Wayne's Weekend

Wayne's Weekend

Give Lettuce Wraps An Italian Twist

Make stone ground mustard and herb spiced lettuce wraps with garlic, oregano and tomatoes

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Wayne Johnson
    Give an Italian flavor to lettuce wraps with seasoned pork, peppers, fresh oregano, tomatoes and mozzarella

    Lettuce wraps are traditionally made with an Asian spiced filling.  But, I thought i'd experiment and give mine a bit of an Italian flavor.  So, using a stone ground mustard and herb spiced pork tenderloin, I added garlic, oregano, tomatoes and mozzarella.  It makes a nice combination of fresh and cooked ingredients with a dipping sauce for a little extra flavor.

    Italian Lettuce Wraps
    makes about 6-8 appetizer servings

    Lettuce Wraps with a Touch of Italy

    [CHI] Lettuce Wraps with a Touch of Italy
    Wayne puts a twist on lettuce wraps.

    Ingredients

    Sauce

    3 tbl Balsamic Vinegar
    1/2 cu Vegetable Stock, or chicken stock
    1 1/2 tbl Molasses
    3 tbl Stone Ground Mustard

    Pork Mixture

    Small Pork Tenderloin, about 1 1/2 lb, rinsed and patted dry, you'll only use half for this recipe.
    2 tbl Stone Ground Mustard
    1 1/2 tbl Pork Spice Mix (ingredients below)
    1/2 tbl Olive Oil
    1 lg Yellow Pepper, seeded and diced
    1 sm Red Onion, chopped
    2 cloves Garlic, peeled and smashed
    1 cu Grape Tomatoes, halved
    1/2 cu Fresh Mozzarella, cut into pieces about the size of the tomato halves
    1 1/2 tbl Fresh Oregano, roughly chopped
    Salt and Pepper, to taste

    1 head Iceberg Lettuce, leaves separated

    Method

    Whisk sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Stir at a rolling boil for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and strain.  Set aside.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place tenderloin on a baking sheet and liberally cover all surfaces with the grilling spice mix.  Cover the spice mix with the stone ground mustard.  Roast tenderloin to an internal temperature of 150 degrees F in the thickest part, about 40 minutes. Cooking times vary depending on the size of the tenderloin and actual oven temperature.  It's always best to use a thermometer to test for doneness.

    Remove the tenderloin from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.  Slice half the tenderloin into 1/2" slices and then chop into bite size pieces.  You can use the entire tenderloin for this dish if you want a "meat eaters" version (or are feeding a big crowd).  Or, you can save half and slice it for sandwiches.

    Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat.  Add onions and sauté for about 2 minutes.  Add garlic, yellow pepper and half of the oregano and sauté until just tender, about 3 minutes longer.  Remove from heat.  Toss together tenderloin, sauteéd vegetables, tomatoes, remaining oregano and mozzarella.  Season with salt and pepper and serve with lettuce leaves and sauce.

    Tip: An easy way to separate the lettuce leaves is to run water into each outer leaf layer until it pulls away.

    SQUEALER
    
Pork Grilling Spice Mix

    Ingredients

    5 1/2 tsp Paprika

    3 1/2 tsp Black Pepper

    1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

    1 1/2 tsp Cumin

    1 1/2 tsp Oregano

    1 tsp Salt

    1 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

    1 1/2 tsp Onion Powder

    1 tsp Cayenne Pepper

    2 1/2 tsp Brown Sugar

    Mix ingredients together and either grind in spice grinder or in a mortar and pestle.  Store in an airtight container.

    If you have any comments or questions, please send me an email at wayne@waynesweekend.com or follow me on Facebook or Twitter.