Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Pumpkin Polenta and Parsnip Pear Sauce

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Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Pumpkin Polenta and Parsnip Pear Sauce

I absolutely love all of the fall flavors in this meal. I love to fill my kitchen with the spoils of each season and I think Fall might just be my favorite. I truthfully did not plan on everything in this meal to start with the letter “P”, it just kinda happened that way. I have been wanting to make pumpkin polenta for a while now. Pork seemed like the perfect companion. Then I found a recipe for a Parsnip Pear Puree in my Emeril cookbook I have been perusing this week. You know Emeril, all of his recipes are loaded with butter, sugar and cream. Not really on my diet. So I completely revamped his recipe and came up with a lovely sauce using coconut milk instead of cream. The flavors of the spicy parsnip and the sweet pear together, oh my! This sauce was not a disappointment at all. And with the pork and pumpkin flavors… everything just worked. This pork tenderloin is so simple and elegant. Make sure to not to overcook the pork so that it stays tender. You could substitute the pumpkin polenta for some mashed sweet potatoes, if you are not into polenta. But I have to tell you, my husband the critic, has never liked polenta before and he loved this dish. The other funny thing is that he doesn’t even like pumpkin, somehow the two together were delicious for him. I was skeptical that he would like this dish but he LOVED it! This would make a great meal for entertaining. Just serve with a simple salad.

Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Pumpkin Polenta and Parsnip Pear Sauce

Order of Business: You will want to start with the Parsnip Pear Sauce first. Cook Parsnips in oven and cook then start on the pork. While pork is cooking, finish Parsnip Pear Sauce and make the Pumpkin Polenta.

Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin

2 pork tenderloins

3-4 Tbsp rosemary

4-5 cloves of garlic

1-2 Tbsp dried thyme

3-4 Tbsp fresh parsley

4 Tbsp dijon mustard

3-4 Tbsp agave

4-5 Tbsp olive oil

salt

pepper

Salt and pepper pork tenderloins liberally. Rub with olive oil. Mix herbs, mustard and agave together. Smear all over both pork tenderloins. Cook in 475 degree oven for 30 minutes. Turn oven down to 425 and cook until meat reaches 155 on meat thermometer. (I did not have to cook mine much longer than 30 minutes so just continue to check every 5-10 minutes.) Let meat rest for 10 minutes and slice on the diagonal. Serve with Pumpkin Polenta and Parsnip Pear Sauce.

Parsnip Pear Sauce

2-3 parsnips (chopped into 1 inch pieces)

2-3 pears (peeled and chopped in small pieces)

1/2 cup white wine

1 can coconut milk

1/2 cup shallots or red onion

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cloves

4-5 Tbsp agave nectar

olive oil

salt

pepper

Place parsnips into baking dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon and cloves. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of olive oil and the agave nectar. Bake in 400 degree oven for 20-30 minutes until soft. Saute onion in saucepan. Add pears and cook for a few minutes. Deglaze pan with white wine. Cook until pears are tender. Add parsnip mixture and pear mixture to food processor and puree until smooth. Add some of the coconut milk if needed. Add puree back to pan and combine with the rest of the can of coconut milk. Simmer on low heat until needed.

Pumpkin Polenta

1 tube of precooked polenta

2-3 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (keep adding broth to polenta until you get the desired consistency, it just depends)

1/2 cup shallot

1/2 cup wine

1 15 oz of pumpkin

1 Tbsp thyme

1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg

4 Tbsp agave

salt

pepper

olive oil

Saute shallot in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Deglave pan with white wine. Add polenta chopped into pieces. Add about 1 cup of broth to polenta and bring to a boil. Smash up polenta as much as possible. Continue to add broth when needed. Use Potato Masher to get all of the lumps out of the polenta. Add pumpkin and incorporate into polenta mixture. Add nutmeg, thyme, agave, salt and pepper to taste. (If it is missing anything add more of that flavor, you could even add a little balsamic vinegar for a zingy flavor). Serve with Herb Crusted Pork.

Plating it up

toasted walnuts

sprig of rosemary

Place a round circle of polenta on the plate. Fan out Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin around the Pumpkin Polenta. Pour Parsnip Pear Sauce over the Pork Tenderloin and top with toasted walnuts. Garnish with sprig of rosemary.

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