Southwestern Pork Tenderloin with Chipotle Drizzle Sauce (Low-cal, Low-fat) ("Lean & Lively")
Recipe: Southwestern Pork Tenderloin with Chipotle Drizzle Sauce (Low-cal, Low-fat) ("Lean & Lively")
When I asked my husband what he wanted to eat one night, his normal response came: Southwestern. Well, Mexican is difficult to make without carbs. Southwestern wasn't going to be easy either, but I think I got at least one that you'll like. This is not for the faint of stomach. The chipotle drizzle has a real nice kick. And if you're on a strict diet, stick to the drizzle portion.
"Roasted Cajun Cauliflower with Bell Pepper Bites" makes a great side dish. Something different. Don't be afraid if you don't usually like cauliflower. I don't usually like it either. Most times it tastes so bland and lifeless to me, especially boiled or cold on a salad. This version is roasted and served warm. Roasting cauliflower brings out a richer flavor, and the addition of a Cajun seasoning really gives the whole thing zing. It's a great veggie alternative to potatoes when you are cutting down on starch.
Serves 2. If you are serving more, just get more pork tenderloins. The sauce makes enough for a small crowd.
1 large pork tenderloin
Olive oil spray
1/2 can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (The cans are small. They hold about 8 oz total.)
1 small can tomato paste (About 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
Diced cilantro for color
Put the pork tenderloin in a small roasting pan. Spray both sides with olive oil spray and then generously sprinkle garlic powder on both sides. Put in your oven at 400 degrees and roast for about 20 minutes. You can use a meat thermometer to check for your favorite cooking temperature. I like to roast pork tenderloin until it's 160 degrees. This way it's still a bit pink. 135 degrees is when all of the bad germs are killed, so a bit of pink in your tenderloin is okay. It's juicy at 160 degrees too, but if you like it 190 degrees just keep roasting it. At 170 degrees it won't be pink anymore so you can quit then. By the time you slice it and get it on the plate, the pink will be totally gone and no one will wince at your table.
While the pork is roasting ?
Put the chilies, paste, and vinegar in a blender. Whiz until well mixed--maybe 30 seconds at most. Then add olive oil in a stream like you would if you were making a dressing. This will be a very thick dressing.
If the plan is to drizzle this on your meat, you need something to put it in that you can squirt it out of. Some people keep one of those old mustard or ketchup bottles that has the pointy top. What I do is go to the local beauty supply store and buy new bottles that are used to dye hair. They are sanitary and inexpensive. My hairdresser taught me this. You can cut off the tip to whatever stream size you want. It works great! You can put them in your dishwasher to re-use them too. If you look in the back of a restaurant, you'll see zillions of these in the fancy places. That's what they use to drizzle all of those pretty sauces on your dessert plate or around your salad. Now you know the trick!
When you serve your pork tenderloin, fan out approximately 4 quarter-inch slices per person and take your sauce and zigzag it around the plate. (Diet portion of drizzle = 1 tablespoon.) If you're not into zigs and zags, you can just put a dollop of the sauce on the plate. There will be lots of extra sauce for use in an omelet, as sandwich spread or even a drizzle on top of chili or bean soup. Share it with family!
The diced cilantro is just to sprinkle around for color. It's optional but, if you do it, you'll look like you are serving dinner in a very expensive restaurant. Nice enough for guests!
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