The Energy Chef: Christmas Roast Pork

Christmas is one holiday where different traditions are handed down  in each culture. I am Latino, and still have cravings for my mother's traditional holiday Le Chon Asado, which means special roasted pork. It’s to die for! Normally this is made with pork butt or an actual whole roasted pig. As the Energy Chef, I'm going to show you how to get the same full satisfaction, but with less fat thanks to leaner, tender pork tenderloin.

Even though men traditionally prepare the Le Chon, mi madre had a talent for the perfection of this dish. With a special Latin tradition called ‘Caja China’, the pork was prepared all day long in a wooden box, where the pork is put inside the box and then the coals are go on a metal grate over the pork. So that way, the coals never even touch the pork itself. The box actually steams it to perfection like its own holiday miracle. Tender, fall-off-the-bone goodness. Then to add to our holiday spirit, I add an American classic to bring it all together: cranberry relish. Happy holidays!

Pork Tenderloin With Cranberry Relish

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:
2 pork tenderloins (about 4 lbs total)
2 gloves garlic minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons sour orange
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
pinch of cumin
pinch of fresh ground black pepper

Directions:

Mix all ingredients except the pork in a medium bowl. Pour the marinade mixture over the pork. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at leats 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay the pork fat-side down on a sprayed jelly roll pan. Pour remaining liquid over the pork. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the juices run clear and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Cranberry Relish

Ingredients:
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberry
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
1/4 of a medium orange, peeled
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Chill until ready to serve.

Nutrition Info Per Serving
Calories: 367
Total Fat:  15 grams
Saturated Fat: 3.6 gram
Total Carbohydrate: 8.6 grams
Protein: 47 grams
Sodium: 264 milligrams
Cholesterol: 147 milligrams
Fiber: 0 grams

Next Food Network Star season 6 finalist Herb Mesa is a restaurant-trained chef, a self-taught healthy cuisine chef and a certified personal trainer. Herb teaches "balance through food and fitness," and works as a personal chef and trainer in Atlanta.

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