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Cheryl Alters Jamison & Bill Jamison
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Tropical Tenderloins
from Sublime Smoke(Harvard Common Press, 1996)

Tamarind trees are native to Asia and northern Africa, but they are grown today in most tropical regions of the world. The deliciously sour and assertive fruit flavors these tenderloins with sunny exuberance.


  • Two 12-ounce to 14-ounce sections of pork tenderloin
For the Paste:
  • 8 green onions with tops, chopped
  • 1 chunk peeled fresh ginger, 1 inch by 1 inch
  • 1 small hot fresh green or dried red chile, stemmed and seeded
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate or paste *
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
*May be found in speciality food stores, well-stocked supermarkets or mail order from Kaluftyan in New York, 212-685-3451.

1. The night before you plan to smoke the pork, make the paste in a food processor. With the motor running, drop in the green onions, ginger, and chile, and process until minced. Stop and scrape down the sides of the processor, if necessary, to combine. Add the remaining paste ingredients and process until pureed.

2. Massage the tenderloins with the paste, wrap them in plastic, and refrigerate them overnight.

3. Bring your smoker to its appropriate cooking temperature.

4. Remove the tenderloins from the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

5. Warm a heavy skillet over high heat. Quickly sear the tenderloins on all sides. Transfer the tenderloins to the smoker. Cook the pork to an internal temperature of 155 degrees F to 160 degrees F, about 55 to 65 minutes at a cooking temperature of 225 degrees F to 250 degrees F.

6.When the meat is cooked, let it sit at room temperature, covered, for 10 minutes before carving it into thin slices. Serve hot.

Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison are the country's preeminent experts on smoke-cooked barbecue and regional Southwestern cooking. The authors of ten cookbooks and travel guides, they write with wit and passion about American home cooking, the food and culture of the Southwest, and tropical travel. The Jamisons have twice received the culinary world's most prestigious honor, the James Beard Book Award, for Smoke & Spice and for The Border Cookbook, which was also nominated for the Julia Child Cookbook Award. The Jamison's books are acknowledged to be definitive guides to their respective subjects - authentic smoke-cooked barbecue, genuine Southwest-border home cooking, or succulent, "open-air, open-flame" grilling. The New York Times Book Review, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Cook's Illustrated, On the Grill, and Gourmet are only a few of the major publications that have praised the Jamisons for their encyclopedic knowledge and engaging writing style.

The Jamisons are also national spokespeople for The National Pork Producers Council and are frequent guest- instructors at many prestigious cooking schools around the country, including the Santa Fe School of Cooking where Cheryl teaches traditional and contemporary Southwestern and Mexican cooking. In addition to their cookbooks and travel guides, the Jamisons also write articles for magazines and newspapers, including Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Cook's Illustrated, On the Grill, and the New York Times. Bill and Cheryl Jamison make their home in Santa Fe, where they develop their recipes and do most of their writing.

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