California Grill: Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

California Grill, Contemporary Resort 

Yield: 4 servings

6 tablespoons olive oil
20 fresh sage leaves with stems
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
1 1/2 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/2 cup Mustard Butter    (recipe below)
Garlic and Herb Polenta    (recipe below)
1 cup Balsamic Mushroom  (recipe below)

In a 10-inch skillet, heat 4 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add 5 of the sage leaves and turn quickly, cooking for only 10 seconds; immediately, with a slotted spoon, transfer the sage leaves to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining sage leaves. Set aside at room temperature until ready to serve.

On a plate, stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the salt, and the pepper. Completely coat the pork tenderloin with the olive oil mixture.

Preheat an empty 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the pork and sear, turning with tongs to brown all sides. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, turning frequently and basting occasionally with the Mustard Butter, for about 15 minutes, or just until the pork is cooked through. Set the pork aside, covered, on a cutting board, for 5 minutes to let the juices settle.

To serve, arrange the Garlic and Herb Polenta on 4 warm serving plates. Cut the pork loin crosswise into 20 thick slices and arrange 5 slices on each serving of polenta. Ladle the Balsamic Mushroom Glaze over the pork and top each serving with 5 leaves of fried sage.

Mustard Butter for Pork:  (1/2 cup)
6 tablespoons of butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 teaspoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients with a fork until well blended. Set aside. Can cover and chill for up to 2 weeks.

Garlic and Herb Polenta:  (3 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons Roasted Garlic Puree    (recipe below)
1 1/4 cups water
1 1/4 cups milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
2 tablespoons grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup crumbled soft mild goat cheese
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Roasted Garlic Puree:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 whole garlic head

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut off the stem and top third of 1 whole garlic head. Place the garlic on a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Wrap the garlic with foil, seal the edges tightly, and roast for 1 hour. Remove the package from the oven, open carefully, and let the garlic cool slightly. Scrape or squeeze out the pulp from the garlic cloves. You should get about 2 tablespoons roasted garlic puree from 1 head of garlic.

Method of Preparation for  Polenta:
In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the Roasted Garlic puree. Add the water, milk, and heavy cream and bring the mixture to a simmer over high heat. Add the cornmeal in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly. Stir in the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 15 to 20 minutes, or until thick and bubbling. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the Asiago, goat cheese, thyme, and sage. Serve the polenta hot, garnished with the parsley.

Balsamic Mushroom Glaze: (1 cup)
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
1 cup Zinfandel Glaze    (recipe below)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400°F.In a medium bowl, toss the mushrooms with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the mushrooms in a single layer and roast, turning once, for 7 to 8 minutes, or until softened and browned. In a 2-quart saucepan, bring the Zinfandel Glaze to a simmer over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and the balsamic vinegar and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve into a bowl. Brush onto meat or poultry while roasting or grilling. Store the sauce, covered and chilled, for up to 1 week.

Zinfandel Glaze:  (1 cup)
1 cup Zinfandel wine
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups finely chopped mushrooms
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon cracked whole black peppercorns
1/4 cup meat trimmings
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

In a 2-quart saucepan, cook the wine and the onion over high heat for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the broth, mushrooms, thyme, and peppercorns and reduce the liquid to about 1 1/4 cups.

Meanwhile, in a 10-inch skillet, brown the meat trimmings over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Slowly whisk in the reduced wine mixture; cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture boils and thickens. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve into a clean 1-quart saucepan; discard the solids. Use immediately or store, covered and chilled, for up to 1 week.

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