Saturday, March 06, 2010

Pork Tenderloin with Plum Sauce

This was a very successful and "fancy" Saturday night dinner for Ed and me from my Cooking Light cookbook.

1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots (about 1 medium)
2 cups chopped, peeled ripe plums (no plums at the store, so we used plum jam)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon butter (we didn't use this, but didn't miss it)
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts, toasted

4 cups chicken broth
1 cup polenta (cornmeal)
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup parmesan
4 tablespoons cream cheese

1 lb asparagus, trimmed
olive oil cooking spray
salt and pepper, to taste

I started by preparing the polenta, a food that Ed and I had been excited to try, ever since we had amazing creamy polenta while we were in San Francisco.

The recipe I used was a combination of a few different ones I looked at. I started by boiling 4 cups of chicken broth with 1 tablespoon of butter. Then, I added the polenta, a little at a time, wisking it in as I went. It was amazing how quickly the polenta soaked up the liquid! It cooked for 25 minutes on low heat. Then, I added the parmesan and the cream cheese. I didn't really time this correctly, though, and next time won't start this until after I got the tenderloin going. 

Next, I combined the grated ginger, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/8 tesaspoon of pepper in a small bowl. 

Then, I rubbed in on my tenderloin, which was cut into 7 pieces (the recipe calls for 8, but one of my tenderloin's ends was pretty thin, so I went with 7)

Let the meat sit for 15 minutes. (Next time I'll do the meat step first, then prepare the polenta). 

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat (I used a smaller pan, which was fine). Add shallots; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. 

Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, plums, sugar, and ground ginger. Cook 8 minutes or until plums are tender (We skipped this step, since we started with jam instead of plums). Stir in wine and vinegar. Reduce heat, simmer 10 minutes. Add butter, stir until butter melts (again, we left this out, which was fine).

To prepare the meat, heat a large nonstick pan over medium high heat. Cook pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness (I didn't put the pan heat high enough, and it took a lot longer, about 6 minutes on each side, to cook). Serve sauce over pork. Sprinkle with walnuts. 

For asparagus, I placed trimmed asparagus on a foil lined pan, and then sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. I seasoned it with salt and pepper, and then roasted the asparagus in the oven for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees. 

Finally, I put everything together, paired it with a glass of red wine, and it was ready to enjoy :). 


Jean said...

This sounds and looks quite delicious as well! I love pork tenderloin.

Believe it or not, I have never made polenta! :) I should give this a try!

Addy said...

This was my first polenta attempt, and I am sold! It's a nice alternative to rice/quinoa (similar cooking method), and is comforting like mashed potatoes.

This was also my first attempt at pork tenderloin, and Ed and I are sold on it!

You should definitely give it a try :)

Rick Gaston said...

You had me at "pork". Sounds so delicious.