Monthly Archives: February 2012

10 Reasons to Love Pork Tenderloin

Lose weight now

In a recent conversation with my older brother, who has lost a lot of weight, he said, “Hey, Sue, you got any good healthy pork recipes? Cause if I eat another piece of chicken I’m gonna start clucking.” Since I didn’t want to see my brother begin clucking (any clucking after the age of forty is just unseemly), I suggested he try pork tenderloin. I explained how I had just written about healthy pork tenderloin recipes and how ounce for ounce, it’s as lean as skinless chicken. Then I began listing all the reasons I love pork tenderloin and how I cook it all the time.

Here are 10 Reasons to Love Pork Tenderloin:

1. It’s readily available at super markets, so you don’t have to scurry from store to store to find it.

2. It’s honest food. Since it’s boneless and has little fat, there’s no waste. So if you pay for a 1.5 pound pork tenderloin, you’ll be eating a 1.5 pound pork tenderloin.

3. It’s one of the quickest-cooking cuts of meat available. When sliced into cubes or medallions, it can be pan-seared or grilled in mere minutes.

4. It’s endlessly versatile. Roast it, grill it, slice it, stuff it, cut it into cubes for stews and soups or skewer them for kebabs.

5. It’s lean and healthy. Ounce-for-ounce, pork tenderloin is as lean as skinless chicken breast. Plus, The American Heart Association recently certified pork tenderloin as a heart-healthy food with its iconic red check mark.

6. It’s virtually impossible to mess up, so it’s ideal for kitchen novices.

7. It just got juicier. Last year the USDA issued new guidelines for cooking pork: Pork chops, roasts, and tenderloins can safely be cooked to medium-rare at 145 degrees, not 160, followed by a 3-minute rest period.

8. It’s an economical and attractive company dinner dish. Roasting it whole and serving it on an oblong platter trimmed with roasted vegetables will always impress your guests.

9. It’s delicious hot, at room temperature, or even leftover, so it’s ideal for a potluck or a picnic.

10. It won’t cause you to cluck.

For dozens more delicious pork tenderloin recipes, visit Pork Be Inspired.

Photo credit, FCC: alancleaver_2000.

What Do You Do with Pork Tenderloin? I Just Made Stew.

chipotle pork, sweet potato, and pinto bean stew

What do you do with pork tenderloin?  Most people just roast it, which is fine. But there’s so much more potential for pork tenderloin. You can stuff it, pan-sear it, grill it, or cut it into cubes to use in chiles and stews.

Since it’s mid-winter, and most of the country is hunkered down, trying to stay warm, there’s no better time for pork stew. It’s wholesome, fortifying, and comforting. It’s the kind of meal that makes shoveling snow seem a little less laborious. It’s what you need when it’s cold outside because it warms you from the inside out.

This Pork, Sweet Potato, and Pinto Bean Stew is quick-cooking, so you don’t need to start hours before dinnertime to enjoy. Of course, if you’d like to make it a day ahead and just re-heat it, then I’d say go for it. Like soup, stew tastes better the next day after the flavors have mingled overnight.

In this recipe, the fiery chipotle chilies in adobo sauce contrast with the sweet potatoes and cinnamon, while the stewed tomatoes, pinto beans, and cilantro lend a zesty Southwestern flair. Enjoy it on its own, or serve it with a side salad. When it comes to sopping up the juices in the bottom of your bowl, let me recommend a thick slab of corn bread.

Chipotle Pork, Sweet Potato, and Pinto Bean Stew

Makes 8 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and black pepper

1 1/2 to 2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 large yellow onion, diced

1 large red bell pepper, diced

2 medium sweet potatoes, diced (about 4 cups)

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

the juice of 1 lime

3 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, finely chopped

2 teaspoons cumin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes

1 (14.5 ounce) can pinto beans, drained

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish

In a large heavy bottomed pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Season the pork with salt and pepper and cook until browned all over about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, onion, and red bell pepper and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes, broth, lime juice, chilies in adobo sauce, cumin, and cinnamon and stir. Bring to a boil. Add stewed tomatoes and pinto beans and stir. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 20 to 25 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Stir in cilantro. At this point, if you’d like a thicker stew, take the cover off, raise the heat to medium-high and allow to cook 8 to 10 minutes, until thickened. Serve hot. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro before serving.

Optional garnishes: reduced-fat cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, reduced-fat sour cream, diced avocado, sliced green onions, baked tortilla chips, unsalted roasted pepita seeds.

Like pork tenderloin? Then click here for more healthy pork tenderloin recipes.

Woman’s Day Red Dress Awards Give-Away


Although Valentine's Day is over, why not continue to celebrate your heart all month long? February is American Heart Month, and to celebrate it, the National Pork Board recently sponsored the Ninth Annual Woman’s Day Red Dress Awards, an event honoring those who have made strides in championing heart health. Pork tenderloin, which is now certified with the American Heart Association’s iconic Heart-Check mark, played center stage at the event in New York City, and we'd like it to play center stage on your kitchen table.

So we're offering one lucky Pork, Knife & Spoon reader a “Dressed for Health” kit filled with heart-healthy essentials to help you celebrate American Heart Month (ARV: $100)! The kit will include:

  • Coupons to purchase lean cuts of pork
  • The New American Heart Association Cookbook
  • “Go Red” black tote bag from AHA
  • BPA-free water bottle
  • Pedometer
  • Digital meat thermometer
  • Pork booklet including the exclusive recipes served at the Woman’s Day Red Dress Awards in New York City

Here’s what you have to do to win:

1. In the comment section below tell us either why you love pork tenderloin or about your favorite healthy way to prepare it. That's it!

2. If you tweet about it and mention @Porkandknife, it'll count as another entry.

The contest will run through Monday, February 20th, midnight (PST), and the winner will be announced on Tuesday, February 21st. Good luck!

Any questions? Just ask me below or on Twitter @porkandknife or @Susan_Russo

Did you know?

· On average, the most common cuts of pork have 16 percent less total fat and 27 percent less saturated fat than 21 years ago.

· At just 120 calories, a 3-ounce portion of pork tenderloin is an “excellent” source of protein, thiamin, vitamin B6, phosphorous and niacin, and a “good” source of potassium, riboflavin and zinc — yet accounts for only 6 percent of the calories in a 2,000-calorie diet.

· Fresh pork is naturally low in sodium (according to USDA database).

For more information, check out: Pork Be Inspired Dressed For Health!


Slim Down with These Healthy Pork Tenderloin Recipes

Red Heart

When you're trying to slim down, one of the best things you can do is eat more extra-lean protein like pork tenderloin. Studies show that  people who eat extra-lean protein are more successful at losing weight and keeping it off. Why?

1. When people eat what they like — say  roasted pork tenderloin — they don't feel deprived and are less likely to engage in emotional or mindless eating.

2. Extra-lean protein keeps you fuller longer, so you'll consume fewer calories overall.

3. Extra-lean protein helps build and maintain muscle mass which helps your body burn more calories all day long.

Get this: Ounce-for-ounce, pork tenderloin is as lean as skinless chicken breast. Plus, The American Heart Association recently certified pork tenderloin as a heart-healthy food with its iconic red check mark.

And with the new USDA guidelines issued last May – pork chops, roasts, and tenderloins can safely be cooked to medium-rare at 145 degrees, not. 160, followed by a 3-minute rest period, — you'll never have to suffer through dried out pork again. Keep in mind that the 15 degree difference will yield a finished product that is likely moister and pinker than you may be used to which is perfectly safe. If you're roasting pork tenderloin, then cover it with tinfoil after you take it out of the oven, and let it rest for 5 to 7 minutes to keep all those savory juices locked inside.

Now, read on for amazing healthy pork tenderloin recipes from some of the best food bloggers on the web.


Asian Style Pork Loin recipe from Dine and Dish (pictured above; photo courtesy of Kristen)

Maple Kissed Pork Medallions recipe from Family Fresh Cooking

Pork Tenderloin with Honey Mustard Sauce recipe from Noble Pig

Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Red Onion Jam recipe from Recipe Girl

Pork Skewers with Molasses, Dijon, and Sage Glaze recipe from Cookin' Canuck

Easy Pan-Fried Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Sauce recipe from Kalyn's Kitchen

Rosemary and Orange Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Apple Cherry Relish recipe from Chew Nibble Nosh

pork strawberry salsa cut

Pork Tenderloin with Strawberry Mango Salsa recipe from Food Blogga (pictured above)

Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin recipe by Andrea's Recipes

Chipotle Citrus Marinated Pork Tenderloin recipe from Simply Recipes

Grilled Pork Tacos with Avocado Radish Salad recipe from Spinningitall

Pork Tenderloin with Warmed Grilled Tomato Salsa recipe from Steamy Kitchen

If this isn't enough pork inspiration, then check out these 25 tempting, healthy pork tenderloin recipes from Cooking Light.

For dozens more pork tenderloin recipes, including this Go Southwest Marinated Pork Tenderloin, visit Pork, Be Inspired.

And don't forget about the “Love Me Tenderloin” daily sweepstakes. Every day throughout February, The National Pork Board is giving away $50 worth of pork tenderloin. Visit for more details.

Top photo credit, FCC, erix!


Valentine’s Day Gifts for Pork Lovers

14 Feb

Valentine’s Day is almost here. Are you ready? Well, don’t worry, I’ve got ya covered. From chocolates and jewelry to stuffed animals and t-shirts, I’ve scoured the internet and created a list of gifts for your pig-loving valentine. So start reading and shopping!

Everyone deserves chocolates on Valentine’s Day, and Vosges Haut Chocolat  has a whole host of “exotic” bacon chocolates from a whimsical flying chocolate pig to an elegant box of assorted bacon truffles.

Is your sweetie is more of a cookie monster than a chocolate lover? Then consider a box of pink Flying Pig Cookies.

Are you at a point in the relationship that warrants some bling? She’ll love a darling silver pig bracelet or sweet silver pig charm, while he’ll tap into his porcine power with a pig ring, all from Animal Den.

Flying Pig - Sugar Cookies

Bacon Freak has lots of porky treats for Valentine’s Day including their “Swine and Wine Your Sweetie” Gift Box and “Bacon in Bed Bundle.” No, it’s nothing x-rated. Think more “breakfast” in bed — you’ll find bacon infused coffee and bacon pancake mix.

If you’re looking for something special to wear on Valentine’s Day, consider matching t-shirts from Bacon Freak with logos such as “Bacon Saved Our Marriage,” or “He/She Loves Me More Than Bacon.”

J & D’s Bacon Lip Balm: Buy yourself one too, and apply liberally before the Valentine’s Day date begins.

Fargginay’s Bacon Classic Fragrance Spray: For the man or woman who wants “a sophisticated spicy maple fragrance with just a hint of bacon.” Yes, that’s the actual description.

pig love

It’s a pig bobble head! Need I say more?

Instead of a bouquet of flowers, how about a pink glass pig bud vase from Etsy with a red or pink rose tucked inside?

Better yet, how about a bouquet of bacon roses? Yes, actual, edible bacon roses.

When in doubt, buy a stuffed animal. She’ll love something soft and cuddly like Sniffs The Pink Beanie Baby or Arnold The Snoring Pig. Yes, Arnold actually snores and moves his ears when his hoof is pressed. (I may have to send a link to my husband about Arnold.)

Photo credits, Flickr Creative Commons,, betsyweberbeforepigsfly.

25 Porkalicious Recipes for Super Bowl Sunday

Red 32! Red 32!

Hut! Hut!

I have no idea what that means, but I do know that it has to do with football. I also know that this Super Bowl Sunday, while the Patriots wide receiver  Wes Welker makes his mooooves on the field, millions of Americans making their own moves at buffet tables across the country.

In the next few days we’ll spend close to $60 million on football-friendly fare such as guacamole and chips, BBQ ribs, pizza, and beer. And here at Pork, Knife & Spoon, pork lovers have the home field advantage. From root beer pulled pork and Asian pork meatballs to pork belly sliders and bacon-topped cupcakes, we’ve got all the porkalicious recipes you’ll need to score a touchdown this weekend.

Appetizers, Finger Foods, and Snacks:


Ham and Dill Pickle Appetizer Bites from Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen (pictured above; photo courtesy of Kalyn)

Roasted Jalapeno & Bacon Bites from Nelly of Cooking with Books

Super Bowl Smackdown Potstickers from Thursday Night Smackdown

Pork & Green Bean Lettuce Wraps with Sesame Hoisin Sauce from Dara of Cookin’ Canuck

Chorizo Sausage Cheese Dip from Diana of Dianasaur Dishes

One-Pot Wonders:


Red Beans and Rice with Andouille Sausage from Katie of Good Life Eats (pictured above; photo courtesy of Katie)

Root Beer Pulled Pork from Lori of Recipe Girl

Slow-Cooker Carnitas from OMG! Yummy

Sausage and Peppers from Dave Evans’ Posterous

Birthday BBQ Pulled Pork from The Tart Next Door

Pork Paprikash with Potatoes from Lana of Bibberche

Achiote-Orange Carnitas from Cheryl of Black Girl Chef’s Whites

Pork Roast with Mushrooms from Karina of Gluten Free Goddess

Slow Cooker Boston Baked Beans from Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes

CrockPot Barbecued Pulled Pork from Stephanie O’Dea of A Year in Slow Cooking

Sandwiches and Other Hand-Held Foods:


Slow Cooker Balsamic Honey Coffee BBQ Pulled Pork from Jennifer of Savoring the Thyme (pictured above; photo courtesy of Jennifer)

Pork Burgers with Molasses Mustard Glaze from in North Carolina

Orange-Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwiches from Laura of Family Spice

Savory Cherry Pork “Pies” from Sara Marshalek

Pork Tenderloin Sandwich from Susan Russo of Food Blogga

Slow Roasted Pork Belly Sliders with Asian Slaw and Chipotle Mayo from Heidi of Foodie Crush



Bacon Brownies from La Jolla Mom (pictured above; photo courtesy of Katie)

Bacon Ice Cream from Susan Russo for Pork, Knife & Spoon

Mini Vanilla Cupcakes with Bacon Bourbon Cream from Jenn of Kitchy Cooking

I’m Back for 2012!


Hello, Everyone!

For long-time followers of Pork, Knife & Spoon, you'll remember me from last year when I blogged here from July through September. I'm pleased to say that I've been offered the position for the entire year of 2012. That means I'll be posting here two to three times per week about all things pork. Most importantly, I want to talk with YOU – hear your stories, learn about your traditions, and share your recipes. So please comment here on the blog and feel free to send me ideas anytime.

Tweet with me @porkandknife and @Susan_Russo on Twitter. I promise that we talk about more than just bacon. Well, at least on some days.

Here's what to expect for Pork, Knife & Spoon, 2012:

*Updates on pork news and the lastest on pork trends and recipes

*Food and travel posts

*Interviews with chefs, cookbook authors, and others in the food community

*Cooking tips and lots of recipes

*Cookbook and product reviews

*Restaurant features and chef profiles

*Give-aways like this one for kids cooking sets.

*Contests like this one for a 6-month supply of bacon.

*Videos like this one on Bacon Jam: A Love Story.

Here's a little bit about me: I'm a cookbook author, writer, social media manager, and recipe developer who lives with my husband in beautiful San Diego. For the last five years, I have been the voice behind the blog, Food Blogga. (Yes, that’s Rhode Islandese for Food Blogger.) There you’ll find my musings on food and life, original recipes and photography, and book and product reviews.

I’m a regular contributor to NPR’s “Kitchen Window” and have had my work published in magazines such as Cooking Light (that farmers’ market potato salad is one of my favorites) and Edible San Diego. I have also written two cookbooks with Quirk Books: Recipes Every Man Should Know, co-authored with Brett Cohen was released in November, 2010, and The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches Recipes, History, and Trivia for Everything Between Sliced Bread was released in April, 2011.

I think a life without hot Italian sausage is a life not fully lived.

If you're not already tired of learning about me, then you can read more about my life-long relationship with pork here.