If there’s one trick to being a savvy shopper, it’s to buy larger portions of meat and cut them yourself.
Working with smaller cuts of meat is an easy way to get supper on the table in a flash. But smaller cuts of, say, chicken or pork that are packaged and labeled as cutlets cost more.
Pork tenderloins, a lean protein, are in this category. If you buy them on sale, they’re not terribly expensive. A whole tenderloin takes about 40 minutes to cook, depending on the size. If you slice a tenderloin into medallions, they cook quickly. You can cook them on the grill, pan-sear or even broil them.
When slicing the tenderloin, start at the tapered (smaller) end and slice on a slight diagonal for even pieces. To get them to an even thickness, place the slices between plastic wrap and use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound them gently to desired thickness. I was able to simply press down on them with my palm.
Having pork tenderloins tucked away in the freezer is a must. They’re easy to work with and usually thaw quickly. You can thaw them in the microwave or in the refrigerator. If you thaw them in the microwave, cook them right away. Foods thawed in the microwave can become warm enough for bacteria to grow.
This recipe easily serves four with a vegetable side dish and a salad. Buy pork tenderloin that’s at least 1 1/4 pounds. Most come two to a package with each tenderloin weighing 1 pound. They freeze beautifully, so wrap one for the freezer. For best quality, use within nine months.
The recipe also is perfect for two with plenty of leftovers. Because the pork is seasoned only with salt and pepper, it can be used many different ways. You can serve the slices as a sandwich with roasted red bell peppers and top with pesto or store-bought tapenade. Or cut the pork in pieces and toss in a stir fry during the last 2 minutes, just long enough to heat through.
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