Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Sautéed Apples and Creamy Grits

So far this year, I think I am averaging one grits post a week. The year 2011 may turn out to by “My Year of Grits,” and I’m pretty sure no one in my family will complain. My food prediction for the year is: Grits are the new polenta.

We always grill our pork tenderloin, but that wasn’t an option last week with a foot of snow on the deck, howling winds, and snow flurries so I went looking for another family-friendly option that would go together fairly quickly. I found this Cooking Light recipe, made a couple of changes so that I could avoid a trip to the store, and paired it with my creamy grits for a winter dinner that made everyone in my family happy. Those grits are so good that even the most carb-averse diner will get over it.

I used my Charleston stone-ground grits -- yellow rather than white this time -- which take around 40 minutes to cook. Start those first and you can easily have the other two components finished in about the same time.

For the grits:
· 2 cups chicken broth
· 2 cups fat-free milk
· 2 cups stone-ground yellow grits
· 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
· 2 tablespoons butter
· Dash of Cholula hot sauce
Bring the chicken broth and milk to a boil in a medium sauce pan, add the grits. Turn the heat down to low and simmer, stirring frequently, about 30-40 minutes. Add the salt, butter, and Cholula. If needed, thin with an additional 1/4 cup broth or water. Cook an additional 5 minutes.
For the pork:
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
· 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
· 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
· 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
· 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 12 pieces
· 2 tablespoons Healthy Choice oil
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Combine first 5 ingredients; sprinkle spice mixture evenly over pork. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove pork from pan; keep warm.
For the apples:
· 2 tablespoons butter
· 2 cups thinly sliced unpeeled Braeburn apple
· 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
· 1/8 teaspoon salt
· 1/4 cup sparkling apple cider
Melt butter in pan; swirl to coat. Add apple slices, red onion, and salt; sauté 4 minutes or until apple starts to brown. Add sparkling apple cider to pan, and cook for 2 minutes or until apple is crisp-tender..
Garnish: 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
Plate by putting about 1 cup of grits on the plate and topping with 3 slices of pork tenderloin. Spoon approximately 1/4 cup of the apple mixture on top, then garnish each plate with 1/4 teaspoon thyme.

I paired the pork, apples and grits with a green salad tossed in a honey-apple cider vinaigrette which added a light, fresh element to the plate. Great kid-friendly dinner!


nancy said...

This dish sounds and looks sooo delicious! Love the healthy ingredients too...Thanks for sharing.

JGH said...

I got food poisoning and haven't felt like eating ANYTHING all day. But looking at those grits, I'm getting my appetite back!

Lynn said...

I would think grits would be a good thing for you to eat!

Virginia said...

This looks excellent! Think we'll try this weekend.

mesh said...

Sounds amazing! About how much cheese do you put in the grits?

Lynn said...

Those are not cheese grits -- I used yellow grits so they look cheesy. If you want to make cheese grits with the pork and apples, I would use about 1 1/2 cups (packed) of grated, mild cheddar.

mesh said...

OK, thanks! (the reason I asked was because it said 'add cheese' along w/ the butter and Cholula). ;-)

Lynn said...

Oops -- thanks for catching that. I copied the grits from another post (that will be going up later today) in which the grits do have cheese. I do think that the cheddar grits would work well with the pork too.