Last Trip to the Deli Counter

18 Oct

turkey tenderloinI decided to stop buying deli meat.  The nitrites, sodium, preservatives, etc. don’t exactly fit into my healthy eating plan.  However, the kids must have something for lunch, and PB&J – even if it is natural peanut butter and homemade jelly – doesn’t cut it five days a week.  It’s nice to bake a ham every once in awhile, but I really wanted to find an easy turkey recipe that didn’t involve roasting a whole bird.  The result: Spice Rubbed Turkey Tenderloin.  It tastes great, took about 30 minutes to make, and at $5.39/lb, costs about the same as deli meat – what’s not to love? 

I had a hard time finding turkey tenderloin that wasn’t already marinated, and almost gave up.  I finally found it underneath all the other packaged turkey parts (doesn’t that sound appetizing!).  My recipe is based on this one.  It has a great sweet-spicy flavor, and the rub keeps the meat from drying out.  I cracked whole coriander seeds, and used turbinado sugar, and mine came out of the oven with a beautiful, carmelized crust. 

Spice Rubbed Turkey Tenderloin

  • 2 T turbinado or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 turkey tenderloins, about 1 1/2 lbs

Preheat oven to 425°.  Line a baking sheet with foil, then place a rack on top.*  Mix spices together.  In a shallow dish or plate, rub tenderloins with olive oil.  Rub spice mixture all over tenderloins, making sure to coat the entire surface.  Place on the rack and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 160°.  Remove from oven and rest 10 minutes.  Serve hot or cold.

*I keep and old baking sheet and a seperate cooling rack just for this purpose, but you can skip the rack if you don’t have an extra one.    Allowing air circulation all around the meat helps it cook evenly and get a nice crust on all sides.  Make sure to the line the baking sheet with foil, unless you have an already ruined one just for this purpose (like me). The drippings will create a mess!

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