Currently cooking out of Simple Weeknight Favorites from America’s Test Kitchen
Around our house, it’s all chicken, chicken, chicken until I make something like this dish, and I remember how much I like pork tenderloin. Just as easy to prepare as chicken, pork tenderloin is mild and tender and goes good with just about anything. And, most importantly, it makes great leftovers.
You start this dish off by combining freshly squeezed orange juice, orange marmalade and ginger in a small bowl. Part of this mixture is set aside for the pork. The rest of the liquid becomes the basis for the carrot salad. To make the salad you add grated carrots, cilantro, cumin, cinnamon, salt, pepper and olive oil to the bowl, toss everything together and set it aside so the flavors can meld.
To make the pork tenderloin, first you season two pork tenderloins with salt and pepper and then sear them on the stovetop until browned. Once you’ve got a nice crusty exterior on the meat, the remaining orange juice mixture is added to the skillet and the pork finishes cooking as the liquid reduces and creates a glaze for the meat. To help the meat stay juicy, the tenderloins rest for a few minutes before being sliced and served with the carrot salad.
I really liked the flavors of the orange juice with the pork. As is usual for us, I cut the amount of ginger by at least half (the recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of fresh, grated ginger; I used just over a teaspoon), and the ginger flavor was still pretty strong and a bit spicy. I’m on the fence with the carrot salad. It was a nice change of pace from simply steaming carrots, but it didn’t seem substantial enough next to the pork.
Overall, I really liked the meat (and the leftovers were fabulous). I had the meal on the table in under 45 minutes (peeling and grating the carrots took up a good chunk of time). Instead of using freshly squeezed orange juice, I think you could probably go with commercial juice (it does get cooked down), especially if you aren’t making the carrot salad. This recipe is definitely a keeper.