's just fun to say it with a southern drawl, a la Scarlet O'Hara. Do it! See? Told you so.

Remove tenderloin from marinade and pat dry with a paper towel. Roll tenderloin in honey mixture, then roll in sesame seeds. Shelley wrote that she normally leaves off the sesame seeds, but since I had them in my cabinet, I figured I would use them.

Roast in a shallow pan for 20-30 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 160. You can also grill it, which is what Shelley does. Unfortunately, there is no grill in my apartment, so I had to take a trip to Oven-City. Let the meat rest a while after taking it out of the oven or off the grill to let the juices redistribute. This is one of the hardest things to do, but you should do ANYTIME you cook meat. I know how hard it is not to cut it right away and dig in, but seriously, don't! You'll lose all the delicious juices...and then you'll be sad. Like, cry like a baby sad.

Don't be frightened by the picture below: No pans were harmed in the making of this meal. It's just "suga" and "hunay" - an overnight soak and it came right off.

I served this wish some squash and some leftover rice from the night before. It was very flavorful, but I think the tastes of the grill might make it a bit better than the oven, so if you have that option, go with the grill. Also, I would toast the sesame seeds next time to add more flavor.

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