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Veggie Drama

June 25, 1997|BETTY ROSBOTTOM | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES; Rosbottom is the author of "American Favorites" (Chapters Publishing, 1996)

Pork tenderloins rubbed with spices and surrounded by green beans flavored with lime butter are the perfect centerpiece for a summer dinner party. The meat and the vegetable can be prepared in less than an hour.

The tenderloins, rubbed with a mixture of chili powder, ground cumin, salt and pepper, then quickly roasted and sliced, are equally good served warm or at room temperature. The beans, blanched for a few minutes until tender, are tossed in butter seasoned with lime peel, lime juice and chopped cilantro. The pork slices, white in the center and rimmed with a dark spicy crust, look striking with the emerald beans as a garnish.

For simple side dishes, serve corn on the cob and sliced tomatoes. Bowls of peeled nectarine halves mounded with scoops of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt make a fine dessert.

SOUTHWESTERN SPICED PORK TENDERLOINS WITH GREEN BEANS IN LIME BUTTER

PORK

1 tablespoon cumin

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Scant 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins, fat trimmed

GREEN BEANS

3 tablespoons butter, softened

1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime peel

1 tablespoon lime juice

Salt

Freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed diagonally

1 lime, cut into 1/2-inch wedges for garnish, optional

PORK

Combine cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper in small bowl. Rub mixture over tenderloins.

Place pork on rack in pan and roast at 350 degrees until completely cooked and meat thermometer registers 150 degrees, 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove from oven, tent loosely with foil and let rest 10 minutes.

GREEN BEANS

Combine butter, lime peel and juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, several grinds black pepper and cilantro in small bowl and set aside.

Bring 5 to 6 quarts water to boil in large pot.

While pork is resting, add beans and 1 1/2 tablespoons salt to boiling water and cook until just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain in colander.

Toss beans in large bowl with lime butter. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.

To serve, cut pork into 1/4-inch-thick slices and arrange overlapping on serving tray surrounded by beans. Garnish plate with lime wedges.

8 servings. Each serving:

285 mg sodium; 67 mg cholesterol; 7 grams fat; 9 grams carbohydrates; 20 grams protein; 1.47 grams fiber.

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