Over the summer the hubby and I went to a cooking class hosted by The Coastal Cupboard and Westbrook Brewing Company. We were charmed by the in-house chef, Bryan Breland, and the husband-wife team behind Westbrook, but what is even more surprising to us is this pork tenderloin and seared cabbage recipe we made that has become a weeknight staple in our house, especially as the weather has grown cooler.
Make a simple marinade for the pork tenderloins using 1/2 cup applesauce, 2 tablespoons dijon mustard and 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Our two big favorites from our Coastal Cupboard night are an easy blue cheese sauce and a seared rosemary cabbage side dish. I also like to use the leftover blue cheese sauce (their recipe makes a lot) for tossing with pasta, toasted walnuts and sage for an unbelievably sophisticated “mac and cheese.” The kids love it, and I feel like it’s a good departure from the typical, orange cheese kid version.
As for the pork tenderloin, Chef Breland just seared his meat that night on a high flame, but I’ve found that a simple glaze/marinade with a little hint of apple gives the pork some sweetness to accompany the sharpness of the blue cheese. Usually I make the marinade in the morning and plunk my pork tenderloins in it to bathe all day, but if I’m short on time I’ve found that mixing the marinade first thing and letting the pork sit for about 20 minutes while I gather the rest of my ingredients is enough time to impart just a little bit of subtle flavor.
Blue cheese sauce is easy to make: heat 4 cups heavy cream over high heat, then remove from heat and whisk in blue cheese, Parmesan and season with salt and pepper
As for the blue cheese sauce, the brilliance of this recipe is that it takes about 5 minutes to pull together and then can sit on the stove, off heat, to thicken while you’re cooking everything else. The seared cabbage is even easier – I run it through the food processor, turn my pan on high with lots of hot oil, and then finish the whole thing with chopped fresh rosemary at the end.
Seared rosemary cabbage
The kids, shockingly, love this dinner. Meimei enjoys bathing her face in a thin, luxurious layer of blue cheese sauce, while Ge Ge, never a huge meat eater, will clear away slice after slice of pork tenderloin. I’m still working on getting them to eat the cabbage, but you know, it’s a tall order for little ones to enjoy the inherent bite that comes in cabbage flavor. I tried using Nappa cabbage once, and while the kids loved it, the adults felt like the Nappa was too soggy to retain much of the crisp, seared flavor.
Either way, bathing yourself in blue cheese sauce is never a bad thing.
- 2 pork tenderloins
- apple pork marinade (1/2 cup applesauce, 2 tablespoons dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar)
- 8 ounces crumbled soft, mild blue cheese (like Gorgonzola or Trader Joe's Bleu Brie)
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 1 head cabbage, shredded
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
- 2 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse pork tenderloins and pat dry. Coat generously with apple marinade and refrigerate at least an hour (or up to 1 day).
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat an ovenproof skillet on medium-high heat. Add two tablespoons oil and heat until oil is shimmering.
- Remove pork tenderloins from marinade and brush off excess marinade.
- Sear pork tenderloins in skillet on all sides, turning every 2-3 minutes.
- Remove skillet from heat and brush marinade all over again before placing in oven. Roast tenderloins for approximately 40 minutes until a thermometer inserted into the thickest portion reads around 145 degrees and juices run clear (note: we like our pork tenderloin a little underdone, but most experts want you to cook it to at least 160 degrees).
- While pork is roasting, heat heavy cream over medium high heat, stirring constantly until boiling.
- Remove from heat and very quickly whisk blue cheese and Parmesan. Let stand to thicken slightly, and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat another skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil.
- Add cabbage and let sear for approximately 2 minutes. Using a spatula, turn cabbage over and leave alone again to let sear. Keep repeating every 2-3 minutes until cabbage is wilted. Remove from heat and add rosemary, salt and pepper.
- Remove tenderloins from oven when cooked and let stand for approximately 5-10 minutes. Slice pork tenderloin against the grain into thick ½ inch slices. Serve with cabbage and drizzled with sauce.