I can’t be the only person who has to stop and think every time they see a recipe specifying either pork loin or pork tenderloin. I always have to stop and think which is which. For us, pork tenderloin is just the right size for two people whereas a pork loin is bigger than we could ever conceivably eat.
We eat a lot of pork tenderloin because Angela always asks for it (I think she likes the tenderness). I like pork so I’m pretty happy with it. So I’m always on the lookout for a new method to cook it.
I had purchased San Francisco Flavors from the Barnes & Noble discount shelf when we were in San Francisco. I didn’t know much about it but figured it would, at worst, be provide good memories of the trip. I picked it up while looking for something to make with the pork tenderloin. The ingredients for the Moroccan-Style Pork Tenderloin looked good so I figured I’d give it a try.
I had to change the recipe a little bit. I didn’t have any oranges so I substituted lemon zest. I also only had ground cumin so I used that in place of cumin seeds. The only problem I had with the recipe were that it called for twice as long a cooking time as I ended up using. I had put the thermometer in to test it as it hadn’t been working properly before (it was reading 180ºF in the air) and it read 145ºF. I had to use another thermometer to check it as I didn’t believe the first one.
The pork tastes pretty good, particularly if not overcooked. It is, however, quite a bit spicy. Angela cut off the edges of her’s because it was too spicy. If you don’t like it spicy, decrease the amount of red pepper flakes.
Also, Moroccan is hard to spell (one r and two c’s).
Moroccan-Style Pork Tenderloin
Adapted from San Francisco Flavors
1 1-lbs pork tenderloin
salt and pepper
1 large garlic clove
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- Preheat the oven to 475ºF.
- In a small food processor, combine the garlic, lemon zest, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Process until it forms a paste.
- Dry the tenderloin with paper towels. Salt and pepper all sides of the pork. Rub the paste on all sides of the pork, as evenly as possible.
- Place the pork on a roasting tray and place in the middle of the preheated oven. Cook for 20 minutes or until the pork reaches 145ºF internal temperature. Remove the pork from the oven, cover with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Slice the pork and serve with jasmine rice and sautéed spinach.