I was making jam again this weekend and had a little bit leftover. You know how it is, there’s not enough to fill a whole jar, but you can’t throw it away. So I reinvented my plum jam as a marinade and glaze for grilled pork tenderloin. And I’m just as excited by my choice of side dish for the pork. It’s a fresh sweet corn “polenta”; no cornmeal involved, just fresh corn, butter, and feta cheese. It’s really more like creamed corn, but lighter and fresher tasting. Corn and pork are good flavor pals and I thought a little cherry tomato and basil would brighten up the plate. All in all, a very satisfying and easy-going summer meal.
Plum Glazed Grilled Pork Tenderloin
(serves 4 to 6, depending on appetites)
1/2 cup plum jam or preserves
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin (1 large or 2 small pieces)
Mix the jam, minced garlic, vinegar, mustard, and olive oil together in a small bowl. Measure out 1/4 cup and reserve. Place the pork in a sturdy freezer bag and add the remaining 1/4 cup jam mixture. Turn the package around to coat the meat evenly. Allow to marinate, refrigerated, at least 4 hours or overnight. When ready to cook, remove the pork from the storage bag and scrape the marinade off the surface of the meat. Discard the marinade. Season the pork with kosher salt and pepper, and grill until done to your liking. Brush some of the reserved glaze on the pork toward the end of the cooking time, but watch carefully to avoid burning the glaze. I like to sear the meat then move it to a cooler side of the grill to finish cooking with indirect heat. Remove the tenderloin to a rack set over a plate or cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest 8 to 10 minutes. Slice across the grain and serve with the some of the reserved plum glaze alongside.
Sweet Corn “Polenta”
6 ears of corn
2 1/4 cups water
3 tablespoons butter, diced
7 ounces feta, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon salt
Slice the kernels of corn from the cobs. You should have about 1 1/4 pounds of kernels. Place the kernels in a medium saucepan and cover them with the water. Cook for 12 minutes on a low simmer. Use a slotted spoon to lift the kernels from the water and into a food processor; reserve the cooking liquid. Process the corn kernels for a few minutes, to break as much of the kernel case as possible. Add some of the cooking liquid if the mixture becomes too dry to process. Now return the corn paste to the pan with the cooking liquid and cook, while stirring, on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the mixture thickens to a mashed potato consistency. Fold in the butter, the feta, salt, and some pepper and cook for a further 2 minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed. Serve alongside the grilled pork.
(from “Plenty” by Yotam Ottolenghi)