Back in the early days when The Food Network seemed more focused on serious cooking than on competition shows and celebrity, Jamie Oliver, a British chef, made his debut on the network in 1999 with a series called The Naked Chef. As might be inferred from the show’s title, Oliver took a minimalist approach to home cooking, stripping recipes to their bare essentials.
I was a fan then and still am, after twenty years of watching him on television and reading his books at home. Recently, while viewing our local PBS channel here in San Diego, I came upon what I believed to be his latest show, 5 Ingredients—Quick & Easy Food. After watching several episodes, I purchased the eponymous book spawned by the series. All the beautifully illustrated book’s recipes do actually adhere to the limit of 5 ingredients, except for kitchen staples like salt and pepper, olive oil, vinegar, etc. and most can be prepared relatively quickly, making them perfect choices for weeknight cooking. Many of the recipes can also be found online on Oliver’s website.
Last night, I decided to go a little more contemporary in the kitchen and decided to cook, for the first time ever, a pork tenderloin. I don’t know why I’ve never prepared one before, but the current issue of “Cook’s Illustrated” had one of their “technical” features on broiling this cut of meat that captured my interest.
Because I don’t use my broiler that much, other than for browning certain dishes, I found the article most informative and, after reading it, I was motivated to try the accompanying recipe for broiling pork tenderloins.
The magazine’s broiling technique involves preheating the oven to 325° F and then setting it to broil to cook the meat. It also foregoes a broiler pan in favor of a disposable 3-inch deep aluminum roasting pan which, it claims, makes for deeper browning. This recipe really works, and even though there were a few missteps (my pan was a little shy of the called for 3 inch height; I discovered when I went to turn the meat that my broiler had not turned on) the roast nevertheless turned out perfectly cooked, browned, and juicy.
Another reason I chose to make this dish was the sun-dried tomato and basil salsa recipe suggested as an accompaniment. It complemented the buttery flavors of the pork perfectly with a sweet succulence.
I’ve chosen to give a link to the “Cook’s Illustrated” website, which has a video that demonstrates this cooking method, rather than providing the recipes here. My reason? This is an advertising-free publication that relies heavily on subscriptions to support it and I hope that at least some of my readers will opt either to purchase this issue (September-October 2014) or even take out a subscription to help keep this excellent publication around. Here’s the link: Cook’s Illustrated Broiled Pork Tenderloin Video