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When summer is at its summit in Colorado, we enter our Palisade Peach and Olathe sweet corn frenzy period.

above:  grilled Colorado peaches ready for eating as is or for topping ice cream, adding to salsa, or for dessert with goat cheese, honey, and thyme (scroll down for recipe)

below: no need to shuck corn before grilling, but do soak it for a half hour to prevent burning while on the grill

Come to Colorado!

Palisade Peach Festival:  August 16-19, 2018 in Palisade, Colorado

Olathe Sweet Corn Festival:  August 4, 2018 in Olathe, Colorado

If dinner can be made with one of those ingredients, we’re making that. As luck would have it, there is a glorious and somewhat stretchable time frame for both our famous corn and peaches due to smart Coloradan farming practices. In other words, our party lasts a few tasty weeks from beginning to end of picking.  Peach pie, cold peach soup, peach gelato, peach jam, grilled corn, boiled corn, corn fritters, corn chowder, corn and tomato salad….the list goes on.

above:  my Brown Butter + Spice Peach Pie–recipe coming up on the blog soon

above: my Grilled Olathe Sweet Corn and Chicken Chowder

This year, I decided to celebrate both bounties at once, taking a new version of my Grilled Peach and Corn Salsa and using it to stuff a sliced-down-the-middle grilled bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin brushed with Dijon-style mustard. While this meal is certainly perfect for summer company, it’s also an easy meal for the family. Leftovers are great for tacos (make more salsa), sandwiches, or salads.  My guess is you have lovely peaches and corn at your market, too, no matter where you are at mid-summer… so try this:

BACON-DIJON PORK TENDERLOIN with GRILLED PEACH AND CORN SALSA

serves 4-6

  • 2 pork tenderloins–about a pound each
  • Canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard–or more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 2 limes cut into wedges for garnish
  • Grilled Peach and Corn Salsa for serving — recipe below

Prepare gas grill for medium-high indirect heat.

Meanwhile, pat dry the tenderloins with paper towels and brush each lightly all over with canola oil. Spread a tablespoon or so of the mustard over all sides of the pork using the brush or your fingers; sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper.  First tucking under the thinnest part (tail end) of of each tenderloin (so it cooks evenly), wrap the entire piece of meat evenly with two pieces of bacon securing with toothpicks.  Use two toothpicks at the thin tail end you tucked under. Repeat with the other tenderloin. Count your toothpicks and write that down somewhere –unless you have a perfect memory– so that when you serve the meat, you’ll know if you removed them all!

Brush grate clean and, using tongs, dip a wad of paper towels lightly into canola oil and run it over that grate so the meat doesn’t stick.

Place the tenderloins on the grill away from the fire and close the grill cover. Let cook about 20 minutes or until temperature is between 140-145 degrees on an instant-read thermometer and bacon is crisp.  If bacon isn’t crispy, cook pork for a couple of minutes at the end of the cooking time over direct heat, turning regularly.

Remove from the grill and let rest five minutes. Remove toothpicks before slicing the tenderloins length-wise down the middle not quite all the way through. Spoon salsa down the center openings. Slice into 2-inch segments for serving, replacing salsa if necessary. Garnish with lime wedges.

{printable recipe for pork tenderloin and salsa}

PINK PORK? I like my pork cooked medium–on the rosy side and definitely juicy, which is totally delicious, tender, and safe. Current FDA temps indicate grill pork to 145, then let rest for 3 minutes before carving; I cheat a bit sometimes.  Read more.

Below:  Prepped tenderloins before grilling.  Note double toothpicks at tucked under thin tail end. TIP: Cover platters in plastic wrap for raw meats and then remove the plastic for serving; it saves washing the platter in the middle of cooking and prevents contamination–particularly with poultry.


Below:  Grilled bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin sliced down the middle lengthwise

Need more veggies or grains? Veggies?  Grill some asparagus or sauté a few green beans. Add a few cherry tomatoes (my little orange ones at left are grown on the deck) or sliced cucumbers. Grill extra corn; it’s that time of year! Don’t forget the melted butter and fresh dill. Salad? Make my Avocado Salad with some greens…scroll down for photo and recipe.  Grains? I’d go with a scoop of well-seasoned (salt/pepper/crushed red pepper) cooked farro dressed with a little olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Otherwise, think some crusty cornbread or grilled tortillas.

Want to roast your pork tenderloin in the oven? Try this version.

Charcoal Grill? Read Kingsford’s directions here.

GRILLED PEACH AND CORN SALSA

This is somehow tweaked each year depending on what I have on hand and I always like the newest version best! Use your imagination, see what’s on your counter (cucumber? cherry tomatoes? zucchini?), and have this your way.  By the way, don’t make more than you can eat in a day; peach salsa doesn’t keep well.

  • 2 large ripe, but firm peaches (Colorado peaches preferred)– grilled*, cooled briefly, peeled after grilling, and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 ripe, but firm avocados– washed, peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 1/2 cup diced honeydew or cantaloupe melon, optional
  • Kernels from 2 ears of freshly grilled corn, about a cup–preferably Olathe
  • 1/2 medium red sweet bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 small jalapeño, membranes/seeds removed, finely minced, optional –can sub sweet yellow or orange bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely minced red onion OR scallions –or a combination
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Pinch each kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients gently but thoroughly. Taste and correct seasoning as necessary. Serve immediately on grilled pork tenderloin, pork chops, grilled chicken breasts, shrimp, salmon, on fish tacos, or with tortilla chips.

*GRILLING PEACHES:  Preheat clean grill to medium-high.  Brush pitted, halved peaches (don’t peel) with a little bit of canola oil on both sides and place cut-side down on the grill.  Watching carefully, let cook 3-4 minutes, turning them over when grill marks are well established, but not too blackened.  Cook another 2 minutes until tops of cut sides begin to dry slightly.  Remove from grill and cool briefly.  (No grill? Use a heavy skillet on your stove instead.)

WINE: I typically love Pinot Noir with pork, but I’m going to lay low here and offer the idea of an off-dry Riesling (Washington state or German) or even a Viognier. I hate the thought of the heat of the jalapeño and acid (lime) fighting with a tasty red wine. Another thought–and a cheerful one– is a sangria, of course,–lightly, but surely sweetened.


Here’s that Avocado Salad, to which you can add a handful or two of fresh baby spinach leaves, if you like.


DESSERT? Grill extra peaches (or figs) and have them for dessert using this recipe from my book, SOUPS & SIDES FOR EVERY SEASON:

GRILLED PEACHES OR FIGS WITH CHEESE, HONEY, THYME, AND BLACK PEPPER

Don’t like the idea of warm fruit with cheese?  Just grill peaches or figs and serve over vanilla or cinnamon ice cream with a tiny drizzle of honey and a few tiny leaves of fresh thyme.  The black pepper would be up to you!

4 servings

  • Canola Oil
  • 2 large peaces or 8 fresh figs, cleaned, cut in half, and pitted
  • 4 ounces goat or blue cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Preheat clean grill to medium-high; brush grate lightly with oil.  Brush pitted, halved peaches or figs with a little bit of canola oil and place cut-side down on the grill.  Watching carefully, let cook 3-4 minutes for peaches and 2-3 minutes for figs, turning them over when grill marks are well-established, but not too blackened.   Cook another 2 minutes (peaches) or 1 minute (figs) until tops of cut sides begin to dry slightly.  Remove from grill and cool briefly.  In small bowls, top each peach half or two fig halves with 2 tablespoons cheese (goat of peaches; blue for figs), drizzle with honey, sprinkle with thyme leaves and a grind or two of freshly ground black pepper.

Cook’s Note:   No grill?  These could easily be done stovetop in a heavy skillet or on a stovetop grill.  Fruit not quite ripe?  This dessert might just fit the bill.

Wine for the Dessert: My friend and fine sommelier Drew Robinson, who did the wine pairings for my book, did not pair the desserts–more’s the pity! I would choose a Moscato d’Asti which is readily available, inexpensive, and lovely with summer fruit. If something less sweet rings the right bell, try a brut rosé.  Not drinking? Freezing cold mint iced tea would drink.


IF YOU LIKE THIS, YOU MIGHT LIKE MY:

Coconut-Pork Salad


Yesterday’s Kids’ Cooking Class in my kitchen. Watch for an upcoming post about my smart and fun chefs! Thanks for a great time, Josiah and Alaena.

While we in Colorado Springs are grateful for the daily deluge of the last week (but not for the near-miss tornados) because of fires, smoke, drought, and so on, we’re even more grateful for the lower temperatures now. Summer is both beautiful and frightening out west. Think good and positive thoughts for our myriad firefighters.

below:  even our eastern views are off and on shrouded in smoke

IMG_0570

I’m so glad you’re reading.  Thanks for spending more time at the table!

Sing a new song; make a peach salsa,

Alyce