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!