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Taste of the Northland: Holiday Pork Sliders

Posted at: 12/10/2012 8:34 AM
Updated at: 12/06/2013 7:45 AM



If you are looking for an appetizer to serve any holiday guests this season, you can try out this recipe from Minnesota's pork farmers and the Minnesota Pork Check Off for some holiday pork sliders. There is even three different sauces you can make as well.

Holiday Pork Sliders and Three Sauces

- 1 pork tenderloin, 12 to 16 ounces

- 1 teaspoon salt-free seasoning

- 2 teaspoons olive oil

- 12 silver dollar buns or mini rolls, split and toasted

- 6 romaine leaves, torn

- 2 plum tomatoes, each cut into 6 slices 

 Cut pork tenderloin crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Sprinkle pork slices on all sides with the seasoning. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork slices and cook, turning once, until brown and internal temperature reaches 145°F, using an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally from the side into the center of each slice, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Remove pork slices from heat to a clean platter. Loosely cover with foil and let rest 3 minutes.

Assemble sliders by layering tenderloin slices, romaine, tomatoes and Goat Cheese-Basil Sauce, Spicy Avocado Sauce or Yogurt-Lime Sauce in the buns. 12 servings.

Grill Method (Cook Time and Stand Time: 18 minutes)

For gas grill, preheat grill on high. Adjust temperature to medium (400°F). For charcoal grill, build fire and let burn until coals are covered with white ash. Spread coals and let burn about 15 minutes, until coals are glowing. Test for medium heat by holding hand at cooking height and counting the number of seconds hand can stay in that position. Four seconds is medium heat.

Spray clean, cold cooking grate with nonstick cooking spray (or brush with vegetable oil). Place grate over grill heat source. Sprinkle whole tenderloin with seasoning and place directly on cooking grate. Cover and cook, turning with tongs every 4 to 5 minutes to ensure even browning, until internal temperature reaches 145°F, using an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally from the side into the center of tenderloin, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove tenderloin from heat to a clean cutting board, loosely cover with foil and let rest for 3 minutes. Carve crosswise into ½-inch slices and assemble sliders as directed above.

Oven Method (Cook Time and Stand Time: 18 minutes)

Preheat oven to 450°F. Sprinkle whole tenderloin with seasoning and place in shallow roasting pan. Do not add water and do not cover. Roast until thermometer inserted from the side into the center of tenderloin reaches 145°F, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer tenderloin to a clean cutting board, loosely cover with foil and let rest for 3 minutes. Carve crosswise into ½-inch slices and assemble sliders as directed above.

Spicy Avocado Sauce

- 1 ripe small avocado

- 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno (include seeds, if desired)

- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

Cut avocado lengthwise in half; remove pit and peel. In small bowl, mash avocado with fork. Stir in remaining ingredients until well mixed. Makes 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon.

Nutrition information per serving (2 teaspoons): 20 calories, 0 grams protein, 2 grams fat (0 grams saturated fat), 0 milligrams cholesterol, 0 milligrams sodium, 1 gram carbohydrates, 0 grams fiber. 

Goat Cheese-Basil Sauce

- Prep Time: 5 minutes

- 4 ounces soft goat cheese, room temperature (1/2 cup)

- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil

- 1 small clove garlic, minced

- 1 teaspoon lemon juice Dash of freshly ground black pepper

Stir together all ingredients in small bowl. Makes 1/2 cup.

Nutrition information per serving (2 teaspoons): 25 calories, 2 grams protein, 0 grams fat (0 grams saturated fat), 0 milligrams cholesterol, 0 milligrams sodium, 0 grams carbohydrates, 0 grams fiber. 

Yogurt-Lime Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

- 1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt

- 1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel

- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro

Stir together all ingredients in small bowl. Makes 1/2 cup.

Nutrition information per serving (2 teaspoons): 5 calories, 1 gram protein, 0 grams fat (0 grams saturated fat), 0 milligrams cholesterol, 0 milligrams sodium, 1 gram carbohydrates, 0 grams fiber.

Visit www.PorkBeInspired.com for more creative recipes, cooking tips and nutrition information