San Antonian Diane Stallings was surfing the National Pork Board’s website for the lowest-possible safe temperature for cooking pork when she noticed the Grilling Grates from the 50 States recipe contest, and realized her variation on traditional fajitas fit the guidelines. She entered what will heretofore be known as Diane Stallings’ Award-Winning Fajitas de Puerco: “I didn’t really even proofread it.”
The low-key San Francisco native credits her “network” for putting her recipe over the top in the final vote, but her fajitas de puerco sound like a prize-winner, with their combination of citrus, cilantro, and hot-pepper-jelly glaze. “It’s fast and it’s relatively healthy, it’s tasty, and a little bit different,” she says, but she recommends serving it with “a different type of pico de gallo,” such as the mango variation included here.
Her prize, a formidable gas grill, arrived last weekend, and joined a New Braunfels Smoker and a Weber Smokey Joe in the backyard. “My father was a really good cook, and my brothers are really good cooks,” says Stallings. For her, preparing a meal while chopping, talking, and having a glass of wine is “kind of a family way of dealing with the end of the day.”
Diane Stallings’ Award-Winning
Fajitas de Puerco
1 pork tenderloin
2 t chili powder
1 t garlic powder
½ c hot pepper jelly, melted
2 oranges, halved
¾ c fresh cilantro, loosely packed and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Butterfly the pork loin, starting at the thick end. Flatten it so that it is of even thickness (about ¾ inch). Mix chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and massage into the meat on both sides. Put the loin into a plastic bag and let it marinate.
Grill the tenderloin over a hot grill, about 5-7 minutes per side, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit, brushing with the melted hot-pepper jelly on each side to glaze.
Remove to cutting board, slice on the diagonal into thin slices, and place slices on a warm serving platter. Squeeze oranges over the sliced meat and sprinkle with cilantro.
Serving suggestions: Serve immediately with warm flour tortillas and pico de gallo made with mango, avocado, red onion, jalapeño, and garlic.