This mash-up is my own creation and the fruit of wanting to join the Asian flavors of garlic chili paste and soy sauce with Southern staples like maple syrup, pecans and grits. In addition to being remarkably delicious, it offers quite a dramatic presentation, eliciting ohhhs! and ahhhs! whenever I make it. My family doesn't think I love them if I don't make this dish at least once a month. —Serena Cosmo | Rustic Plate
Spicy Mapled Pork Medallions
Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base
1 1/2 tablespoons
Garlic chili paste
Pork medallions(from a 1-1 1/4 lbs. piece of tenderloin)
Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Meat Magic spice blend, evenly distributed among each medallion
Salt & pepper, to taste
Jalapeño & Grits Waffles
Unsalted butter, melted
2 1/4 cups
Slow-cooked grits, completely cooled
1 1/4 cups
(4-oz.) Shredded sharp Monterey Jack
chickpea flour (white flour can be substituted)
Jalapeño chili pepper, seeds removed and chopped
To make the waffles, melt the unsalted butter in a very small bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds and preheat a waffle iron to medium-high heat.
To a medium-sized bowl add the grits, cheese, flour, eggs, jalapeño and salt. Mix well.
Brush the hot waffle iron with the melted butter and drop about 2/3 cup of grits mixture smack in the center. Press down and cook for 3-4 minutes or so. In my case, my waffle iron sounds off when the waffle is done cooking, but I cooked it for an additional minute or so because I wanted them to be more golden in color. Repeat with the remaining grits mixture. Makes 8 waffles. Tent loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm.
To make the medallions, measure out 1 cup of water in a Pyrex measuring cup and microwave for 2 minutes. Add the chicken base and mix well. If you have prepared chicken stock on hand, use that instead.
Add the maple syrup and the garlic chili paste (add more if you prefer a hotter sauce). Mix well again and set aside.
Wash the scallions and remove any discolored outer layer and trim its base. Slice at an angle in half-inch pieces. Set aside.
Place the pecans in a heated skillet on medium-high heat and toast, stirring frequently, until you begin to smell a pleasant toasted smell. Because of their color, the pecans aren’t going to outwardly look toasted, and if they do they are probably borderline burned, so the best way is really to follow your nose. Your nose always knows, and will appreciate the lovely toasted pecan aroma. The whole process should take about 4-5 minutes or so.
Place each of the medallions in a plastic sandwich bag and, using a meat mallet, pound each one individually until they become a 1/4 of an inch thick. Place on a platter lined with paper towels to absorb any surface moisture. Blot top of each slice with more paper towels.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. As the oil heats up, sprinkle each medallion with some salt and pepper, and the spice blend. When the oil begins to swirl on the surface but is not yet smoking, add the pork. Cook until brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side.You will need to work in batches to prevent overcrowding the pan. Transfer the medallions as they finish cooking onto a warm platter and tent them with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Add the prepared sauce in the measuring cup to the now empty skillet. Boil on medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until it reduces by half. This should take about 4-5 minutes.
To serve, arrange 2 pork medallions on top of a waffle and pour the sauce on top. Sprinkle with the toasted pecans and sliced green onion, and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.