It’s that easy: Cotija is a hard Mexican cheese made from mostly cows milk. It’s an aged cheese similar to Parmesan Reggiano and is pretty salty stuff. In Mexico street vendors sell corn on the cob slathered with Cotija, lime juice and chile powder, so this is a riff on that classic. Sounds worth a try doesn’t it?
Pork Tenderloin with Corn, Black Beans and Cotija Cheese
Start to finish: 30 minutes
Hands on time: 15 minutes
1 pork tenderloin, about 1 1/3 lb, trimmed of silverskin
Montreal steak seasoning
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 ears corn, cut from the cob
4 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
3 plum tomatoes, diced
2 serrano chile, seeded and minced
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced cilantro
1 lime, halved and one half cut into 4 sections
1/2 cup Cotija cheese
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Sprinkle the tenderloin liberally with the Montreal steak seasoning.
Heat a 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil shimmers add the pork and cook it for 3 minutes without disturbing it. Turn it to cook the other side for another 3 minutes then transfer it to a plate. It won’t be cooked through at this point.
Add the corn, onion, tomato, chile, black beans, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper to the hot pan and toss the vegetables to mix them up. Top the veggies with the pork and slide it into the oven to roast for 15 to 20 minutes. If you have an instant read thermometer, it should read 145°F when inserted into the center.
Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the pork to a cutting board. Let it rest for at least 3 or 4 minutes. While the meat rests toss the vegetables with the juice of the 1/2 the lime and the cilantro. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if it needs it but it probably won’t.
Slice the meat on the diagonal and serve it with the vegetables sprinkled with the Cotija cheese and lime wedges for more zip.
Variation: If you have a ripe one laying around, a half a diced avocado is a delicious addition. So is a little roasted red bell pepper.
In the glass: One word: Minervois. It’s a Rhone, red, rustic and really delicious for the price of about $12.99.
Click here to print this page| Recipe created by Carla Snyder
Carla has spent the past 30 years in the food world as a caterer, artisan baker, cooking school teacher, food writer and author of 6 cook books including the James Beard nominated Big Book of Appetizers. Her passion is sharing fresh, cooked-from-scratch weeknight meals that cut prep time and practically eliminate that nightly sink-full of dishes. Look for Carla on Facebook, Twitter (carlacooks), Pinterest and at ravenouskitchen.com where she blogs about everything from cooking for two to easy weekend entertaining for a crowd.