Updated: Oct 16
When you are looking for ideas for a quick cooking meal pork tenderloin is definitely a good option. In addition to being quick to cook, it is lean and tender and adapts well to various seasonings. I avoided eating pork tenderloin for a long time because I found the results from the recipes I followed dried the meat out too much. I soon learned cooking the pork in Convection was the key to success.
What are the Benefits of Marinating the Tenderloin
A wet marinade is a great way to add flavor to food and can prevent the meat from drying out; however, marinades that include sugar can be challenging to cook at high temperatures as the sugar tends to burn. Tenderloin that has been marinated can be cooked in the oven without searing.
A mix of seasoning for a dry rub together with some olive oil is a good option for adding flavor to pork tenderloin. When prepared this way, searing the tenderloin prior to cooking adds color and flavor to the meat.
Flavors that Pair Well Together
The marinade in this recipe uses some soy sauce which adds salt and depth of flavor. Chipotle chilies are the perfect ingredient to add to a marinade, they have a wonderful smokey flavor and a little spice, mixed together with some garlic, ground cumin, and fresh cilantro balances the flavors nicely.
The clusters of grapes that are roasted together with the pork caramelize during baking and develop a full-bodied flavor that perfectly compliments the marinade.
Winter squash pair really well with spicy food and cook very quickly. I chose some small dumpling and acorn squash that I cut into ½” thick slices. When cutting squash a sharp knife is crucial, and shaving a piece of the squash off so it sits flat on the cutting board will make it easier to slice.
Even though the skin of the squash feels hard it is actually quite thin so once you get the knife in it’s fairly easy to cut.
Convection Temperature and Timing
This recipe calls for cooking the pork at 350 degrees in the Convection Bake or Convection Roast mode. Since the pork has been soaking in the marinade this higher cooking temperature works well and is also ideal for roasting the grapes and winter squash at the same time.
Allow 15 - 20 minutes baking time for a 1lb tenderloin, the meat should feel firm to the touch when tested. When you remove the tenderloin from the oven, set it aside to rest for 5 minutes or so and increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees so the winter squash gets a little burst of heat to caramelize the edges.
Stay tuned for my next post on a dish I had enjoyed in a Chinese restaurant in London, Chinese Chicken Salad with Noodles and Cabbages. Of course recipe has my twist and the chicken is cooked in the steam oven which adds extra flavor. It is simple, yet delicious!
Larissa, Your Convection Enthusiast