For our Easter meal today, we had pork tenderloin as the main dish. Pork tenderloin is a fairly frequent meat at our table because it is so tender and mild in flavor. It is easy to prepare and if you buy it at Sam's Club, it is very affordable.
I cook the tenderloin very simply, but like to add various sauces or gravy to go with it because the taste of the meat is so mild that most sauces work very well with it.
Roasted Pork Tenderloin
Preheat your oven to 350` F.
To prep the pork tenderloin, trim the tenderloin by cutting the ends off so that you have a rather uniformly shaped piece of meat. Then, remove any visible fat and silver skin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside. Preheat a heavy bottom skillet on medium, add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and brown the tenderloin on each side. Remove the tenderloin to a baking sheet and place in the oven and cook for 25 minutes. Remove the tenderloin after 25 minutes and let it rest.
Clean the left-over pieces of tenderloin of fat and silver skin and freeze. These pieces make a great start for my recipe for Mexican "Good Luck" soup.
Jalapeno Cream Gravy
In the same pan that you cooked the meat, add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and heat.
Tip - using the same pan that you cook the meat in gives the gravy an extra depth of flavor.
Add 4 tablespoons of flour and stir to make a roux.
Note: I use olive oil for this because butter does not yield the same flavor that the olive oil does...and the olive oil is healthier. Especially since we will be adding 1 cup of heavy cream to the pan.
Add 2 to 3 thinly sliced jalapenos and 1 tablespoon of minced garlic.
Note: if you like your gravy a bit spicier, use 1 - 2 serrano peppers. And, for the truly adventurous, use 1 - 2 habaneros in the gravy. And, for safety's sake, please use gloves and do not touch your face, eyes, ears, nose or (ahem) other sensitive body parts if you cook with these peppers.
Add 1 teaspoon of cumin and 2 teaspoons of "365 Southwestern Seasoning" (Whole Foods brand);
Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.
Let this cook in the roux for approx. 2 - 3 minutes.
Slowly add 3 cups of milk mixed with 1 cup of cream and stir constantly.
This will thicken to a very silken consistency after several minutes. Taste for seasoning.
This gravy is wonderful served with chicken, steak, turkey or pork. If you use the gravy with chicken fried chicken or chicken fried steak, start the gravy in a clean pan.