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~ Cranberry and Soy Sauce Glazed Pork Loin Sliders ~

IMG_1415Intermittently halting the holiday preparations to interject an impromptu movie night into the festivities is a pleasant break from the upcoming hullabaloo.  Who doesn't love kicking back on the couch to watch a movie or two for a few hours -- for me, the feeling is akin to playing hookie from school. That said, coming up with a menu (after the Thanksgiving leftovers are gone and before the Christmas gluttony begins), is, in it's own small way, tricky -- for me, it's gotta be low-key, stress-free, easy, and, seriously over-the-top tasty.  A simple family-night -- we all need one.

Did you know that sweet and tart whole-berry cranberry sauce (the store-bought stuff), when whizzed in the blender along with a bit of soy sauce, some five-spice powder and sesame oil is a delightful marinade for pork tenderloins?  It is -- with a subtle Asian twist.  There's more.  After cooking a twenty-two pound turkey two weeks ago, and, prior to cooking a eighteen pound standing rib roast two weeks from now, marinating and roasting a package of pork tenderloins and mixing up a package of store-bought broccoli slaw is the culinary equivalent of: easy street.

Part One:  Mixing the Marinade & Marinating the Pork

IMG_1364 IMG_1332

~ Step 1.  In a small food processor or blender, whir together these ingredients union smooth:

12  tablespoons whole-berry cranberry sauce

6  tablespoons Chinese soy sauce

2  tablespoons honey

1  tablespoon sesame oil

1/2  teaspoon Chinese five-Spice powder

IMG_1344 IMG_1344 IMG_1344~ Step 2.  Place 2, 1 pound pork tenderloins in a 1-gallon bag, add marinade and seal bag. Using your fingertips, squish bag around a bit, until entire surface of the tenderloins are coated.  Marinate in refrigerator 24-48 hours.  Remove from refrigerator and return to room temperature, 1 hour, prior to roasting.

IMG_1366 IMG_1366~ Step 3.  Remove tenderloins from marinade (discard remaining marinade) and place on a baking pan that has been lined with parchment paper.  Roast on center rack of 350° oven until an instant-read meat thermometer placed in the thickest part of a tenderloin reads 138º-140°, 25-30 minutes.  Remove from oven and rest 15-20 minutes prior to slicing.  Serve warm meat, on slider rolls, topped with chilled Asian broccoli slaw.

IMG_1399Part Two:  Mixing & Marinating the Broccoli Slaw

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c8974027970bNo pretense here.  They day I came across store-bought "broccoli cole slaw mix" (cole slaw mix made with crunchy green broccoli stems instead of green cabbage), my mind immediately raced to the flavors of soy sauce and sesame oil.  Why?  Broccoli is classic Asian.  There's more.  I didn't have to experiment with the perfect dressing for it -- I'd already come up with one for my Asian chicken salad recipe.  After a quick mix of the pre-shredded store-bought raw vegetables and my honey-sesame dressing, Asian slaw perfection was revealed.  The brand I use is organic, and, contains just three crunchy ingredients:  broccoli, carrots and red cabbage. It truly is a high-quality time-saving mixture that any busy cook can and should appreciate.

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d220c634970c1/4  cup each: vegetable oil and white rice vinegar

1  tablespoon each: sesame oil and Thai seasoning soy sauce

2  tablespoons honey

1, 12-ounce bag store-bought broccoli cole slaw

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d220c74e970cStep 1.  In a measuring container w/a tight fitting lid, combine all the liquid ingredients.  Shake vigorously.

6a0120a8551282970b01bb093a6eeb970d 6a0120a8551282970b01b8d220c78f970cStep 2. Place the broccoli cole slaw in a medium bowl and add all of the dressing.  Give it a thorough stir.

Place the slaw in the refrigerator for 2-6 hours (or overnight will work too), stopping to stir it about every 30-45 minutes in the beginning so that all the slaw gets to absorb the dressing equally.  Note:  This recipe yields 3/4 cup of salad dressing and 4 cups of broccoli cole slaw.

Sandwich some sliders in between your holiday festivities:

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c93ca878970bCranberry and Soy Sauce Glazed Pork Loin Sliders:  8-12, 3"-3 1/2"-round slider-sized sandwiches (depending upon how much pork you heap on each one) and 4 cups broccoli slaw.  Both the pork and the slaw are great leftover the next day, so, not worries!

Special Equipment List:  mini-food processor or blender; 1-gallon food storage bag; 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pan; parchment paper; instant-read meat thermometer; cutting board; chef's knife; 1-cup measuring container w/tight-fitting lid & pourer top; large spoon

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c8a677ba970bCook's Note:  Buffalo-style everything and anything has become synonymous with game day fare.  So -- If it's buffalo-style you're searching for, or, you simply prefer chicken to pork, and, if you've got a bit more time to spare on the preparation, another one of my game-day crowd-pleasing recipes is: ~ Buffalo-Style Chicken 'n Slaw Sliders ~, appropriately-topped with my ~ Buffalo-Style Blue-Cheese & Celery Slider Slaw ~.  When the time is right, this is one you might want to add to your holiday game-day lineup in the near future.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2023)


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