Sunday, October 24, 2010

Asian Pork Tenderloin Sliders

Alexis has really nice buns.

Her buns are cute, tight, and perfectly round. And they are just right for sliders, which is what we made last night.

But first, back to last weekend's Eggtoberfest.

Eggtoberfest Review - Part 1: Products
Eggtoberfest Review - Part 3: People
Eggtoberfest Review - Part 3: Tips
Eggtoberfest Review - Part 4: Chef Demonstrations

Sure it was lots of fun and we ate great food, but my whole purpose for going to was learn. When you get several thousand foodies around 250 groups cooking, tips and ideas are going to be floating around. You just have to pay attention and grab them.

For example, I noticed the team that made Greek pizza poking holes in their pizza dough after tossing it. I asked why and learned that it is called "docking". He explained it helps keep air pockets from bubbling up and results in a thinner more even crust. Idea stolen...errr...added to my repertoire.

But it's not just food tips, it's things like sources. Good lump charcoal is a must for the Egg and I have been using Full Circle for the past year or more. It's made by Royal Oak (who also makes the Big Green Egg brand of coal) and costs a little bit more, but I hadn't been able to find Royal Oak in the stores. We happened to meet Dr. H from Knoxville and he told us where we could find Royal Oak locally and save money.

Another idea I picked up was making pork tenderloin sliders. Friday night one of the dishes served was a grilled pork tenderloin with caramelized onions on a slider roll. I liked the idea but liked the pork tenderloin that TnVolKen made on Saturday better, so I decided to make...

Asian Pork Tenderloin Sliders

marinade adapted from TnVolKen

2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp dry sherry
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp ginger, fresh grated
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 ea pork tenderloins

Pickled onion mix
1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced into matchsticks
3 mini sweet red bell peppers, seeded and sliced into matchsticks
1 mini sweet orange bell pepper, seeded know
1 small onion, sliced lengthwise
1/4 cup red pepper seasoned rice wine vinegar (I used Nakano brand)
1 tsp turbinado sugar

1 dozen slider buns

Mix the marinade ingredients together and marinate the pork tenderloins for 6-8 hours.

While that is marinating, make your slider rolls. If you don't want to make them, you can buy King's Hawaiian sweet rolls which are perfect for sliders. Alexis used THIS RECIPE to make the buns for ours. She baked them on a pizza stone on her Egg at 400f (plate setter in, legs down) for about 20 minutes.

See, aren't her buns the cutest?

The pickled onion idea was a happy accident. Originally I was going to marinate and then stir fry them. I marinated them for about 2 hours. I tasted one before stir frying and found they were tangy, sweet, and just turning tender but still had a little bite. So I just took them out of the marinade and skipped the stir fry altogether.

Take the pork from the marinade and wipe off the excess. Set up your grill at 350f and grill over direct heat for about 22 minutes, turning frequently, until they reach an internal temperature of 140f. (Notice how clean my Craycort grate is? I cleaned and reseasoned it for the first time since I got it almost a year ago. It's a workhorse!)

After a 10 minute rest, slice the tenderloin very thinly and assemble your sliders.

If you are feeling sassy, top it off with some sriracha sauce.

Since I made these during a football game (if that's what you want to call what Alabama did to Tennessee), it's only fitting that these are my submission to Tailgating Time.

Excuse the blurry photo but there was an impressive lunar halo around 1:30 this morning in East Tennessee.

I just happened to notice it and had to get a picture. I know it's just high altitude ice crystals but I thought it was neat. I'm a dork like that. Don't worry, that blue dot isn't a UFO, it's lens flare.