GINNA PARSONS: Fall means pork tenders on the grill

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

Fall is by far my favorite time of year, with October being hands-down the very best month of all. It’s just hard to beat those bright blue sunny skies and days so cool and crisp they could pass for Braeburn apples.
We spend a great deal of time outside in October. If we’re not at a Cross Country running meet with the kids, we’re usually at home working in the yard or out on the deck grilling something for dinner.
The grilling part is where my husband comes in. While I know my way around a kitchen pretty well, I’m at a total loss when it comes to the grill. I’m embarrassed to say I don’t even know how to light our gas grill (although I can build a charcoal fire if I have a chimney starter).
There’s just about nothing Charlie won’t grill, from steaks and chicken, to fish and kabobs, to fruit, bread and vegetables. Everything he attempts is good, although I will say he is a master when it comes to pork.
One of the cuts we really like to do are the little pork tenderloins. One tenderloin, at about 1 pound, will easily feed Charlie, son Patrick and me (remember daughter Mary will not eat pork), and if we have company or want leftovers, we cook two.
We’ve marinated them in teriyaki and soy sauce; rubbed them with Mediterranean herbs; and slathered them with apricot preserves. This weekend, we’re going to try this balsamic vinegar marinade.
I have two bottles of balsamic vinegar. One is a pricey, aged vinegar that I use sparingly – about $20 for a small bottle. The other is less expensive, about $6 for 16 ounces, and the one I’ll use for this recipe.

Grilled Balsamic Pork Tenderloin
1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1⁄2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 (2-pound) package pork tenderloins
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Rosemary sprigs for garnish
Combine vinegar, honey, garlic and red pepper in a shallow dish or large zip-top plastic freezer bag; add pork. Cover or seal, and chill 8 hours. Remove pork from marinade, discarding marinade. Sprinkle evenly with salt and black pepper.
Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat (350 to 400 degrees) for 8 to 12 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 155 degrees. Remove from grill, and let stand 10 minutes or until thermometer registers 160 degrees. Slice pork, and garnish, if desired with rosemary sprigs.
Serves 6.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.