Grill Time!

It’s been a little while since I’ve blogged, but that doesn’t mean the cooking of healthy, delicious meals has stopped!  In fact, my husband and I are particularly excited about a little (or maybe not so little) Memorial Day purchase–we bought a grill!  I don’t know who’s more excited about it, but we’re definitely both in enjoyment!

I love grilling for a number of reasons.  First, my husband is the “griller” in the family.  When I asked him if he would teach me, I received a flat out, “No.”  When I responded, “But what if I want to have a nice grilled meal ready and waiting for you when you get home?” he answered, “I’ll grill it when I get home.”  Fair enough.  🙂  So, reason number one for loving grilling is, I sort of get a break from cooking since all I do is make the sides.  My husband wouldn’t even dream of making sides, but that’s no problemo for me.  Plus, we are essentially cooking together, so that is fun, too.

The second reason I love grilling is for the clean up…or lack thereof!  Seriously, on grill nights, I am in and out of the kitchen cleaning up in no time it seems.  I love it!  After all, once you’ve planned the meal, shopped for the meal, cooked the meal, and eaten the meal, who feels like cleaning up the meal?  Not me.

The third reason I love grilling is for the health factor.  I know, I know.  There are lots of people worried about carcinogens getting into their food by grilling, but I’m not too worried about that one.  For additional information about carcinogens from grilling and why I’m not worried, take a look at this article here:  Grilling is a great, low-calorie option for preparing food.  Want to add tons of flavor to your food sans calories?  Your grill to the rescue!

Grilled meals can be prepared in a snap, and grilling works great whether you’re preparing a meal for one or twenty-one.  When I lived on my own, I would often throw a piece of chicken breast in a ziploc bag with a bit of light balsamic vinaigrette in the morning before work.  Then, I’d come home and throw it on my George Foreman, for an easy meal in no time at all.  Barbecue sauces work well for this, too.  Just watch out for all of those sauces that are so high in sugar and high fructose corn syrup.  Yuck.  I like to use Stubb’s spicy BBQ sauce since it’s not so sweet.

So, that being said, here is a fantastic recipe for pork tenderloin that we tried recently.  I must say, my hubs grilled it to perfection!  I served it with a wild rice pilaf and a fresh spinach salad with herbs, olive oil, and red wine vinegar.  Yum!

Happy Grill Time to You!

Herb-marinated Loin of Pork
(Taken from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients by Ina Garten–I love her!!)

 Grated zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 to 6 lemons)
1/2 cup good olive oil, plus extra for brushing the grill
2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Kosher salt
3 pork tenderloins (about 1 pound each)
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, mustard, and 2 teaspoons salt in a sturdy 1-gallon resealable plastic bag.  Add the pork tenderloins and turn to coat with the marinade.  Squeeze out the air and seal the bag.  Marinate the pork in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours but preferably overnight.

When you’re ready to cook, build a charcoal fire or heat a gas grill.  Brush the cooking grate with oil to prevent the pork from sticking.  Remove the tenderloins from the marinade and discard the marinade but leave the herbs that cling to the meat.  Sprinkle the tenderloins generously with salt and pepper.  Grill the tenderloins, turning a few times to brown on all sides, for 15 to 25 minutes (depending on the heat of the coals) until the meat registers 137 degrees at the thickest part.  Transfer the tenderloins to a platter and cover tightly with aluminum foil.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes.  Carve in 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices.  The thickest part of the tenderloin will be quite pink (it’s just fine!) and the thinnest part will be well done.  Season with salt and pepper and serve warm, or at room temperature with the juices that collect in the platter.

A few notes from me: I was only feeding four people, so I just made two pork tenderloins and still had some leftovers.  I used the juice of 4 lemons and 4 cloves of garlic but kept the rest of the recipe about the same.  I never measure my fresh herbs (and yes, please use fresh!).  I just eyeball it and toss them in.  You can’t really mess it up, especially if you love fresh herbs like I do.  Additionally, I marinated the loins at around 7:30 in the morning, and turned the bag over a few times throughout the day to evenly coat the meat.  It was still plenty flavorful even though I didn’t marinate it overnight.


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