Thursday, May 8, 2008

Roasted Pork Loin with Corn Polenta Pancakes

I have never made nor have I ever tried polenta before. I've tried grits with catfish, I thought grits were just okay, so I wasn't too sure I was going to like polenta. I was flipping through a Bon Apetit and found Amy Finley's Creamy Corn Studded Polenta. Ahh, corn casserole in a pot, a seemingly easy way to introduce myself to polenta. I wanted to make this right, so I stood furiously for nearly 10 minutes whisking furiously, and an additional 15 minutes stirring devoutly. I actually tried the polenta before I put the corn in and I thought not bad. After I had whisked in the last pat of butter, I gave it another taste, and I thought it should show up in future weeknight meals, but, I'll have to find other polenta recipes, the corn just wasn't doing it for me. I had seen Ina Garten cut out chilled polenta and made it crispy in a pan. I must have whisked and stirred too much because I had to add two eggs in order for the chilled polenta to stay together. I scooped them into the pan with an ice scream scooper and flattened with my spatula. With the first one I tried sprinkling some grated parm, but that didn't work out so well. Even after making them crispy, they were still delicate little suckers.

Polenta and pork just paired together well in my head so I decided to make a pork tenderloin. I was inspired by Giada's pancetta wrapped pork roast (her recipe found here). Using my pestle & mortar, I smashed 4 minced garlic cloves, a rosemary branch, and some thyme leaves with olive oil. With the meat placed in my roasting pan, I rubbed the marinade all over it after seasoning with s&p. I got to the grocery store at nine o'clock this evening so no luck with the pancetta. Instead, I used center cut bacon to drape the roast. I left it alone in the fridge for about 2 hours then cooked at 375 degrees farenheit until the internal temperature of the meat reached 150 degrees farenheit (about 1 hour 20 min, for me). I kept it covered in the oven for the first 20 minutes then uncovered and basted ever 20 min or so. After the meat had rested for 20 min I sliced roast and it was oh so juicy. I made a gravy using the drippings, but it really didn't need one. I'm looking forward to leftovers. To the left, a close up of the roast. Note: sorry for the pictures, the lighting is really bad in my kitchen. Oh, and those are my bagasse products that I'm so proud of!