Pinchos Morunos: Spanish Spice-Crusted Pork Tenderloin Bites

My non-pork tenderloin-eating son gobbled up these bites of meat! The sauce and seasoning were absolutely delicious.

This recipe was adapted from Milk Street: The New Home Cooking by Christopher Kimball. I doubled the recipe to use two pork tenderloin. We ate it with Basmati rice and green salad. Fabulous.

Yield: Serves 6

  • 1 T ground coriander
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 1 T smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 one-pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 T lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
  • 2 T honey
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 2-3 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1-2 T chopped fresh oregano
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the coriander, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper.
  2. Add the pork and toss to coat evenly, massaging the spices into the meat until no dry rub remains.
  3. Let the meat sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, in another small bowl, combine the lemon juice, honey, and garlic. Set aside.
  5. In a large skillet (I used a 14-inch skillet) over medium-high, heat 2 T of the oil until just smoking. Add the meat in a single layer and cook without moving until deeply browned on one side, about 3 minutes.
  6. Using tongs, flip the pork and cook, turning occasionally, until cooked through and browned all over, another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 140 degrees.
  7. Off the heat, pour the lemon juice-garlic mixture over the meat and toss to evenly coat, then transfer to a serving dish. (I tossed the sauce with the meat in my serving dish.)
  8. Sprinkle the oregano over the pork and drizzle with the remaining 1 T of oil, if desired. (I omitted the additional oil.)
  9. Serve with lemon wedges.
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Green Curry Pork Tenderloin

While I’m sharing delicious green sauces, I have another one to share… Thai green curry this time. 🙂 Using prepared curry paste is a wonderful shortcut, making this dish an elegant weeknight meal.

This dish comes from my favorite column, R.S.V.P., in Bon Appetit magazine. Subscribers write in to request recipes for dishes that stayed in their minds after dining out. This recipe was adapted from Root Down in Denver, Colorado. I doubled the meat and marinade, and increased the amount of garlic and the cooking time (internal meat temperature).

We ate it with steamed spinach over brown Basmati rice. I served the tenderloin over the spinach and rice so that every component was smothered in the wonderful sauce.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

For the Tenderloin:

  •  1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup (4 T) fresh orange juice
  • 2 T pure maple syrup
  • 2 T toasted sesame oil
  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 1 to 1½ pounds each)
  • coarse salt
  • 1 T grapeseed or vegetable oil

For the Sauce & Assembly:

  • 1 T plus ½ cup grapeseed or vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup prepared green curry paste
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest (from 1 lime)
  • 1 14.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 T agave nectar
  • 1 T fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, plus more for serving
  • Unsalted, roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas; for serving)
  • 1 to 2 pounds spinach, steamed until wilted, for serving
  • brown Basmati rice, for serving
  1.  Combine soy sauce, orange juice, maple syrup, and sesame oil in a large resealable plastic bag. Add tenderloin meat; close bag, pressing out air. Chill, turning once, 4–12 hours.
  2. Remove tenderloin from marinade and pat dry; discard marinade. Season lightly with salt.
  3. Preheat oven to 250°.
  4. Heat grapeseed oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high.
  5. Cook tenderloin, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes per side, 5 minutes total.
  6. Transfer pan to the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of tenderloin registers 135°, 20–25 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest at least 10 minutes before slicing.
  8. While meat is cooking, heat 1 T oil in a large saucepan over medium.
  9. Cook shallot and garlic, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.
  10. Add curry paste and lime zest and cook, stirring constantly, until paste is slightly darkened in color and very fragrant, about 4 minutes.
  11. Add coconut milk, bring to a simmer, and cook until reduced by half, 20–25 minutes. Let curry mixture cool.
  12. Transfer curry mixture to a blender and add agave, lime juice, ¼ cup cilantro, and 2 T water; blend until very smooth.
  13. With motor running, add remaining ½ cup oil in a steady stream; blend until sauce is thick and emulsified. Transfer to a small saucepan and heat over medium just until warmed through.
  14. Serve pork over prepared rice and steamed spinach, topped with sauce, cilantro, and pumpkin seeds.

Do Ahead: Sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Three Years Ago:

Four Years Ago:

Coarse Mustard & Brown Sugar Glazed Pork Tenderloin

This simple (five ingredient!), mildly sweet, pork tenderloin dish was a quick and elegant meal. After marinating, it was ready to serve in 30 minutes. We ate it with roasted potatoes and a mound of sautéed greens on the side. Wonderful.

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Marian Burros. It was first published in 1989 but recently republished as a classic.

Yield: Serves 6

  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 2 1/2 pounds total)
  • 6 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4 tablespoons dry sherry

  1. Pat the tenderloins dry with paper towels.
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a ziplock bag and shake to combine. Add pork tenderloins and turn to coat well with marinade. Marinate for 15 minutes or as long as overnight. (I marinated the meat for 6 hours with great success.)
  3. Drain pork of excess marinade and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Broil the tenderloins in the oven – about 10 minutes on one side, then turn, baste with marinade, and broil for approximately 5 additional minutes, or until the internal temperature is 135 degrees. (Alternately, heat a charcoal or gas grill to high; bank coals or turn off burner on one side.)
  5. Remove and lightly tent with foil. Let rest about 10 minutes before slicing into 1/4- to 1/2-inch slices.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Three Years Ago:

Four Years Ago:

Thai Pork Tenderloin Salad with Napa Cabbage

I received the most beautiful Napa cabbage in my CSA share this week. The leaves are so tender, and yet crunchy, they are absolutely perfect for a salad. This dish caught my eye because it was so colorful, bright with flavor, healthy, and a little bit “out of the box” for me.

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I am bringing it to share at Fiesta Friday #88, co-hosted by Julie @ Hostess at Heart and Liz @ Spades, Spatulas, & Spoons. Happy October!

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


For the Marinade & Dressing:

  • 1 ½ to 2 pounds boneless pork tenderloin (usually 2 tenderloins)
  • â…” cup minced shallots (about 4 shallots)
  • â…” cup chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 5 tablespoons light brown sugar, separated
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced in a garlic press
  • 5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons peanut or grapeseed oil
  • Juice and zest of 4 limes
  • 3-inch piece peeled ginger root, grated
  • 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt, more to taste
  • 1 to 2 Thai bird, serrano or jalapeño chile peppers, seeded and minced


For the Salad:

  • 8 cups Napa or regular cabbage, thinly sliced (about 1/2 of a large head)
  • 5 whole scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 small Kirby or Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ cups cilantro leaves
  • 1 ½ cups mint leaves (I omitted the mint)
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1 ¼ cups roasted cashews or peanuts, toasted and chopped
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut chips or large flakes, toasted, optional

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine shallot, cilantro, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, garlic, soy sauce, peanut or grapeseed oil, lime zest and juice, grated ginger, fish sauce, salt and chile. Pulse to mince the shallots, cilantro, garlic, and chiles- as well as to combine the mixture.
  2. Remove three-quarters of the mixture; reserve to use as the dressing. Add the remaining 3 T sugar and purée until a smooth, loose paste forms. This is the marinade.
  3. Pat the pork dry with a paper towel. Place tenderloin in a large bowl and spread the paste all over pork. Marinate at room temperature for 2 hours, or cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours; turn the tenderloin occasionally. (I marinated the meat for 12 hours in the refrigerator.)
  4. Light the grill or heat the broiler and arrange a rack at least 4 inches from the heat. (Mine was about 6 inches away.) Grill or broil pork, turning occasionally, until well browned and meat reaches an internal temperature of 135 degrees, 4 to 10 minutes per side depending upon the heat of your broiler or grill. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t overcook. Let meat rest while you prepare the salad. (Or, cook the pork 1 or 2 hours ahead and serve it at room temperature.)
  5. In a large bowl, combine the salad ingredients, reserving the herbs, cashews and coconut. (I omitted the coconut.)
  6. Whisk the dressing and use just enough to dress the salad, tossing to combine. Let sit for a few minutes for the flavors to meld, then right before serving, add herbs and toss again.
  7. To serve, slice the pork. Arrange salad on a platter or serving plates and top with sliced pork. Scatter cashews and coconut on top, drizzle with a little more of the remaining dressing, to taste, if desired.

Two Years Ago:

Three Years Ago:

Za’atar Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

This was such a lovely dinner, I felt like I should have been making it for a dinner party! My family and I did enjoy it… and we didn’t have to share. 😉 We ate this main dish along with Spicy Israeli Couscous with Summer Squash. Great.

This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Grace Parisi. I made my own za’atar blend and included the ingredients and instructions below.

I am bringing this boldly flavored dish to share at Fiesta Friday #86, co-hosted by Judi @ Cooking with Aunt Juju and Quinn @ Dad Whats 4 Dinner. Enjoy!!

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

For the Za’atar:

  • 1 T thyme
  • 1 T sesame seeds, toasted in a dry skillet and coarsely pulsed in a spice grinder
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt

To Finish the Dish:

  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • coarse Kosher salt
  • Two 12-ounce pork tenderloins, sliced crosswise 1 1/2 inches thick and pounded 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  1. Make the Za’atar: Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet until lightly toasted. Pulse in a spice grinder until a powder is formed. Combine with sumac, thyme, and coarse salt.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the za’atar with the oil. Add the pork, turn to coat and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, roast the poblanos directly over a gas flame or under a broiler, turning frequently, until blackened; transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool slightly. Peel and seed the chiles; cut into thin strips.
  4. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil from the pork marinade. Add the pork and cook over high heat, turning once, until white throughout and lightly browned, 5 minutes. Transfer the pork to a platter.
  5. Add any remaining marinade oil to the skillet. Add the onion and poblano and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the onion is softened, 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and toss. Add 1/2 cup of water and cook until the tomatoes are just softened, 4 minutes.
  6. Spoon the tomato-poblano sauce over the pork and serve.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Pork Tenderloin with Warm Harissa, Couscous & Roasted Vegetable Salad

I wanted to make this dish because it was so pretty! 🙂

I am obsessed with Harissa- and this recipe has an amazing homemade version. This fabulous Moroccan spice paste is then mixed into an Israeli couscous-based warm salad with roasted potatoes and vegetables. Wow. It lived up to its photo in the magazine- really lovely! The leftover Harissa was fabulous over the pork slices. This delicious recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living.

I’m bringing this dish to share at Fiesta Friday #73, co-hosted by Michelle @ Giraffes Can Bake and Juju @ Cooking With Aunt Juju. Join the party & check out their wonderful blogs as well!! Enjoy 🙂

Yield: Serves 6

For the Harissa Paste:

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili paste (I used chili powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (pimenton)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Couscous:

  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups Israeli couscous
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

For the Roasted Vegetables:

  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 bunch small carrots, preferably heirloom in a mix of colors, scrubbed or peeled and trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • coarse salt

For the Pork:

  • 2 pork tenderloins (2 1/4 pounds total)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola or safflower oil

For the Warm Salad:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • coarse salt
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Harissa Paste, plus more for serving

Make the Harissa Paste:

  1. Roast the red pepper over the flame of a gas burner, turning with tongs, until blackened and blistered. (Or roast under broiler, turning as needed.) Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand 15 minutes. Rub off skin with paper towels, then remove and discard ribs and seeds.
  2. Puree pepper with garlic, chili paste, spices, oil, and lemon juice in a blender until smooth. (I used a Vitamix.) Season with salt and pepper.

Make the Couscous:

  1. Bring broth and 3/4 cup water to a boil in a medium pot. Add couscous and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until liquid is absorbed and couscous is al dente, about 8 minutes more.
  2. Remove from heat, drizzle with olive oil, and toss to coat.
  3. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet, spread in an even layer, and let cool, 10 minutes.

Make the Roasted Vegetables:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (on convection roast, if possible).
  2. On another rimmed baking sheet, toss potatoes and carrots with olive oil; season with salt.
  3. Spread in a single layer and roast, tossing halfway through, until tender, about 20 minutes for the potatoes and up to 30 minutes for the carrots. Let cool completely on baking sheet.

Cook the Pork:

  1. Raise oven heat to 425 degrees (on convection roast, if possible).
  2. Season pork all over with salt and pepper. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Swirl in canola oil to coat. Add pork and brown on all sides, turning as needed, about 6 to 12 minutes total.
  3. Transfer skillet to oven and roast until a thermometer inserted in middles registers 140 degrees, about 11 minutes. (I used my oven probe.)
  4. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest 15 minutes before cutting into 1/2-inch slices.

Make the Warm Salad:

  1. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium. (I used the same pan the pork was cooked in after removing the meat to rest after cooking.)
  2. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until just starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 2 minutes. Season with salt.
  3. Transfer to a large bowl, add tomatoes and herbs, and toss to combine.
  4. Add prepared couscous, roasted vegetables, and harissa paste to the salad; toss to combine. Season with salt.
  5. Arrange couscous mixture on a large platter and top with pork. Serve, with extra harissa on the side.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Pork Tenderloin with Greens & Polenta

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After preparing a meal with pork tenderloin such as this one, I ask myself why I don’t always utilize the oven probe thermometer; it makes cooking to perfection completely FOOLPROOF!! This dish had wonderful components… the soft and cheesy polenta, the flavorful and bountiful greens, and the perfectly cooked meat. 🙂 Amazing! This recipe was loosely adapted from Everyday Food.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

For the Polenta:

  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup polenta
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Finish the Dish:

  • 2 pork tenderloins (approximately 1 pound each)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for dish
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 large bunch Swiss chard (3/4 pound), stems cut into 1/2-inch pieces, leaves sliced into 1-2 inch ribbons
  • 6-8 cups collard greens, large ribs removed, thinly sliced into 1/4-inch ribbons
  • 3 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a 4-quart enameled cast iron pot, bring milk and stock to a boil over medium-high. Gradually whisk in polenta. Continue to whisk until polenta thickens. Reduce heat to low, season with salt and pepper, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until cooked, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add Parmesan; stir.
  3. Meanwhile, season pork with salt and pepper. Heat a 12-inch ovenproof sauté pan over medium-high heat; add 1-2 teaspoons of oil. Sear pork until browned on all sides, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove from heat. Transfer pan to oven.
  4. Roast pork until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 145 degrees, about 10 to 15 minutes (on convection roast). (Use an oven probe thermometer if available!) Transfer to a plate and loosely cover with foil. Let pork rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  5. While the pork is resting, return skillet to heat and add 1-2 teaspoons oil along with the onions and chard stems. Cook, scraping up browned bits, until vegetables begin to soften, 3 to 5 minutes (add additional stock and/or reduce heat to prevent burning, as needed). Add garlic along with the chard and collard leaves and cook until the greens are wilted, about 2 minutes. Add sherry vinegar, stock, and accumulated juices from the pork; cook until liquid has almost evaporated, about 4 minutes.
  6. Season the greens with salt and pepper and serve over polenta topped with the sliced pork.

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One Year Ago:

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