Peppercorn-crusted Turkey Tenderloin
Provided by: Lauren Braun Costello
Peppercorns and turkey might sound like ordinary ingredients, but shift that combination to grains of paradise and turkey tenderloin and it opens up a new door. West African "grains of paradise," also known as meleguetta pepper, offer a unique pepper flavor with aromatic hints of ginger and cardamom. Turkey tenderloin is just like chicken tenderloin - that tender strip of white meat under the turkey breast. It's the perfect cut to serve when you don't have a lot of time to cook. Brine this naturally lean meat to make it extra moist and flavorful.
- FOR THE BRINE:
- 6 cups cold water
- 1/3 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon grains of paradise or black peppercorns
- FOR THE TURKEY:
- 2 turkey tenderloins (each about 1 1/2 lbs.)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon coarsely ground grains of paradise or black peppercorns*
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Gather these tools: cutting board, chef's knife, large nonreactive mixing bowl, whisk, plastic wrap, tongs, paper towels, aluminum foil, sheet pan
- PREPARE THE BRINE:
In a large nonreactive bowl, combine the water, kosher salt, sugar and grains of paradise/black peppercorns and stir until dissolved. Place the turkey tenderloins in the brine, seal, and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
- FOR THE TURKEY:
Remove the turkey from the brine, pat completely dry, and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400F. Heat a large saute pan, medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place each tenderloin in the pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove from pan and place on a foil-lined sheet pan. Coat each tenderloin evenly with the grains of paradise/peppercorns and salt.
- Roast for 10-12 minutes on the center rack or until the turkey reaches an internal temperature between 160F and 165°F. Let the turkey rest for at least 5 minutes before carving into 1/2-inch slices.
- *To grind coarsely whole grains of paradise, place in a resealable plastic bag and apply pressure, moving back and forth, with a heavy pot.