Are you tired of working from home and eating boring lunches? Here's a tasty dish that will spice up your day and leave you feeling like you just left a restaurant, even if you only left your couch!
Sometimes I have little time to plan and execute a full dinner or lunch course, but I still want something homemade and delicious. My go-to quick dishes typically include pork, fish, or pasta along with one other main component.
Leela's quick dishes include anything she can get her paws on.
In this case, my three-part lunch dish is made up of herbed pork tenderloin, cheesy polenta, and a pan sauce that I cooked down while the pork rested.
I start by marinating the pork with herbs and olive oil. This takes maybe 10 minutes to throw together in the morning. Don't be lazy - you can make the time. Then it goes into a resealable bag and sits in the fridge for about 4 hours. Now, if you don't have herbs - or the time to marinate - you'll get great results with just a quick rub of salt and pepper which takes about two minutes.
Don't forget to cut off any excess fat or silver from the tenderloin. My favorite knife for that purpose is the Morakniv Fillet Knife Classic 1891 pictured below.
Always have a cast-iron skillet handy for getting a great sear on your protein. I've used my stainless steel pans but they just don't work as well. Get that thing hot, too - medium-high - and use a neutral oil like grapeseed for searing. Cook it on all sides for about 3 minutes per side. Use tongs to rotate the meat and hold it in place if needed.
Here's my completed sear. The next step is to finish it in the oven at 400° for 16-25 minutes. Now, those crispy bits in the skillet will eventually make my sauce amazing.
Polenta is so simple and tasty, and it won't overpower your dish's main component. Some people use stock, but I only use water because the butter and cheese that gets added provide more than enough flavor. Keep it simple!
Cook time will vary but is typically around 30-40 minutes. Yeah, you'll have to stir it every few minutes and watch the heat so it doesn't stick. It's only a small pain in the ass though, and well worth the effort. Plus, you can still multitask and finish everything on time.
I use my handy dandy whisk for stirring and start with 1 cup of water, adding more as needed and tasting along the way for doneness (it should be soft with no crunch).
After the pork is done in the oven, set it on a cutting board to rest for about 10 minutes. This isn't something you want to screw up! If it's cut too soon the juice will run out.
If it ain't rested, it can't be tested!
Put the pan back on the stovetop over medium-low heat and add the shallot, garlic, and thyme. Cook until soft, add chicken stock and wine and bring to a simmer. Let this reduce by about ⅔ adjusting heat as needed.
🐶 Leela Storm's Suggested Pairings
- 🎵 Nirvana.: Scentless Apprentice
- 🍷 California Chardonnay
🍽 Hotel Critique
I love the pork sliced thick for this dish. The sear's texture comes through more and it holds heat longer than thin slices. You'll be able to cut nice chunks to run through the polenta and sauce.
The fresh thyme brings a light, Summertime flavor to every bite, and the sauce cuts through the polenta's richness. It's one of those perfect bites that has a bit of everything.
While you work-from-home, treat yourself to this lunch dish. You'll feel like you ate out at The Hotel Leela!
- Great homemade dishes don't have to be complex or time-consuming
- This dish is perfect if you're working from home
- Leela loves quick, work-from-home lunches because it means more time for butt rubs
- Polenta is more tasty and versatile than you probably realize