There are certain dishes that are special enough for a holiday but easy enough for a weekday meal. If I said I was serving pork tenderloin topped with a gorgonzola sauce served alongside polenta rounds pan fried in brown butter and sage, you might think that I was serving this for a dinner party. Actually it would be perfect for such an occasion but I made this meal for my husband and I to enjoy at our kitchen table in the middle of the week.
Polenta Fried In Brown Butter And Sage
To make the polenta rounds you have two options. You can make polenta from scratch and you can find my recipe here. Pour the hot polenta into an oiled baking dish, smooth out to about 3/4 inch. Refrigerate until cold and firm (about 2 hours). Cut into circles with biscuit cutter. The second option is to buy an already cooked polenta that comes in a tube. Remove from the tube and make slices about 3/4 in. thick. When using either option, blot any moisture so that slices are dry. Heat 2 Tbsp. each of butter and oil in a sauté pan. When the butter is melted and starts to sizzle, add whole sage leaves (one for each polenta slice) and fry until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towel. Add the polenta slices to the butter and cook on each side until brown. Drain on paper towel and keep warm. Reserve the butter to brown the pork tenderloin.
Pork Tenderloin With Gorgonzola Sauce and Chopped Walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- 1 pork tenderloin, trimmed of any silver skin
- seasoning (I used salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder) to taste for the pork
- 1/2 c. white wine
- 1 c. half and half
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1 Tbsp. flour (I used Wondra* a superfine flour for sauces)
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 c. crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- 1/4 c. chopped and toasted walnuts
Season pork well. Sauté in the pan with the reserved brown butter until brown on all sides. Remove the pork and place in an oven proof dish and roast in the oven (about 15 minutes depending on size) until the pork registers 145 degrees. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes and then slice.
In the meantime prepare the sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour and pepper, whisk until blended. Add the white wine and whisk until combined then slowly whisk in the half and half, bring to a boil and then reduce heat and let simmer until thickened. Add the Gorgonzola cheese and whisk until melted. Taste for additional seasoning (I didn’t add salt until after the cheese was added as it can sometimes be salty) and adjust to taste.
To plate, ladle a little sauce on the plate and top with slices of pork then spoon a little more sauce over the pork. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Add polenta rounds to the plate and place a sage leaf on top of each round.
This was a delicious meal that was easy to prepare and was on the kitchen table in a short period of time. But I kept thinking while I was enjoy this dish, that the same meal would be perfect when entertaining friends.
By placing this meal on pretty plates and taking it into the dining room, this dish would make guests happy during the holiday season. Let me take you into my historic dining room that is simply decorated for Christmas and show you what I mean. The same meal served in a different atmosphere would make it seem special.
You may have all your holiday dishes planned but keep these recipes in mind when you are entertaining guests for any occasion. I think that your guests will enjoy having this meal and will think that you put hours into its preparation….it will be our little secret that is was so easy.