Gourmet Club Pork Tenderloin & Apple Arugula Salad

Gourmet Club! The night of adventurous palates, a plate-licking menu, and hysterical conversation was hosted this time by our friends, James and Rindy. Our menu for the January Gourmet Club was titillating beyond measure and the one-panned main course limited soiled dishes, leaving an incredibly moist and succulent piece of meat. Our five course dinner starting with home fried potato chips and three savory dips, lent its way to the Potato Leek Soup, then on to the Arugula and Apple Salad with goat cheese and homemade almond brittle. The main course of Pork Tenderloin had everyone ooh-ing and ah-ing, while the three mouth-watering sides created more interesting yum-yum noises. Then on to the funnel cakes and experimentations with deep fried Oreos® and Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups®. So you can see we ate well.

But how does one take such a glorious menu and adapt it for a week night, made in 30 minutes, for 3 little picky palates? Take the main dish, Pork Tenderloin (adding a sauce) and build kid friendly items around it. I chose red grapes, the same Apple and Arugula Salad minus the goat cheese and brittle, Pepperidge Farms® Garlic Toasts, and Basmati Rice. The following recipes from my friend Rindy, were not improved upon, just adapted from their original form to satisfy tiny palates in under 30 minutes.

Apple and Arugula Salad
One small bag arugula (I used baby spinach, it was all I had)
1 apple cut into match stick sized pieces
For the Vinaigrette:
2 T. white wine vinegar
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 T. apple juice
3/4 t. minced shallot or onion
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Using an immersion blender, blend the ingredients for the vinaigrette until smooth. Toss with the arugula and apple sticks. Serve immediately.

Pork Tenderloin
For Pork:
2 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. chili powder
1 t. cinnamon
2 pork tenderloins (2 1/4– 2 1/2 pound total)
2 T. olive oil

For Glaze:
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 T. finely chopped garlic
1 T. Tabasco (I used Texas Pete’s Hot Sauce)

Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon, then coat pork with spice rub. Heat oil in a 12 inch iron skillet over moderately high heat until just beginning to smoke, then sear pork on all sides, about 4 minutes total. Leave pork in skillet.
Make Glaze and Roast Pork:
Stir together brown sugar, garlic, and Tabasco and pat onto top of each tenderloin. Roast in middle of oven until thermometer inserted diagonally in center of each tenderloin registers 140°(mine took about 12-15 minutes). Let pork stand in skillet at room temperature 10 minutes. (Temperature will rise to about 155° while standing).

Here is what I added for the tiny palates-Sauce!!
To make sauce, after the tenderloins have rested for ten minutes in the skillet, remove them to a warmed dish. To pan drippings stir in 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, heat on medium-high, stirring constantly, until bubbly. Mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold chicken broth or water. While stirring the sauce, slowly add the cornstarch mixture. Heat until sauce is thickened and smooth, about 3-5 minutes. Slice pork and place on bed of boiled basmati rice, top with sauce and serve. Serves 6-8.


  1. colorado guy
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 11:58 PM | Permalink

    Robin Sue,
    I look forward to trying the pork tenderloin recipe! There’s always been a special pork tenderloin recipe I make for guests and always WOWS.

    In Simone Beck’s tome, “Simca’s Cuisine,” you must try the Pork braised with bourbon; prunes steeped in bouillon. Forget the worry over the prunes! No one will pick prunes as the amazing secret ingredient!

    The tenderloin is stuffed with smoked ham or prosciutto (I have my butcher do this) then painted with mustard, rolled in brown sugar.

    After browning, it is flamed with bourbon and left to braise with beef stock, prunes, etc.

    When, not IF you make this, if you don’t increase the braising liquids in order to increase the yield of the sauce made by the braise, you will REGRET IT
    As guests fight dipping their bread, napkins and shirtsleeves into the sauce, begin your questioning about the flavorful secret ingredient. Only once has someone guessed prune at my table.
    Jim Hagen

  2. Robin Sue
    Posted May 24, 2009 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

    colorado guy- sounds delicious I will have to give your recipe a try. Thanks!

  3. The Nester
    Posted September 9, 2009 at 3:37 PM | Permalink

    I lOVE this tenderloin recipe and so does my husband and three boys–making it for the third time tonight!

    thanks so much!

  4. Robin Sue
    Posted September 9, 2009 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    The Nester- Thanks, we like it lots too!

  5. Heather
    Posted January 16, 2014 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

    This pork tenderloin rub is amazing! Thanks Robin!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted January 17, 2014 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

      Thanks Heather!!!

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