Grilled Sweet and Spicy Glazed Pork Tenderloin

June 29, 2013

After months of non-stop, home-repair projects, I’ve decided to take a summer, home-repair break so that I can dedicate more time to relaxation, travel and cooking. For my first summer-break recipe, I am making the most appealing recipe (knowing the tastes of my two sons) from the current issue of Cook’s Illustrated, the Grilled Glazed Pork Tenderloin Roast with Sweet and Spicy Hoisin Glaze.The recipe fuses two pork tenderloins together by scoring one side of each tenderloin with the tines of a fork, brining for an hour, and then tying together using kitchen twine. The resulting larger roast cooks more evenly and the glaze gives the pork’s exterior delicious flavor.

Shown here before slicing

Shown here before slicing

I had intended to get a photo of the plated pork slices, but an emergency prevented me from getting the picture. Worse yet, I ate just one bite of my hot dinner before I had to run off. When I got back home a few hours later my cold dinner was still sitting on the dinner table, but I had lost my appetite. Based upon my one bite hours earlier I would rate it at least 4-stars. My youngest son (the junior chef) who ate his whole plate rated it 4-1/2 stars, and had I had a little more time with dinner I may well have agreed.  But the cold roast (after losing my appetite) was only 2-1/2 stars.


  1. Because one end of the tenderloin is thicker than the other, tying two together makes it possible to even out the thickness into one larger, evenly thick roast. This eliminates the problem of overcooking the thin end while waiting for the thicker end to come up to the proper temperature (140-degrees).
  2. BTW, in case you missed it, the FDA has recently lowered guidance in cooking lean pork to 145-degrees. It used to be 160-degrees.
  3. There are also two more glaze options, a Miso Glaze that uses sake and miso paste, and a Satay Glaze. that uses coconut milk and peanut butter.
  4. Chris Kimball warns against buying “enhanced pork” in this recipe, which would mean that the two tenderloins won’t properly stick together.

Rating: 4-stars.
Cost: $10
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Low/Medium.
Start time: 4:30. Dinner time: 6:30

Chris Kimball’s original recipe for Grilled Glazed Pork Tenderloin Roast is here and the recipe for Sweet and Spicy Hoisin Glaze is here. The descriptions of how I prepared everything today are given below:

Glaze Ingredients:
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Pork Ingredients:
2 (1-lb) pork tenderloins
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil
Kitchen twine

  1. Remove the silverskin from both tenderloins, and set them on a flat work surface with the silverskin-removed-side facing down. Hold the thick end with a paper-towel and use the tines of a fork to score the entire length. Score each tenderloin 5 times so that they have shallow groves over the entire length.
  2. Prepare the brine adding 1-1/2 quarts of water to a large bowl and dissolving 3 tablespoons of salt. Brine tenderloins at room temperature for an hour.
  3. While the pork brines, prepare the graze. Grate 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger and peel 3 cloves of garlic. Place a small saucepan over a medium burner and pre-heating 1 teaspoon oil until it begins to shimmer. Add ginger and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Press garlic gloves directly into the pan, and cook for only 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup hoisin sauce and 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and whisk together until becomes smooth. Remove pan from burner and whisk in 1 tablespoon rice vinegar. Put 1/3 cup of the glaze to a small bowl to be used during grilling, and set the remaining glaze on your dinner table for serving.
  4. After an hour of brining, remove the tenderloins and use paper towels to pat them dry. Put one tenderloin with the scored-side-up and lay the second tenderloin with the scored-side-down, arranging so that the thick-end of one tenderloin is set over the tapered-end of the other tenderloin. Cut five lengths of kitchen twine approximately 14″ long. Spray the twine with kitchen spray, and tie together the tenderloins spacing the twine evenly. Brush roast with vegetable oil and sprinkle evenly with pepper.
  5. Prepare your charcoal BBQ by completely opening the bottom vent. Ignite a chimney starter filled with 6 quarts of briquettes. After about 20 minutes it should be mostly covered by a fine grey ash. Empty coals on one side of the grill, so that the other half of the grill is completely empty. Pre-heat the grill for 5 minutes and scrape down and clean the grill grate.
  6. Cook pork on the cooler side of the grill, covered with the lid vents completely opened, for approximately 25 minutes until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 115-degrees, flip and rotate the roast midway after 15 minutes.
  7. Move roast to hot side of the grill and lightly brown on all sides, requiring a total of about 6 minutes. Brush 1 tablespoon of glaze on the top of the roast, then grill with the glazed-side down for 2 or 3 minutes until it begins to char. Repeat the graze and grill process for the other 3 sides. The pork will be done when it reaches 140-to-145 degrees.
  8. Tent pork loosely with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes, before carefully removing twine. Cut into 1/2″-slices and serve with the remaining glaze.

Corn Chowder

June 11, 2013

I’ve never before eaten Corn Chowder (much less made it), so I have little to compare it to. But it’s been in the back of my mind to make since I saw it a year ago on America’s Test Kitchen, so I decided to make it for a small crowd gathered to celebrate my son’s first communion. It is a delicious summertime side dish, perfect to fill out the table as part of a barbecue.  For the celebration I pulled out all the stops; and served it with the Grilled Stuffed Flank Steak, Potato Salad, Smokey BBQ beans and Sangria. Everything turned out fantastic, and I would rate the Corn Chowder 4-stars.

Delicious Summertime Soup

Delicious Summertime Soup


  1. The only part of the recipe that confused me was in step 1, when you separate the kernels and pulp from the cob. I was worried that I might be cutting away too much pulp and I sliced off the kernels, but in the end you will throw away the solid from the pump (after extracting the juices). So the bottom line is you shouldn’t worry.
  2. The recipe only makes 8 to 9 smallish bowls, and  I had 11 guests. While I was expecting that most of the kids wouldn’t want the corn chowder, it turned out that they did.

Rating: 4-stars.
Cost: $8.00
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time: 5:30. Dinner time: 6:15

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I prepared them today are given below:

8 ears corn
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion
4 slices bacon
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
5 cups water
3/4-lb red potatoes
1 cup half-and-half
Up to 1 Tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

  1. Remove husks and silk from corn. Cut kernels from the cob using a chef’s knife, being careful not to cut away too much of the pulp. Then over a large bowl, use the back of a stiff butter knife to scrape the pulp into the bowl (once you try it you will see how easy the pulp comes away from the cob). Put pulp in a clean kitchen towel and tightly wring the pulp allowing the juice to fall back into your large bowl. Chris Kimball says that I should have been able to extract 2/3-cup of juice, but I was only able to extract about 1/2-cup. Throw away the dried pulp.
  2. Finely chop your onion, stack your bacon slices and slice them lengthwise, then cut them into 1/4″ pieces. Mince you
  3. Put a Dutch oven over medium burner and melt your 3 tablespoons of butter. Saute onions, bacon, thyme, together with 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, for 8 to 10 minutes until the onion has softened and the edges begin to brown. While that cooks, dice your potato into 1/2″ pieces
  4. Mix in 1/4-cup flour and stir constantly for 1 to 2 minutes, then whisk in 5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add your corn kernels and diced potatoes. Bring back up to a simmer, then reduce the burner to medium-low and cook for 18 minutes until the potatoes are ready.
  5. Remove 2 cups of chowder to blender and process it for 1 minute until smooth. Return processed chowder to the pot, and add 1 cup of half-and-half, and continue to cook until the pot has again reached a simmer.
  6. Remove from burner, add corn juice, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and as much as 1 tablespoon sugar depending upon the inherent sweetness of your corn.
  7. Spoon into individual bowls and sprinkle each bowl with 1 teaspoon minced basil.
Both my sons at their first communion.

Both my sons at their first communion.

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