Tender pork and perfect fresh corn polenta are on the menu tonight.


Credit: Caitlin Bensel

Recipe Summary

45 mins
25 mins

The key to perfectly tender pork tenderloin is to start with an easy marinade, sear the sides until well browned, and then finish in the oven. That's what you'll do here, starting with a chili-and cumin-spiked lime marinade, which infuses every bite with flavor, while ensuring the meat stays juicy. Meanwhile, you'll make a decadent polenta that's studded with corn kernels for bright pops of sweet texture in every bite. The polenta is extra rich thanks to half-and-half, but you can use all water or a mixture of water and whole milk for a lighter version.


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Stir lime juice, chili powder, cumin, and 2 tablespoons oil in a baking dish. Add pork and turn to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes.

  • Bring 3 cups water, 1 cup half-and-half, and 1¼ teaspoons salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over high. Slowly whisk in polenta. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, whisking occasionally, until creamy and tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in corn. Cover and keep warm over low.

  • Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high. Add pork to skillet, discarding marinade, and season with remaining ¾ teaspoon salt. Cook until all 4 sides of tenderloin are browned and crispy, about 3 minutes per side.

  • Transfer skillet to oven. Roast pork until a thermometer inserted in center of meat registers 145°F for medium, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer pork to a cutting board. Let rest for 5 minutes. Slice into ½-inch-thick slices.

  • Stir remaining ½ cup half-and-half into polenta mixture. Serve polenta with pork, topped with cilantro and alongside lime wedges.

Nutrition Facts

532 calories; fat 23g; cholesterol 105mg; sodium 1097mg; carbohydrates 51g; dietary fiber 6g; protein 32g; sugars 5g; saturated fat 8g.