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Pork tenderloin cutlets make a fast dinner on the grill

By Susan M. Selasky
Detroit Free Press
FOOD PORK-TENDERLOIN 2 DE
Regina H. Boone - MCT
If you cut a pork tenderloin into thinner pork cutlets, they make a very quick dinner on the grill. Serve them with zucchini and oregano/feta butter.

More Information

  • Pork Cutlets With Zucchini and Oregano/Feta Butter

    Adapted from Cook’s Country magazine, August/September issue.

    1 1/4 to 1 1/3 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed

    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

    1/4 cup flavored feta cheese or regular feta cheese

    1 tablespoon oregano, freshly chopped

    1/2 teaspoon grated orange or lemon zest (optional)

    4 small zucchini (6 ounces each), halved lengthwise

    1 tablespoon vegetable oil

    PREHEAT the grill to medium heat. Starting at the tapered end of the tenderloin, slice it on a slight diagonal about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. You should have about 10 slices.

    PRESS or gently pound the pieces out to about 1/4 inch thick. They will look round but not perfectly so, and that’s OK. Pat them dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper; set aside.

    COMBINE the butter, feta, oregano, orange or lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste, about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of each, in a small bowl. Set aside. Brush the zucchini with oil and season with salt and pepper.

    OIL the grill grates. Grill the pork until lightly charred and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to serving platter, tent loosely with foil to keep warm and let the cutlets rest.

    PLACE the zucchini on the grill cut side down, and grill about 3 minutes. Turn and grill 2 to 3 minutes longer or until just tender. Serve the pork with the zucchini, topping both with some of the butter.

    PER SERVING (4 ounces tenderloin and 1 1/2 tablespoons feta butter): 301 calories; 20g fat (59% from fat); 5g carbohydrates; 26g protein; 591mg sodium; 11mg cholesterol.

    Yield: 4 servings.



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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