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Fruity twist to grilling: Top a savory meat such as pork with grilled cherries

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 10:00 am

It's time to try something a little different on the grill.

And one thing most of us don't do nearly enough of – grilled fruit.

Not only is grilled fruit crazy delicious – thanks to the intense heat caramelizing all the natural sugars – it also pairs perfectly with savory meats.

So to help us all get out of our late summer grilling ruts, I came up with this easy recipe for pork tenderloin cutlets topped with grilled cherry salsa.

And if cherries aren't your thing, feel free to substitute apricots, plums, nectarines, even grapes.

Pork tenderloin cutlets with grilled cherry salsa

Compare the size of your cherries to your grill's grates. If the cherries are likely to fall through the gaps, use a grill pan. Most grocers sell disposable perforated foil grill pans.

Start to finish: 45 minutes

Servings: 6

2 pounds pork tenderloins

1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 1/2 cups fresh cherries, pitted

2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil, divided

1 small red onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Cut tenderloin crosswise into rounds about 1 inch thick. One at a time, set each round between sheets of plastic wrap and use a meat mallet to pound evenly to 1/4 -inch thick.

Transfer flattened pork cutlets to large zip-close plastic bag. Add fish sauce, then shake to coat pork. Squeeze air from bag, seal it and set side. This step can be done up to 24 hours ahead.

When ready to cook, heat grill to high.

In medium bowl, toss cherries with 1 tablespoon of oil until well coated. Carefully pour cherries onto the grill grates and grill until lightly charred in spots and tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Use tongs to return cherries to bowl. Set aside to cool slightly. Leave grill on.

Once cherries have cooled, add onion, garlic, vinegar and cilantro. Mix well, then season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Add remaining tablespoon of oil to bag of pork; shake to coat. Grill tenderloins 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Arrange cutlets on 6 serving plates; top each with some grilled cherry salsa.

Nutrition information per serving: 240 calories; 70 calories from fat (29 percent of total calories); 8 g fat (1.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 100 mg cholesterol; 8 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 32 g protein; 590 mg sodium.