OK, so that was a cheap shot at the members of Congress who are spinning their wills on the health care reform debate. I don’t know why we can bail out the banks and the auto executives, but we can’t ensure that Americans have health insurance . . . but that’s not the point of this post.

I’m actually going to talk about pork today – you know, dead pigs. My local supermarket was advertising pork chops at 67 cents a pound this week, and pork tenderloin was only $1.79 a pound. Maybe it’s the swine flu that’s caused pork prices to plummet. Who knows? Regardless of the reason, pork is apparently an excellent way to stretch your meat lovin’ food dollar these days. So here are two recipes to make use of those cheap cuts of meat. (But when you look at this little guy’s face, do you really want to eat him?)

Grilled Pork Chops
pork chops (1 per person)
ground coriander
salt and pepper

1. Season each of the pork chops to taste and let the seasonings absorb while you heat up the grill.
2. Put the chops on the grill over a medium-high heat. Sear each side for just a minute, then turn the heat down to medium.
3. Depending on the thickness of the chops, you will only need to grill the meat for 2-3 minutes on each side. It’s OK for pork to be a little pink on the inside. The only real risk of food-borne illness for pork is trichinosis, and that really hasn’t been an issue in the US for a couple of decades.
4. Let the meat rest for a few minutes before you actually cut into it and eat it.

Honey Sesame Pork Tenderloin
(Makes 4-6 servings)

½ cup soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground ginger, or 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 to 1½ lb pork tenderloin
¼ cup honey
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
¼ cup sesame seeds

1. Combine the soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil in a plastic bag. Add the tenderloin. Marinate for at least 2 hours.
2. Combine the honey and brown sugar in a shallow bowl. Put the sesame seeds in a separate shallow bowl.
3. Remove the tenderloin from the marinade, pat dry with a paper towel, then roll it in the honey mixture, and then the sesame seeds.
4. Roast in a shallow roasting pan at 375 for 20-30 minutes, or until the meat thermometer registers 145-160.

Pork pairs nicely with mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables. You might find a great end-of-summer deal on peaches or strawberries, which would make an awesome, simple dessert. And as Meryl Streep would say in her best Julia Child voice, “Bon apetit!”

Photo credit: stock.xchng