Washington - Savoury with a touch of sweetness, this could become a favourite for family dinner and potluck contributions.
The chopped parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme (Simon and Garfunkel fans, take note) wouldn't stand much of a chance in a hot skillet and hotter oven, but here they are jumbled into corn bread crumbs, adhering thanks to an undercoat of spicy mustard. Some of the coating might dislodge when you cut into the pork; serve the crumbs alongside, for they are tasty.
If you're not in a time crunch, the tenderloins can be prepped and coated up to 1 hour in advance.
You'll need a 12-inch (30cm) cast-iron skillet, and toothpicks or short bamboo skewers.
Serve with a salad.
Adapted from The New Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook: 150 Fresh Ideas For America's Favorite Pan, by Ellen Brown (Sterling Epicure, 2014).
Herb-Coated Pork Tenderloin
4 to 6 servings
Two 12-to-16-ounce (340g to 450g) pork tenderloins
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic
Leaves from 4 stems flat-leaf parsley
4 fresh sage leaves
Leaves from 1 stem rosemary
Leaves from 1 stem thyme
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 to 6 ounces (110 to 140g) homemade or store-bought corn bread (may substitute 2 regular-size corn muffins)
1/2 cup Dijon-style mustard
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees (230degC). Heat the cast-iron skillet on the stove top over high heat.
Trim and discard all silver skin and visible fat from the tenderloins. Tuck the thin ends under to create tenderloins of even thickness, securing them with the toothpicks or skewers. Season the meat lightly all over with salt and pepper.
Add the oil to the skillet and swirl to coat, then add the tenderloins. Sear on all sides, turning the meat, for a total of 3 minutes or until evenly browned. Transfer to a platter and discard the toothpicks or skewers.
Mince the garlic. Mince the parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme; the herbs can be combined (yet kept separate from the garlic).
Reduce the stove top heat to low; melt the butter in the same skillet you used for searing the pork. Use your fingers to crumble the corn bread to yield 2 cups of crumbs, letting them fall into a mixing bowl as you work.
Add the garlic to the skillet; cook for 30 seconds, stirring, then transfer to the bowl, along with the chopped herbs and corn bread crumbs, stirring to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Use paper towel to wipe out the skillet.
Spread the mustard evenly all over the seared tenderloins, then press the herb crumb mixture evenly over each piece of meat. Place in the skillet and transfer to the oven; roast for 10 to 15 minutes or until an instant-read thermometre inserted into the centre of each one registers 145 to 150 degrees (62 to 65degC).
Use tongs to transfer the meat to a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes, then cut into thick slices and serve warm.
Nutrition Per serving (based on 6): 220 calories, 25 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 9 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 90 mg cholesterol, 350 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber, 0 g sugar