A reminder for those checking out the offerings in the meat and poultry markets: Pork is as lean as chicken breast, and among cuts of pork, pork tenderloin has a milder, slightly sweet flavor.
This recipe tells you how to prepare a tasty tenderloin dish without adding fat, using a jerk-style rub made from a smart combination of spices you'll probably find you already have on your pantry shelves. If you're in full grill mode, cook the tenderloin over a hot fire on your charcoal or gas grill, but if you prefer you can use the broiler.
The recipe is among a selection featured in the new book "Mayo Clinic: Healthy Weight for Everybody" (Mayo Clinic, 2005, $22.95 paperback). The book also offers advice and information that includes nutrition, exercise and menu plans.
JAMAICAN BARBECUED PORK TENDERLOIN
(Preparation 25 minutes, cooking time 30 minutes)
2 teaspoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pork tenderloin, about 1 pound, trimmed of all visible fat
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons dark honey
1 teaspoon tomato paste
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, cloves, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the black pepper. Rub the spice mixture over the pork and let stand for 15 minutes.
In another small bowl, to make the glaze, combine the vinegar, honey, tomato paste and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Whisk to blend. Set aside.
Prepare a hot fire in charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill or broiler to medium-high or 400 F. Away from the heat source, lightly coat the grill rack or broiler pan with cooking spray. Position the cooking rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source.
Place the pork on the grill rack or broiler pan. Grill or broil at medium-high heat, turning several times, until browned on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Move to a cooler part of the grill or reduce the heat and continue to cooking for 14 to 16 minutes. Baste with the glaze and continue cooking until the pork is slightly pink inside and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 160 F, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
To serve, slice pork tenderloin crosswise into 16 pieces and arrange on a warmed serving platter, or divide the slices among the individual plates.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 180 cal., 24 g pro., 6 g carbo., 6 g total fat (2 g saturated), 75 mg chol., 508 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.