Guava-glazed Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Habañero Orange Mojo

| June 21, 2010 | 1 Comment

One of our favorite ways of contributing to our community is hosting dinners in our home. Most of these dinners begin as an item in a silent auction. Our grilled pork tenderloin featured in this post was the entrée for a dinner benefiting A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village in Salem, Oregon.  

A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village was meant to inspire creative play in our greatest natural resource, the ever-present “next generation”, our children. 

A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village 

“A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village is a private nonprofit children’s museum located in downtown Salem in Riverfront Park. Founded in 1989, A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village provides innovative and stimulating educational experiences which spark children’s natural curiosity. The Village’s mission is to provoke curiosity, inspire awe, awaken interest, foster enjoyment, encourage learning, and enable understanding in all youth. This is accomplished through fun and challenging exhibits, summer camps, birthday parties, membership opportunities and outreach programs in the sciences, arts, and humanities.” 

A.C. Gilbert House with a statue of a young girl daydreaming.


Who Was A.C. Gilbert? 

“After graduating from Yale with a degree in medicine and earning an Olympic gold medal in the pole vault, A.C. Gilbert created the Erector Set, an engineering toy that enabled a young child to build such items as Ferris wheels and bridges. He later marketed a variety of other educational toys ranging from American Flyer trains to Mysto Magic sets, chemistry and telegraph sets. With his toys, Gilbert hoped to combine fun with an understanding and appreciation of science. Gilbert realized that a child needed playthings that would encourage creative expression and satisfy a natural curiosity about the world.  

“A.C. Gilbert was born in Salem, Ore., on February 15th, 1884. Today, his uncle’s Victorian home, the A.C. Gilbert House, is one of three structures that house our museum’s exhibits. A display of vintage Gilbert toys and inventions along with an exhibit chronicling his exciting life are located in the Parrish House. At the end of his life, A.C. Gilbert held 150 patents for his inventions. This creative genius who believed that “playing is essential to learnin g” serves as a wonderful inspiration and namesake for our hands-on, interactive museum.” 

The museum is an inspirational haven for many of the home-schooled children in the Willamette Valley. They flock there for the rich environment of awe-inspiring architecture, exhibits and numerous classes. 

Shortly after moving to Salem, I taught a series of cooking classes for the children and parents who enjoyed the educational and inspirational opportunities of the Discovery Village. The kids taught me a lot, as it should be. They also amazed me with the speed of their learning about cooking and food preparation. They especially enjoyed making homemade pasta, Chinese dumplings  like the Siu Mai on the menu, pizza and clafoutis, and decorating cookies. 

When Discovery Village’s executive director, Pam Vorachek, asked if we would donate a dinner for their silent auction, saying yes was easy. 

Like most museums, The A.C Gilbert Discovery Village exists because community leadership envisioned it and made it a reality. It continues to exist and thrive through the generosity of private donors, foundation and corporate grants, and the many hours of volunteered time. You can help keep the Discovery Village’s doors open for the children of the Willamette Valley in many ways. The museum’s web site explains how you can help with your monetary gifts as well as your time. 

Pam Vorachek assembling Siu Mai, with Ken Chambers and Vic looking on.



Some of the menu items like the Bhutanese Red Rice Salad and Asian Red Chile and Pecan Slaw have been previously posted on The Taste of Oregon. 

The original clafouti hails from the Limousin region of France and would contain black cherries only. Vic posted his version of a persimmon clafouti last winter. The recipe is basically the same except for the exchange of fruit. 

We enjoyed a little comparison tasting between rosés made from Pinot Noir and Grenache grapes during the appetizer course. Pinot Noir, of course, would be the choice here in the cooler Willamette Valley. Abecelo Vineyards, located in the southern Umpqua Valley, enjoys a much warmer micro-climate suitable for growing grape varietals usually associated with Spain and Southern France. It makes perfect sense for them to produce a rosé from the Grenache grape. 

Grilled Pork Tenderloin à la Rodriguez with Guava Glaze and Orange Habañero Mojo
Adapted from an recipe from Bobby Flay’s Boy Gets Grill 

“My good friend Eddie Rodriguez, a clothing designer (he is the Rodriguez in Wilke-Rodriguez), is my longtime guide to the wonderful world of Cuban flavor. This recipe is my tribute to him. Lime, orange, garlic, cumin, vinegar, and just the right amount of chile heat are, to me, what make Cuban food so irresistible. If you’ve never tasted a real Cuban mojo, the classic sauce for pork, plantains, and a lot of other staples, prepare to be blown away. I like to grill pork tenderloins, which cook fast and stay juicy. Lean pork tenderloins cook like chicken breasts. They’re very simple and very tender, but you have got to get them off the grill before they overcook. As soon as they firm up, they are DONE.”
Bobby Flay

Grilled Pork Tenderloin à la Rodriguez with Guava Glaze and Orange Habañero Mojo


For the glaze: 

  1. 1 cup (240 ml.) guava jelly (available at Latin and Caribbean markets) or apricot jam
  2. ¼ cup (60 ml.) Dijon mustard
  3. ¼ cup (60 ml.) orange juice, preferably fresh
  4. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Mix thoroughly all ingredients.

The glaze can be made a few days in advance and stored covered in the refrigerator. Return to room temperature before using. 

For the mojo:
  1. 2 tablespoons (30 ml.) mild vegetable oil, such as canola
  2. 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  3. 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  4. 3 cups (720 ml.) orange juice
  5. ½ cup (120 ml.) fresh lime juice
  6. ½ habañero chile, seeded and finely chopped
  7. 2 tablespoons (30 ml.) chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  8. 1 teaspoon (5 ml.) cumin seeds
  9. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Heat the oil over medium heat and cook the onions and garlic while stirring constantly until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes or so.
  • Add the next 3 ingredients and bring to a boil.
  • Cook until reduced by half. (I check the beginning depth using my stirring spoon and use that to gauge the progress of the reduction.)
  • Stir in the cilantro and cumin then season with salt and pepper.
  • This can be made a few hours prior to grilling the pork and held at room temperature.

For the pork: 

  1. 2 pork tenderloins, about 1½ pounds (680 gr.) each
  2. 2 tablespoons (30 ml.) mild vegetable oil, such as canola
  3. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Prepare your grill with high heat.
  • Brush the pork with the oil and season with the salt and pepper.
  • Grill while brushing often with the glaze, about 4-5 minutes per side.
  • Remove the pork from the grill and brush liberally with the remaining glaze.
  • Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Slice into ½-¾ inch (1¼-2 cm.) slices and serve with the mojo around, over or under the sliced pork loins.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired.
Bon appétit
— Charles

Tags: ,

Category: Meat, Pork

About the Author (Author Profile)

Music, food and photography are at the center of Charles’ life. He performed with the Dallas Symphony, Dallas Opera and was assistant principal bassoonist with the Fort Worth Symphony for more than 20 years. When Charles and Victor moved to Baltimore, Charles created Lone Star Personal Chef and Catering Service and taught cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma. Now in Salem, Charles is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Mountain West Real Estate, taught cooking classes for children at the A.C. Gilbert Discovery Village, and owns and operates Charles Price Photography. Charles and Vic enjoy entertaining and frequently host dinners as fundraisers for local non-profits and charities

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