Not Father’s Day Porkfest

by zydecopaws on June 20, 2009

Nope, but just like Not Mother’s Day the grilling happened a day early as Oldest Daughter is taking me out to dinner tomorrow.  It was going to be a day for the smoker, but indecision, picking up the mascot from the vet, and a lack of proper ingredients once a decision was reached conspired to turn the smoking into another kettle adventure.  And what an adventure it turned out to be.

On the grill today:

  • Stuffed Pork Tenderloin (3 varieties)
  • Grilled carrots
  • Grilled zucchini
  • Still-not-ABTs (but getting closer)
  • Grilled pineapple

All in all, that was a lot of food to cram on a single grill, even if it was the Weber Performer.  Fortunately it didn’t all have to go on all at the same time, but it did get pretty crowded for awhile.  First up was the stuffed pork tenderloins.  Since these come four to a pack, it seemed only right to cook all four, and each one was unique to some degree, although two of them only differed in the technique used to wrap them in bacon.  Got your attention yet?

Two of the tenderloins were wrapped in bacon.  I started by butterflying the tenderloins and adding a thin layer of cream cheese.  Slivers of Anaheim pepper, orange bell pepper, and sweet white onion were strategically placed, and the whole thing was sprinkled with thyme, rosemary, and some rib rub.


The meat was then rolled tightly and tied with some cooking cord.  This turned out to be a bit of a problem later as the cord ended up under the bacon wrapping, which went on next.  One of the tenderloins got a full bacon weave, while the other was simply wrapped with bacon and carefully transferred to the grill.


The other two tenderloins were treated to a fruit filling.  As before, the meat was butterflied and covered with a thin layer of cream cheese.  Instead of veggies, these both got some sliced apple and chopped dried apricot.  One of them (the one that was already rolled up below) also got some dried blueberries as well.  They were then sprinkled with thyme and rosemary, and nicely tied with string.


Then it was time to make some Still-Not-ABTs.  These are closer to real ABTs, but use Anaheim peppers instead of Jalapenõ peppers.  I cored them and then stuffed them with a mixture of cream cheese, minced onions, peppers (Anaheim and orange bell), and diced Canadian bacon.  They were then wrapped in bacon and stabbed with toothpicks to keep them from falling apart.  Finally they received a sprinkle of some Kirkland Mesquite Grill Seasoning mix.


Then it was time to start loading the Performer.  It was a tight squeeze to get the tenderloins and peppers on without getting them too close to the coals, but somehow we persevered…


The carrots were drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with some of the Mesquite Grill spice, and then placed right over the coals on one of the many grill accessories I have laying around.  They went on at the 30 minute mark, when the tenderloins were reading about 135-140°F.


The zucchini sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips and was treated to some olive oil as well, then sprinkled with garlic salt and some fresh ground pepper.  It went on at the 45 minute mark; I pulled the carrots and peppers at this point as the tenderloin was done and the carrots a bit on the charred side (should have checked them sooner).  The zucchini took about 5 minutes total to cook; it was directly over the coals and turned once to get nice grill marks on both sides.  None of us like mushy zucchini; this batch was perfect.


Here is a picture of the bacon-weave variation being sliced.  Pay no attention to the knife that slipped into the picture when I wasn’t paying attention…


The bacon didn’t turn out quite as crispy as I would have preferred.  Next time I will try smoking these at a lower temperature so the bacon can cook longer.  Smoking pork tenderloin is a bit challenging as the meat is lean enough to dry out quickly if you cook it too long.  The bacon helps keep it moist, but you really have to pay attention or you will have shoe leather.

Here’s a picture of my plate with a couple of slices each of the bacon-weave and blueberry varieties.  It’s one of only two pictures of the zucchini; things got more than a bit hectic at the end of the cook, but it is proof that it happened…


The consensus around the table was the the fruit variety of tenderloin was the best, and should be done again with more spices added.  I had originally intended to glaze them with some pepper jelly and that might add the zing next time around.  The bacon experiment was interesting; the next time it will be done on the smoker to see how it turns out.

Did I mention that grilled pineapple was on the menu for dessert again?  Here it is on the grill:


And here it is in my bowl with vanilla ice cream and homemade chocolate sauce (the wife’s doing, not mine; very tasty).


Not bad for just throwing something together on a Saturday afternoon…

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