It’s funny how we all usually view summer as grilling season, but it’s been way to hot here for me to enjoy grilling. I don’t know about you, but the thought of grilling a pork tenderloin with the sun beating down on me (plus the heat of the grill) isn’t exactly appealing. Spring is kind of out as grilling season too, because of our high winds. Good luck keeping the grill going in 40 mph winds. And if you can manage keeping the grill going, good luck keeping the sand off your food.
It’s finally started to cool off a teeny bit here – think high’s in the 80′s and very low 90′s instead of upper 90′s, low 100′s – and I feel like it’s time to start grilling again. I took a big break from the grill for a while, and the kids haven’t even really wanted to play outside in the afternoons with the FULL sun we get in the backyard. September and October are so beautiful in New Mexico and I’m really looking forward to the changing temps and being able to spend time outside again.
I created this Grilled Cumin-Lime Pork and Pineapple recipe for US Wellness Meats as a “thank you” for sponsoring me to attend Evo Conference this summer. This grilled pork is so tender and juicy and goes great with a big green salad, but I’ve also been wanting to experiment with Pork Quesadillas and this is what I came up with – Cumin-Lime Pork and Pineapple Quesadillas.
Cumin-Lime Pork and Pineapple Quesasdillas
For the Quesadillas:
1 recipe Cumin-Lime Pork (click for recipe), cooked and sliced thin or chopped
Medium Sized Flour Tortillas
Pepper Jack Cheese
Salsa Verde and/or fresh guacamole for serving
2 1/2 cups fresh pineapple, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 - 1 Anaheim pepper, seeds removed and diced (adjust for your heat preference)
2 green onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro, chopped
Prepare all the ingredients for the salsa as listed in the ingredients. Toss to combine and refrigerate until you make the quesadillas. Can be made up to 12 hours ahead of time.
Combine all the ingredients except the pork into a food processor to make the marinade. Give 3-4 quick pulses. Place the pork in a gallon sized zip top bag. Pour the marinade over the pork, seal the bag and marinade for 24-48 hours in the refrigerator.
Too cook: preheat the grill to high heat. Add the pork and turn the heat down to medium-high. Sear on each side for 3-5 minutes.
Insert a meat thermometer into the very center of the pork to test the temperature. The pork is safe to remove from the grill when the temperature reaches 145 degrees F.
If the pork has not yet reached 145 degrees F, then lower the temperature of the grill to medium-low and place the pork on the upper rack. Cook until the temperature reaches 145 degrees, testing every couple of minutes.
Remove pork from the grill and transfer to a platter and loosely tent with foil. Allow the tenderloin to rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting into it. Slice and serve.
To assemble the quesadillas: Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Lightly grease a pan (such as a Round 12 inch Griddle) with canola oil. Heat over medium heat. Sprinkle pepper jack cheese, about a small handful, on to one tortilla. Top the cheese with about a 1/3 cup of pork, then 1/4 cup of pineapple salsa and top with another small handful of pepper jack. Place another tortilla on top of the final layer. Cook on the griddle over medium heat for 3-5 minutes per side, or until the tortillas are golden on both sides and the cheese is melted.
Place cooked quesadillas on a baking sheet and place in the 200 degree F oven to keep warm while you make additional quesadillas.
Cut quesadillas into sixths and serve with salsa verde and/or fresh guacamole.