Chili-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Tomatillo Salsa

To conclude our Labor Day staycation, my wife decided to try out some recipes form the latest issue of Gourmet:

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We made a chili-crusted pork tenderloin with roasted tomatillo salsa, a side dish of bulgur with herbs, and some provolone popovers.

I don’t really have a recipe for the pork. In a small bowl, I mix a couple of tablespoons of ancho chili powder with a little Old Bay, garlic powder, seasoned salt and coarsely ground black pepper. Just mix it to your liking. Next, add a couple of tablespoons of sunflower oil (or olive oil). I pour about 2/3 of the spice mixture over the pork and rub it in. I let the pork and the remaining spice mixture set in the refrigerator overnight. About a half hour before cooking, I take the pork out of the fridge. I mix the juice of half a lime (and maybe some zest) with the leftover spice mixture and rub it all over the pork tenderloins. Finally, I grill them until the internal temperature reaches about 145°. I take it off the grill and let it rest on a foil-covered plate for about ten minutes before slicing.

I dress the sliced pork with some Roasted Tomatillo Salsa (which I made earlier based on this recipe). The sweet taste of the salsa verde cancels out the heat from the chili powder, and you’re left with an earthy, smoky flavor combination that tastes great.

I’m a nut for grains like cous cous and bulgur, so my wife made some Bulgur with Herbs. It turned out pretty good, but the lack of fat was noticeable and it made the dish taste a little bland. Next time, we’ll start the recipe by chopping and frying a couple of pieces of bacon, and use the rendered fat to brown the almonds. We should have done it this time, since Saturday was International Bacon Day. Another way to add taste would be to use chicken stock instead of water to cook the bulgur.

My wife also made some Mini Provolone Popovers. They’re light and airy and taste like a cross between asiago cheese bagels and buttery pancakes. These were probably the star of the show. I would go so far as to say these mini provolone popovers would be a perfect substitute for quiche when you have family or friends over for brunch. I ate two of them for breakfast this morning.

Chili-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Tomatillo Salsa
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