Roast Herb Pork, Succotash and Baked Polenta Fries

Roast pork, succotash and baked polenta fries

This succotash recipe is one of my favorites. I liked everything about the roast pork loin and baked polenta fries, but this meal is all about the succotash.

The herbed pork was very tender, a bit too pink for my better half, but very nice. I liked the idea of the polenta fries and I think they turned out nice. Baked, not fried, a healthier option then French fries and they added a nice crunch. Again, the pork and fries were both nice but the succotash is why I made this meal.

I’m from the south and I’ve eaten succotash as long as I can remember. I don’t remember as a kid liking it at all. One of my absolute favorite things to do is take food that I didn’t like as a kid and make it “likable”. This succotash recipe is the best example I can offer. I 100% made this up one night although I am sure I am not the first.

My first step was to remove the lima beans and replace them with edamame. Nothing wrong with lima beans but I just remember those soggy over cooked, mushy lima beans from when I was a kid and wanted something more fun. Plus, I happened to have a bag of frozen edamame already shelled. Ironically, in the photo above I used fresh fava beans, and they were good but what a pain in the ____.

Next I add jalapeno for some heat. I love things spicy and leaving the seeds in gives this succotash some kick.

Next I add bacon and bacon fat. What isn’t better with bacon? Nothing! As I mention in several posts, my preference is Niman Ranch Applewood Smoked Bacon. YUM!

The final touch is heavy cream. Since I didn’t do any research on this recipe, this may be normal for succotash. Either way, when the cream reduces and gets thick, wow.

Make sure to use fresh corn and not the frozen kind, it makes a huge difference. Also, don’t overcook the veg, leave them fresh and crunchy.

The richness of the heavy cream and salty bacon, the heat from the jalapeno, the crunch of the fresh corn and bell pepper and even the pop that the frozen edamame give. Uhhh…just yum. This is one of my favorites to make and goes with just about any protein. If you give this recipe a try, please let me know what you think.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Boneless pork loin
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, organo)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 ears fresh corn in husk
  • 1/2 bag of thawed edamame (use fresh if you can find it or broad/fava beans)
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 3+ strips applewood smoked bacon (my fav is Niman Ranch)
  • Heavy whipping cream (or half and half)
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • Polenta homemade or store bought (usually in the veg section in a tube)
  • Egg wash (egg + milk or water)
  • Flour for dredging
  • Panko bread crumbs
DIRECTIONS

  1. First we’ll marinate the pork. Coarsely chop two cloves of garlic and whatever herbs you have. In this recipe I used rosemary and thyme. In a large zip top bag place the pork, garlic, herbs, zest and juice of the lemon along with 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil (depending on how large your pork is). Squeeze the excess air out of the bag and zip. Mix the marinade over the pork and refrigerate 1-2 hours. Remove 30 minutes prior to roasting.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees.
  3. Cut the tops off the fresh corn and place in the oven (this is the BEST way to cook corn). Let cook for 10-15 minutes or until the outer husk is brown slightly and flip the corn. Let cook and 10 minutes and remove. Let the corn cool and remove the husk. Cut the kernels from the ear and set aside.
  4. If you made homemade polenta, pour it into a sheet pan and allow to cool in the refrigerator. Once it has firmed up, cut into “fries” shape. In all honesty, this is much easier if you by the tubed polenta from the store. Dredge the fries in flour, egg wash and bread crumbs. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray and line the fries up. It is best to allow these to setup in the fridge for a few minutes but I never do. When the fries are done, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Cut the heat down in the oven to 400 degrees. Place the pork in the roasting pan and cook for approximately 30 minutes. Internal temperature is supposed to be 155 degrees (I usually take mine out sooner). I would go ahead and add the fries here as well. Allow them to cook on the bottom rack for 10-12 minutes and flip them, depending on how crunchy you like them.
  6. Stem and seed the bell pepper and dice. Stem the jalapeno and remove the seed from half (or leave them all in if you like the extra kick), mince. Mince the red onion and garlic.
  7. Pre-heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon strips (you can pre-cut them into lardons or you can leave the strips whole and cut them after). Cook bacon until crispy and most of the drippings (fat) has been rendered. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain. Depending on how much bacon you use, you should probably remove all but a tablespoon of the fat (but I leave it in).
  8. Reduce heat to medium and add onions, garlic and jalapeno to the pan with the bacon fat. Sautee the mixture until softened and then add the bell pepper, corn and edamame (or broad beans in the photo). Season with salt and pepper and toss in pan until of the vegetables are coated and warmed. Pour in heavy cream and continue to toss or stir allowing to simmer until thickened. Add the crispy bacon and toss. Taste for seasoning and re-season if necessary.
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Roast Herb Pork, Succotash and Baked Polenta Fries

2 thoughts on “Roast Herb Pork, Succotash and Baked Polenta Fries

  1. […] Stella’s Southern Bistro and Goodnight Brothers country ham inspired this meal. Stella’s is a restaurant located on the other side of town from me. I’ve had their food but I had never visited the restaurant. For Restaurant Week, we headed across town to give it a try. I had Carolina Classics Pan Roasted Catfish, Louisiana crawfish & heirloom hominy succotash, okra, cherry tomatoes, tasso gravy (my terrible photo is at the bottom of the post) and it was delicious. I had never thought to add hominy or okra to my succotash (here and here). […]

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