Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summertime Flavors

Good evening everyone! As Maggie mentioned yesterday, we're doing a little "grill week" theme here on the blog. Of course, grill week takes on new challenges when you don't technically have a grill. As such, we're forced to utilize a grill pan, broiler or any other cooking means to try to duplicate these summer time recipes. Tonight's recipe is a traditional summertime staple - pork chops and corn on the cob. How did we take this seemingly 'grill only' recipe and make it apartment friendly? Read on to find out. (The grilling instructions will be included as well, so you CAN grill at home if you are able).

The Recipe: Grilled Pork Tenderloin With Corn On The Cob
Original Recipe Found In: Food Network Magazine - June 2012 Issue

What You'll Need:
(Serves 4)

For the Pork & Corn:

1 Tablespoon Paprika
1 Teaspoon Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1 Teaspoon Mustard Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
2 Teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Plus additional for brushing)
2 Small Pork Tenderloins (1 1/2 - 2 pounds total)
4 Ears of Corn (Husked)*

For The Sauce:

3/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
3 Tablespoons Lightly Packed Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Ketchup
1/2 Red Pepper Flakes

*Corn on the cob is a perfect grilling companion. Since we don't have a grill at our disposal, we're opting to use a different variant of corn on the cob. Most summers, my parents acquire a large amount of sweet corn (right before the end of the season) and cook it up, shuck it from the cob and then flash freeze it. The result is fresh tasting Iowa sweet corn that is ready to eat throughout the season. Any time you see corn appear as a side dish on our blog - that is the corn we are using.

Any midwesterner knows that early June is not prime sweet corn season. Sure, there's corn at the grocery stores, but we know the origin of this corn is from Texas, Georgia or other warm southern states. Not meaning any offense to the folks in the south - but that sweet corn is junk. Sure, it's great if you've only had that your entire life. But, once you've had fresh midwest sweet corn - you'll never be able to stomach the "other" offerings. That's why our grocery stores only carry a small quantity of this imported sweet corn in the early summer months. The citizens who know better simply walk on by.

Since we have some frozen Iowa sweet corn, I'm adapting this recipe from grilled corn to foil baked. I'm going to use the same seasonings as the original recipe, but I'm simply going to wrap the shucked corn in foil and bake it in the oven.

To begin, combine the paprika, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, the brown sugar, mustard powder, onion powder, garlic powder and cumin in a small bowl. Rub the olive oil all over each pork tenderloin and then coat each tenderloin in the seasoning. Wrap each tenderloin tightly in plastic wrap and then refrigerate for 3 to 6 hours before cooking.

While the pork is marinating, you can prepare the sauce. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, 1/2 cup water, ketchup, red pepper flakes, brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a simmer. Stirring constantly, allow the mixture to simmer until the brown sugar dissolves. Once dissolved, remove the saucepan from the heat.

Once you are ready to grill, remove the pork from the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. Allow the pork chops to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before grilling. While you're waiting, bring your grill to medium high (or if you're using a grill pan, place it over medium high heat) and brush the corn on the cob with a light layer of olive oil. (If you'd like, sprinkle some of the excess rub on the ears of corn). If you're going to cook the corn in the oven, place the corn in a aluminum foil pouch and sprinkle some of the excess rub across the corn. Place the foil packed on a rimmed baking sheet and into a 350 degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Place the pork chops on the grill (or grill pan) and cook, turning occasionally, until the thickest part registers 140 to 145 degrees.  Depending on the thickness of your tenderloin, this can take between 10 to 20 minutes. Our tenderloins were fairly thin, so ours cooked up in just about 5 minutes. When you're down to the last few minutes of grilling (5 minutes to go) throw your corn on the cob on the grill and allow it to roast (turning occasionally) until it's golden brown - this takes about 5 minutes.

Once the pork and corn are done, serve the pork with a drizzling of the sauce and enjoy!

The Results:

This flavorful rub transforms the traditional summertime flavor of grilled pork into an extraordinary dish. The juicy pork absorb most of this great flavoring during its long marinade, making each bite simply burst with the barbecue like flavors. Topped with the smokey BBQ sauce, this pork truly shines.

I like the last minute decision to top the corn with some of the rub. It gave the corn just a hint of the BBQ flavoring that was on the pork. Together, the pork and corn complimented each other well.

There's little comparison to the flavors you can create on the grill in the summertime. However, if you don't have a grill - that's no reason to avoid these great summertime treats. With a simple grill pan and a little ingenuity you too can create a delicious "off the grill" recipe for the whole family.

That's all we have for you this week. We're back again on Monday with another brand new entry (recipe, news story, product review - who knows?!) Until then, enjoy the rest of the week and the weekend!


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