The Lean Chef reports that the American Heart Association has designated pork tenderloin a Heart-Healthy food. According to the USDA database, a cooked 3.5-ounce serving of the tenderloin has only 1.2 additional grams of fat compared to a skinless chicken breast. It’s also well-stocked with B-vitamins.
The USDA also has reduced the “safe-to-consume” internal temperature of whole-muscle cuts (not ground) like tenderloin, from 160 degrees F to 145, allowing for pinker, juicier results.
As with other lean meats, pork tenderloin benefits from certain overnight marinades. Nonfat yogurt mixed with curry or chili powder, or gingerbread or barbecue spices add festive flavor. This is the secret to many tender chicken satay recipes.
A moist heat cooking method can also keep the meat from drying out. One of my favorites is Pork Medallions in Green Peppercorn-Marsala Sauce.
A typical raw tenderloin weighs just over one pound, perfect for four servings. I often find them packed in pairs, so it’s easy to double the recipe for another meal later in the week.
First, trim all visible fat from the meat. Then cut the cylinder in half cross-wise, and cut each piece in half again. Each of the four pieces can then be cut into three circular medallions of roughly equal thickness.
In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup nonfat sour cream, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, and 1 tablespoon of green peppercorns packed in brine.
Spritz a large skillet with olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Briefly brown each medallion, about one minute per side, and remove from pan. Pour 1/3 cup marsala wine (you can substitute sake) into the pan and quickly whisk, scraping the pan to free any browned bits. Immediately whisk in the sour cream mixture, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, return medallions to the pan, and cook until heated through, about 2-1/2 minutes per side. | KP