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The Foodie Files: Crispy Prosciutto Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Mango Salsa

Many shy away from pork because of its tendency to dry out when cooking and its high fat content, which is a shame because it is arguably the most flavorful of all meats. This week’s recipe is absolutely packed with pork and by employing both the tenderloin and prosciutto (which is like a very thinly sliced Italian bacon), the flavors in the dish really run the gamut of what pork can do. Because it tends to be on the salty-ish side even before you wrap it in bacon, pork tends to take sweet, fruit flavors extremely well, so it plays very nicely with the sweet/spicy/tart flavors of the accompanying mango salsa.

Crispy Prosciutto Wrapped Pork TenderloinPork tenderloin is not the cheapest cut of meat available, but you’ve got to treat yourself every once in a while, right? The quality of the cut makes up for the slightly added cost, and the thickness of the loin helps prevent it from drying out. By wrapping it in prosciutto, you not only get the added flavor (who doesn’t love bacon?), but it crisps up beautifully in the pan and melds to the pork in the cooking process, creating a layer of crunchy, bacony goodness. The fat in the prosciutto also bastes the tenderloin as it roasts, ensuring a product that is juicy and tender.

1 Pork Tenderloin; about 2-2.5lbs1/8 lb Prosciutto; thinly sliced as possible 1) The first step is to roll out a sheet of wax paper no longer than your strips of prosciutto and preheat your oven to 375°.2) Next, begin laying out your prosciutto vertically on the wax paper, overlapping each piece by about a third so that there are no spaces in between and you have a solid “sheet” of prosciutto.3) Take your tenderloin and lay it perpendicular to the prosciutto strips at one end of the paper. Carefully roll the tenderloin in the prosciutto, making sure that is snug against the tenderloin all the way so that it sticks to the meat properly.4) Carefully peel off the wax paper and place your bacon-wrapped pork log in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Pan fry until the prosciutto becomes leathery and crispy, using tongs to rotate the tenderloin so that the prosciutto is cooked on all sides.5) Finish by placing the whole kit and kaboodle on a rack in a pan in the oven and roast it at 375° for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Mango SalsaWhile it does complement this dish perfectly, this classic salsa is a great condiment to have in your bag of tricks. It’s good on meat, fish, chips, juevos rancheros, or anything else that needs a little flavor boost. The orange of the mangoes, combined with the purple of the onions and green of the jalapenos, also makes for a beautiful presentation. The key when preparing this salsa, as with anything that involves a mixture of different chopped ingredients, is to shoot for uniformity in the size of the pieces. This ensures that the resulting flavor is a balanced combination of the different flavors in play and that no one flavor is too overwhelming, although in this case you want the mango to shine, so the mango pieces should be slightly larger than the other ingredients. The other important thing to remember is that mangoes have a unique diamond shaped pit that can make things complicated, so be prepared. This salsa can be made spicy as you like by simply regulating the amount of jalapeno, so I’m going to give you a relatively balanced version and let you play with it depending on your individual taste.

1 Mango; peeled, pitted, and diced1 Red onion; finely minced1 Jalapeno; finely minced2 Tblspns Fresh cilantro; finely mincedHalf a lime

1) The preparation here is pretty simple: combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and squeeze the lime over them. 2) Gently mix the ingredients making sure not to not bruise the mango to much.

To serve, simply slice the tenderloin into discs with the sharpest knife you can find so you can cut through the crispy prosciutto crust cleanly without damaging it. Spoon some of the salsa over the pork and complete the plate with a nice starch like tostones (twice-fried plantains) or yucca root grated and fried. The bright colors and bold, tropical flavor of this dish are sure to warm up the coldest winter nights. As always, let me know how it goes and bon appetit!

About the Contributor
Ben Whelan served for the following positions at The Mass Media for the following years: Editor-in-Chief: Spring 2009; 2009-2010. News Editor: Spring 2008; Fall 2008 Sports Editor: 2006-2007