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Blue Mountain Coffee and Cocoa-Encrusted Pork Tenderloin with Chipotle-Honey Glaze and Creamy Manchego Polenta

This coffee and cocoa encrusted pork tenderloin recipe is from the Food Network South Beach Food and Wine Cookbook

Author Cindy Hutson notes:

I spent many years importing and selling Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee in the United States. It’s considered the Dom Perignon of all coffees. It has a fantastic aroma and flavor that mix wonderfully with cocoa powder and mesquite. Here, the combination of the spicy sweetness of the chipotle-honey glaze and the fat from the pork makes for a perfectly balanced dish.

coffee and cocoa encrusted pork tenderloin recipe - www.cooksandbooksandrecipes.com

coffee and cocoa encrusted pork tenderloin
Photo credit: Quentin Bacon

Cooks&Books&Recipes Editors’ Notes:

THE RECIPE

I admit that I was not familiar with the name Cindy Hutson. But when I flipped through the book and saw “pork tenderloin” and “manchego” and “polenta” (three of my favorites), I knew I had to try this recipe. I’ve since learned that Hutson is a self-taught chef with restaurants in Miami and Grand Caymen specializing in a fusion of South American, Asian, Caribbean, and American cuisine.

THE RESULT

I don’t know exactly what you’d call Hutson’s cuisine, but I call this coffee and cocoa encrusted pork tenderloin recipe a winner. First, it’s simple (in preparation), generally a requirement for me. On the other hand, it’s complex (in taste), another plus in my book. I’ve never used coffee or cocoa as a crust before, but I’ll do so again. The dark richness in both color and flavor added unexpected dimension to the pork and the sweet glaze. The only minus was that my glaze never thickened as I thought it would, though that could be the fault of the cook rather than the recipe.

Blue Mountain Coffee and Cocoa-Encrusted Pork Tenderloin with Chipotle-Honey Glaze and Creamy Manchego Polenta

Featured Recipe From: Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival Cookbook

Yield: Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup ground Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans
  • ¼ cup mesquite dry seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 to 5 pounds pork tenderloin, silverskin removed
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 cup Chipotle-Honey Glaze (recipe follows)
  • Creamy Manchego Polenta (recipe follows)

Chipotle-Honey Glaze, makes 1¼ cups

  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 canned chipotles in adobo, minced
  • ¼ cup water

Creamy Manchego Polenta, makes 4 cups

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • ½ cup minced shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup high-quality fine or coarse-grain polenta
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup grated manchego cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 350°F.

2. Place the cocoa, coffee, mesquite seasoning, salt, and cayenne in a zip-lock bag, and shake until well combined. Place some of the mixture on a plate and roll the tenderloin around in the rub until it is evenly covered. Slice the tenderloin into 3-ounce medallions (roughly 24 pieces).

3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add the oil and butter. Sear the pork medallions on each side: about 3 minutes for medium-rare, 4 minutes for medium, 5 minutes for well done.

4. Remove the medallions and place them on a plate. Remove the excess oil from the skillet. Return the medallions to the skillet and ladle the Chipotle-Honey Glaze over them to coat.

5. Remove from the heat and serve with the Creamy Manchego Polenta.

Chipotle-Honey Glaze

Combine the honey, chipotles, and water in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 4 minutes.

Creamy Manchego Polenta

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the shallots and garlic, and cook over medium-low heat until tender, 5 minutes. Add the thyme, and then pour in the stock. Raise the heat, and when the liquid is almost ready to boil, slowly add the polenta.

2. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk, making sure there are no lumps. Add the cream immediately and continue to stir. When the polenta is almost done (follow the cooking instructions on the package), about 20 minutes, whisk in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

© 2010 Cindy Hutson

Reprinted with permission from Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival Cookbook: Recipes and Behind-the-Scenes Stories from America's Hottest Chefs, by Lee Brian Schrager, with Julie Mautner, foreword by Anthony Bourdain (Clarkson Potter)

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