Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Cheesy Grits, Charred Tomatoes, and Broccoli Pesto: Tender pork tenderloin cutlets have been seasoned with lemon and garlic and grilled up to serve over cheesy, creamy grits and topped with charred tomatoes and broccoli pesto for a creative dinner that can be made in 30 minutes.
Do you guys know how much I love Chopped? Well, it is like serious love. It is my go to show. When I need to wind down or veg-out, I am flip on my DVR and select Chopped on Food Network. And not only am I obsessed, but so are my kids. We often have family nights that center around our own Chopped at Home meals.
So when I heard about Sargento®’s Chopped At Home Challenge, I knew that this was something I just had to participate in. My love of 100% real cheese and my favorite show combined? Yes please!!
My basket ingredients assigned were Sargento Chef Blends 4 State Cheddar, pork tenderloin, cherry or grape tomatoes, and broccoli. My round was grilling. I decided to up the challenge and make it 30 minutes like a real Chopped episode. I also kept thinking to myself, that my dish must be transformed–I could hear Marc Murphy and Aaron Sanchez debating if I had properly transformed and highlighted the ingredients that were presented in my basket.
After giving myself 30 seconds to stew over my task (okay, I will be honest, I thought on it for more like 20 minutes–a bit of a luxury), I came up with Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Cheesy Grits, Charred Tomatoes and Broccoli Pesto.
Think about it–how many times do you see broccoli pesto? What about charred tomatoes paired with cheesy grits? I really stretched myself here. I don’t even like grits. Although these grits–these changed my opinion. My family fell in love with grits for the very first time. Sargento cheese makes everything better!
While the grits simmered in a cast iron skillet, I charred up the broccoli so I could easily transform it into pesto, all while the pork seared and the tomatoes charred and burst open in some foil. Easy, peasy! Well–at least without a camera crew following me!
So how did I accomplish this Grilled Pork Tenderloin masterpiece in 30 minutes? Simple. First, I cut the pork tenderloin into 1 inch cutlets to cook faster (you never want to serve the judges raw meat!) I seasoned them with a lemon garlic rub, for quick flavor. I threw the tomatoes into some foil with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper and threw that on the grill with the head of broccoli. I placed a large cast iron skillet on the grill and brought chicken stock up to a boil. Added the grits and whisked away until cooked through. At the end, I whisked in 1 cup of milk and 4 ounces of Sargento 4 State Cheddar. While the meat rested, I took the broccoli off the grill and chopped it up and threw in the blender with a bit more chicken stock, olive oil, and lemon juice. To serve–remember presentation is key on Chopped, I ladled up some grits into a shallow bowl. I laid thinly slice pork over the grits, drizzled with the pesto, and dotted the dish with the charred tomatoes.
I can hear the judges saying that the creamy grits were filled with such cheesy delightfulness (that would be Alex Guarnaschelli) and the dish was married together with the hints of lemon that seasoned the pork and flavored the broccoli pesto. I think it is a winner. I think you will agree. And the best part is–I am sharing with you the recipe so you can have this winning dish at home.
- 1½ pound pork tenderloin
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 1 head fresh broccoli--about ¼ a pound
- 4 ounces Sargento Chef Blends 4 State Cheddar Cheese
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 2 lemons, juice and zest
- ¼ cup olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic, divided
- 4 cups chicken stock, divided
- 1 cup milk
- ¾ cup quick cooking grits
- ¼ cup olive oil, divided
- ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
- Preheat grill to medium-high.
- Cut pork tenderloin into 1 inch thick cullets. Rub the pork with zest of lemon, 1 tablespoon garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
- Place the broccoli on the grill and place the tomatoes into a foil pouch with 1 tablespoon oil, ½ teaspoon salt and thow on the grill.
- Place cast iron skillet onto grill and bring 3½ cups chicken stock and ½ teaspoon salt to a boil (I covered with a cookie sheet because I didn't have a lid to fit my pan). Once broiling, whisk in the grits. Cook for 3-4 minutes and whisk in the milk and cheese.
- Grill the pork cutlets for 3-4 minutes per first side. Flip and grill for additional 2-3 minute or until pork reaches 145 degrees. Remove pork and place on plate loosely tented with foil.
- At this time, remove broccoli from grill as well. Chop the broccoli florets off the stalk and into small pieces. Place in blender with ½ cup chicken stock, 1 teaspoon salt, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon garlic, and the parsley. Blend until smooth.
- Remove the tomatoes from the grill and serve by slicing the pork thinly and serve it over the grits, topped with a few tablespoons of the pesto and several charred tomatoes.
- **Alternatively, you can just grill the pork and tomatoes. Cook the grits over the stove as directed and steam the broccoli before processing.
Do you think you have what it takes to be a Chopped Champion too? Check out the details here on how you can enter Food Network Chopped At Home Challenge.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sargento. The opinions and text are all mine.