I thought Summertime was supposed to be a time to kick back and relax, but so far that has not happened this year. The days seem to disappear and it feels as though nothing has been accomplished, although I am totally swamped with all sorts of projects related to the blog and things to accomplish around the house. I need to
get my butt in gear call in those cooking and cleaning fairies! Where could they be?!
We were driving back from the mountains the other day and a ride that should take two hours and fifteen minutes took three hours and we did not even stop. I have decided that when time disappears like this (as it does every day, it seems), that I have
badly allocated my time been abducted by aliens! That must be the only logical reason! How can so much time disappear and you not remember what happened to it? Definitely the aliens…
Anyway, to make up for my recent alien abductions, I was a very lucky girl last week and received a nice package from the people at Norseland, Inc.! They are the exclusive importer, sales and marketing agent for Jarlsberg in the United States. They have quite an extensive line of other specialty cheeses in addition to Jarlsberg. Some of them were included in my nifty little refrigerated package, so that made me do a happy dance as I love cheese! In fact some of my favorites are the ones they represent!
Jarlsberg is truly one of my favorite cheeses to serve as part of a cheese board and as a snack to have around
for afternoon munchies with a glass of wine in the early evening. Everyone loves the wonderful nutty flavor.
In addition to the Jarlsberg, I received some Gran Maestre Manchego. Manchego is a Sheep’s milk cheese from Spain (shhh…don’t tell Mr. Bunkycooks! He doesn’t do sheep or goat!). This is a delicious cheese that truly is best served at room temperature (as are all cheeses). It is one of those cheeses that is perfect for a dinner party, especially if you are preparing a little Mexican or Spanish food. I could not wait to serve it as we had it in Barcelona with some delightful sangria based on a recipe from Cerveceria Catalana. They drizzle the cheese with honey as one of their tapas, so that is what I did! It brought me right back to Barcelona. When can I return?!
Of all the goodies that were in the bag, the one I wanted to play with the most was the big chunk of Old Amsterdam. I am a huge fan of this rich buttery cheese. It has such a wonderful aged flavor. Again, if you are going to serve this as an appetizer, leave it out for an an hour or two before your guests arrive. The flavors really develop the longer it sits at room temperature before serving. I love that aged Gouda flavor with a bit of a bite and little bit of saltiness. It is just delicious.
So, as I tend to do when I receive goodies in the mail, I asked myself, how could I use this in cooking? Well, of course, after living in the South all these years, I just had to make grits, y’all! I have great access to all the wonderful stone ground grits we have here in the South and I knew this cheese would really be a great switch from cheddar, which is traditionally used in cheese grits. (Thanks to one of my Bunkycooks readers (Barb) for the grits inspiration).
Be sure to buy good quality stone ground white grits for this recipe, otherwise you will end up with the grits that you are served at a breakfast spot (can you say Waffle House?!). That is one of the reasons many of us were not originally fond of grits. These are totally different grits and they are delicious! I bought the Charleston Favorites grits because I found them at the local farmer’s market in North Carolina.
I prepared this pork tenderloin a few months ago and was waiting to prepare it again and do a blog post, so I decided this cheesy grit dish was the perfect accompaniment to make with the pork! To make it a truly Southern dish, I also cooked some collard greens (where did my Philly upbringing go???).
I have to say that these three dishes were incredibly delicious together. The three men that I fed two and a half pounds of pork tenderloin to that evening can attest to that! We had my two sons over for dinner and they all (Mr. Bunkycooks included!) nearly licked their plates clean! There wasn’t so much as a spoonful of grits left! And I was looking forward to the leftovers…
The best news is that although this was a Southern style dish, I left out most of the fat and did all of the cooking with minimal olive oil and only one whopping tablespoon of butter! I used the cheese to add the richness and creaminess to the grits. I only used four ounces of cheese (although I had grated six ounces). The grits did not need it. There is no milk or cream in the recipe. It truly was amazing to have these flavors without all the extra fat.
I also prepared a bourbon glaze that cooked low and slow during the prep and cooking time for this dinner. Just a little bit of that glaze drizzled over the pork really popped all the flavors and made for a delightful dinner.
Rosemary Roasted Pork Tenderloin with a Bourbon Glaze and Old Amsterdam Grits
Pork serves 6-8
Grits and Collard Greens serve 5-6
3 pounds pork tenderloin (2 large pieces)
3 large cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
5 teaspoons ground black pepper (If you like a bit less heat, use 4 teaspoons)
2 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
(Makes 1/4 cup)
3/4 cup of good Bourbon
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Amsterdam Cheese Grits
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup white stone ground grits
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 ounces grated Old Amsterdam cheese
Freshly ground white pepper
4 to 5 pounds of fresh collard greens
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh squeezed lemon juice
Remove pork from refrigerator so that is comes to room temperature (about thirty minutes). Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl. Rub each piece of pork tenderloin equally with the mixture. Set aside until ready to cook.
Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a large non-stick pan (or well-seasoned cast iron skillet) over medium high heat until a drop of water sizzles in the pan. Place the tenderloin in the pan and sear the first side (approximately four minutes). If it is browning too quickly, turn down the heat a bit. Flip over and sear on the other side (approximately another three to four minutes). If your tenderloin is really thick, you may want to sear the side sections for a minute or two.
Remove the tenderloins from the pan and place in a large lightly oiled baking dish (you can also leave them in the skillet, if you prefer). Cook for twenty to thirty minutes in the preheated oven until the temperature in the middle reaches 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer (this is absolutely the best one I have ever used). The cooking times will depend on the thickness of your tenderloin. * I checked mine at twenty minutes. The smaller piece took another five minutes in the oven and the larger one took another ten minutes.
Remove the tenderloins from the oven and place on a cutting board. Tent with aluminum foil and let them rest for at least five minutes. Slice to serve and then top with Bourbon Glaze.
Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Continue to cook over low to medium heat, whisking frequently. You may need to turn the temperature down as the mixture will bubble up quickly. I cooked mine for about forty-five minutes while I prepared dinner. It will reduce to a syrupy consistency. Pour over sliced pork tenderloin.
Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Slowly add grits while stirring. Continue to cook grits for about twenty minutes, stirring frequently. When they are of a desired consistency (I like mine pretty thick and not runny), add unsalted butter and grated cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Add a little bit of freshly ground white pepper. Taste for seasoning. * I did not find that any salt was needed as there was enough from the chicken broth and the cheese.
For collard greens:
Remove the stems from the middle of the leaves. Chop collard greens into two inch pieces. Wash thoroughly. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil (preferably with a steamer insert). Add collard greens and cook over medium heat, covered, just until they are slightly tender (about fifteen minutes). If you are using a steamer insert, pull insert out and drain the collard greens. If not, drain using a colander. Be sure they are dry. Set aside.
When you are ready to cook the collard greens, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, cook for just a minute, while stirring. Add in the collard greens. Cook, stirring frequently for about five minutes, until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Finish with a large squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the sauteed collard greens. Serve immediately.