In February, ABC’s cooking show, The Chew, partnered with Weight Watchers for a “Search for the Weight Watcher Chef” competition. Six chefs competed for a chance to win a $75,000, one-year consulting contract with Weight Watchers as the Weight Watchers Chef.
Ryan Hutmacher won with a version of this recipe for herbed pork tenderloin served with minted yogurt sauce. When I first read the recipe I wondered about some of the steps Ryan took with his pork, but after making it I realized that there was definitely a method to his madness.
First you marinate the pork in a plastic bag for up to a day. Then you brown it in a nonstick skillet, place it on a baking sheet and refrigerate it until it’s almost time for dinner. This simple technique allows the cook to relax with dinner guests with a minimum of effort in the kitchen. It’s also a boon to the working person. About 30 minutes before sitting down, you remove the baking sheet from the fridge, place it into a pre-heated oven and voila, dinner is ready.
Ryan’s timing is perfect; the pork was lightly pink in the center and very well seasoned. His recipe calls for 24 ounces of pork tenderloin, but I find that tenderloins are generally weighing about 1 1/4 pounds each these days, so I used just one. And although I listed his amounts for the lemon and orange zests below, I used the zests of the whole fruits; we really liked the burst of lemon/orange flavor in the cooked meat.
The minted yogurt sauce is delicious and refreshing, but you could also use tzatziki, which is a combination of Greek yogurt, dill and grated cucumber.
I look forward to trying more of the new Weight Watcher chef’s creations in the coming year and, of course, if they pass muster I’ll share them with you.
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 1/4-lbs.)
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. orange zest
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt to taste
Pepper to taste
In a large plastic zippered bag combine oregano, lemon zest, orange zest, garlic and olive oil. Place pork tenderloin in bag and coat evenly. Close bag and store in refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours.
Early on the day of serving: preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Remove pork from plastic bag and season with salt and pepper. Place pork in pan and brown on both sides. Remove from skillet and place on a baking sheet. Allow to cool and then wrap and refrigerate baking sheet.
30 minutes before dinner: place baking sheet with tenderloin into a preheated 400 degree oven and roast for 20 to 23 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 140 degrees. Transfer pork to a cutting board and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing into 3/4″ slices. Allow 3-4 pieces per person.
Each 4-oz. serving = 5 WW points
Minted Yogurt Sauce
8 oz. plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp. fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
pepper to taste
Mix together all ingredients and serve with pork tenderloin.