Pork Tenderloin with Greens & Polenta

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After preparing a meal with pork tenderloin such as this one, I ask myself why I don’t always utilize the oven probe thermometer; it makes cooking to perfection completely FOOLPROOF!! This dish had wonderful components… the soft and cheesy polenta, the flavorful and bountiful greens, and the perfectly cooked meat. 🙂 Amazing! This recipe was loosely adapted from Everyday Food.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

For the Polenta:

  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup polenta
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Finish the Dish:

  • 2 pork tenderloins (approximately 1 pound each)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for dish
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 large bunch Swiss chard (3/4 pound), stems cut into 1/2-inch pieces, leaves sliced into 1-2 inch ribbons
  • 6-8 cups collard greens, large ribs removed, thinly sliced into 1/4-inch ribbons
  • 3 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a 4-quart enameled cast iron pot, bring milk and stock to a boil over medium-high. Gradually whisk in polenta. Continue to whisk until polenta thickens. Reduce heat to low, season with salt and pepper, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until cooked, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add Parmesan; stir.
  3. Meanwhile, season pork with salt and pepper. Heat a 12-inch ovenproof sauté pan over medium-high heat; add 1-2 teaspoons of oil. Sear pork until browned on all sides, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove from heat. Transfer pan to oven.
  4. Roast pork until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 145 degrees, about 10 to 15 minutes (on convection roast). (Use an oven probe thermometer if available!) Transfer to a plate and loosely cover with foil. Let pork rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  5. While the pork is resting, return skillet to heat and add 1-2 teaspoons oil along with the onions and chard stems. Cook, scraping up browned bits, until vegetables begin to soften, 3 to 5 minutes (add additional stock and/or reduce heat to prevent burning, as needed). Add garlic along with the chard and collard leaves and cook until the greens are wilted, about 2 minutes. Add sherry vinegar, stock, and accumulated juices from the pork; cook until liquid has almost evaporated, about 4 minutes.
  6. Season the greens with salt and pepper and serve over polenta topped with the sliced pork.

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One Year Ago:

Red Onion Soup with Gruyere Toasts

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I had to squeeze in one last batch of warm and cozy soup before the end of winter. 🙂 French Onion Soup is one of my all-time favorites. I expected that this dish would be simply a different version of French Onion Soup, but it lacked the sweetness that I love. I added sugar to offset the bitterness of the red onions and it was much improved. (I never add sugar to savory dishes! I guess never say never…) I also substituted homemade turkey stock for half of the water in the recipe. The rich and dark color from the caramelized red onions was gorgeous and the fabulous cheesy herb toast topping made the soup just right. This recipe was adapted from Jacques PĂ©pin, via David Tanis of The New York Times.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

  • Olive oil
  • 6 pounds red onions, peeled, sliced 1/8-inch thick (about 8 large onions)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 LARGE bunch thyme, tied with string
  • 16 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 4 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • 2-4 tablespoons brandy (optional)
  • 2-4 tablespoons granulated sugar (optional), or to taste
  • 8 -10 slices day-old bread, lightly toasted (I used a sourdough baguette)
  • 10 ounces grated Gruyère, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons chopped thyme
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped sage
1.
Set 2 large, wide skillets over medium-high heat. When pans are hot, add 1 tablespoon oil and a large handful of sliced onions to each pan. Season onions with salt and pepper, then sauté, stirring occasionally, until they are a ruddy dark brown, about 10 minutes.
2.
Transfer onions to soup pot and return pans to stove. Pour 1/2 cup water into each pan to deglaze it, scraping with a wooden spoon to dissolve any brown bits. Pour deglazing liquid into soup pot. Wipe pans clean with paper towel and begin again with more oil and sliced onions. Continue until all onions are used. Don’t crowd pans or onions won’t brown sufficiently.
3.
Place soup pot over high heat. Add wine, bay leaves, thyme bunch and garlic. Simmer rapidly for 5 minutes, then add stock and 4 cups water and return to boil. Turn heat down to maintain a gentle simmer. Add 4 teaspoons salt. Cook for 45 minutes. Skim off any surface fat, taste and adjust seasoning. (May be prepared to this point up to 2 days in advance.)
4.
To serve, add brandy and/or sugar to soup, if using, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove the thyme. Make the cheese toasts: Heat broiler. Place toasted bread on baking sheet. Mix grated cheese with chopped thyme and sage, along with a generous amount of pepper. Heap about 1 ounce of cheese mixture on each toast. Broil until cheese bubbles and browns slightly. Ladle soup into wide bowls and top with toast. (I sprinkled the soup with extra cheese as well!)
One Year Ago:

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