I like to pride myself as a knower of words. That's right, knower, as in one who knows. Given this pride, I never once thought to ask myself, "What is a tenderloin"? To me, it was pretty simple. A tenderloin is a tender loin. I never even said those words out loud because I knew what loins were, I assumed "tender" was just the adjective, and I have no reason or opportunity in my everyday life to just throw those sort of phrases around.
Yesterday, when I stopped by Mariano's for my bi-weekly grocery run (yeah...wifelife to the max), I spotted a woman buying pork tenderloin and commenting on how good of a deal it was while the man behind the meat counter remarked how fresh and good-quality it was. I walked by a few times trying to ignore them, but at the same time wondered, "Why would anyone want to eat THAT part of a pig? why?". Finally, I looked at the shape of it and decided that it couldn't possibly be THAT part, and decided to, for the first time, purchase pork and prepare it!!! And man am I glad I did.
I've mentioned before that Pinterest is your BFF anytime you want to do something. Anything. Interested in sewing? Oh here are 16,000 options for cute things to make your baby niece. Love decorating? Check out 30 quick ways to transform your favorite t-shirt into a cushion cover. Food fanatic? Here, learn how to braise, roast, pickle, and steam everything under the sun.
I used Pinterest yesterday, first of all, to learn what a tenderloin was. I found a picture of the different pork cuts, and was relieved to find that the tenderloin is the top part of the back, and not actual loins. phew. Since this was my first time ever cooking pork, I didn't want to take any chances by throwing random ingredients together and hoping that it was edible in the end. So, I browsed pork tenderloin recipes and found this one. Anything Asian-inspired is a win in my book. I re-created this dish with hot mango chutney instead of the apricot preserves, and added orange juice to the marinade. Why didn't I ever think of marinating with OJ before?? Such a great idea. The resulting pork was saucy, tender, and perfect in tacos. Who knows how I'll eat the leftovers??
I was worried the pork would taste too porky, but it was sooo good. Special thanks to friends JM and BW for inspiring me to cook pork. They invited us over for dinner a few months ago and asked us, in advance, if there was anything we don't eat. We said no. Turned out, almost every course had one ingredient that I "didn't like" or "never ate". Grapefruit and fennel in the salad, pork tenderloin for the entree, and blue cheese in the dessert. I'm really glad I didn't leave these ingredients out when they asked us, because every dish was scrumptious and I would've seriously missed out if I told them not to include them. Never say never, indeed.