Weeknight cooking is all about getting gobs of flavor from just a few ingredients, no special techniques and as little effort as possible.
The trick is in finding those big, boldly flavored ingredients and getting them to do at least most of the work for you. But that isn't to suggest there is any great science to this. Find an ingredient, grab a hunk of meat, toss them together in a bowl for a while, then see what happens.
That's pretty much how I came up with this wildly flavorful take on grilled pork tenderloin. And I didn't even use pork the first time around.
All I did was whisk together mirin (a sweet Japanese cooking wine), a bit of kosher salt and some garlic powder. I tossed in a hunk of steak, then walked away for a while. A few minutes on the grill and I had one of the most flavorful, well seared steaks I'd ever enjoyed. Best yet, it was a cheap piece of steak that was pretty much at the end of its shelf life.
The next time I made it, I switched the meat to pork. The results were even better.
I could have stopped there, but I also wanted to give this dish a seasonal touch. I just didn't want much extra work. Since apples and pork work so nicely together, that seemed like the right place to start. I also liked the idea of playing the apples off mirin's sweet side.
All it took was a simple saute of chopped apples, onions and - for big, effortless flavor and a nice thick body - some purchased sweet chutney. You'll find mirin in the Asian or international sections of most grocers. The chutney should be nearby, too.