Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Grilled Pork Tenderloin Fajitas

Dear Kate,

Life has been a little crazy around here.  Two weeks ago your dad was hurt at a fire.  Thankfully it was only a ligament in his ankle, but it hurts, he can't drive, and he is hobbling around on crutches.  Having to take over some of the things he does has me just a little busy.  And maybe a little grumpy.  Sorry about that.  You and Jake have been a great help to your dad, carrying things for him and making sure he is comfortable, plus you haven't complained about the extra things I've asked you do as well.

As if that wasn't enough going on, you got braces!  As I've told you, you look remarkably normal in braces, not just one big metal mouth.  And you've handled it bravely with very little complaint.  (Complaining about getting braces is perfectly acceptable!)  Finally this week you have been able to start chewing and soon I hope you are back to eating without any discomfort.  We had a brief return to the chocolate shake for breakfast, making us remember those days in kindergarten. Which reminds me, time to make some muffins...

This recipe came from Family Fun magazine.  I'm kind of sad that you've outgrown that magazine.  I have fond memories of craft projects and games we used to play based on ideas from the magazine.  Do you remember the crazy car wash sprinkler your dad made for you and Jake to play in?  It was made out of PVC pipe with holes drilled in various spots, hooked up to a garden hose.  You and Jake LOVED it!

We also made some the April Fools food gags and you thought you were really fooling everyone.  One year we made a pretend hot dog and fries out of a pound cake and brought it to your Pops to fool him.  (I don't think it was actually April Fool's Day, but that didn't matter.)  Of course, he played along and was "fooled" by your trick.

We didn't make too many of the recipes from the magazine, but the couple I tried were pretty good.  I always got a laugh out of the idea that the recipes were kid friendly just because they had a fun name or shape, but knew you wouldn't be fooled by those recipes into eating something healthy!  This recipe makes yummy fajitas using pork rather than beef or chicken and the pineapple salsa gives it a vaguely Caribbean flavor. 

If you prepare everything in advance, all you need to do is throw it on the grill at dinner time.  You will want a grill basket for the veggies.

Pork Tenderloin Fajitas with Fresh Pineapple Salsa
(Adapted from Family Fun Magazine, June/July 2009)
1/2 Cup canned pineapple juice
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Teaspoons cumin
1/3 Cup vegetable oil
1/4 Teaspoon pepper

Combine the marinade ingredients in a small mixing bowl and pour over tenderloin in baking dish or gallon-size zip lock bag.  Turn or toss to coat.  Marinate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.  

2 pork tenderloins
2 large red onions, cut into eighths
2 green bell peppers, cored, seeded, cut into eighths
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, cut into eighths
8 flour tortillas, wrapped in foil

Heat the grill on high heat for 15 minutes.  Brush or toss peppers and onions with a little olive oil.  Grill the vegetables and the tenderloin over medium heat for about 20 minutes (internal temperature should be 145 degrees) turning occasionally.  (Vegetables will be easiest to cook in a grill basket.)
Transfer vegetables and tenderloin to a serving dish and let sit for 5 minutes.  With grill turned off, place foil-wrapped tortillas on grill to warm. Slice the tenderloin into strips and serve with vegetables, warmed, tortillas, pineapple salsa, and sour cream.  

Fresh Pineapple Salsa
2 Cups fresh pineapple, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 Cup cilantro
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 Teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until slightly chunky.  Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or more.

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