Grillades are filling for greedy guys, gals

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 26, 2013

In Cajan country, grillades (pronounced GREE-yods) are typically thin scallops of beef round steak, simmered in a rich brown gravy and served for breakfast or lunch. In New Orleans, they are bathed in a spicier Creole sauce colored by tomatoes, and the meat is more likely to be veal, especially in fine restaurants, where they are a classic weekend brunch dish served with creamy grits.

I have seen grillades on many New Orleans menus but have never ordered them. In my new cookbook, Southern Comfort, a new take on grillades, using pork was presented and I thought this sounded really good and did the recipe. This would be a great dish for company on a cold winter day. It is a comfort dish, plus it can all be done ahead and reheated. The grits are creamy and melt in your mouth!



Grits and Grillades

Serves 6

1 pork tenderloin (about 1 ½ pounds)

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons canola oil

8 slices bacon, diced

1 onion, diced

1 red pepper, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon Creole spice

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

2 bay leaves

4 cups chicken stock

1 ripe tomato, chopped, cored, juices reserved

Creamy Grits (recipe follows)

4 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced (for garnish)

Cut the pork tenderloin into 12 2-ounce cutlets. Place each cutlet between sheets of plastic wrap.

Using a meat mallet, pound each medallion until it is a uniform thickness of about 1/8 inch. In a baking dish large enough to hold the cutlets, mix 1 cup of the flour with ½ teaspoon of the salt and ½ teaspoon of the pepper until fully incorporated. Lightly dust each cutlet in the flour mixture on both sides; set aside on a plate until ready to cook.

For the cutlets, have a plate ready. For the bacon, line a plate with paper towels and have ready.

Have a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat until slightly smoking. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and sauté the cutlets in batches, four at a time. Cook them for 1 minute on each side, then transfer from the pan to the plate and repeat with the remaining oil and cutlets.


Once all the pork is cooked, keep the skillet on medium heat and add the bacon to it. Cook the bacon until the fat is fully rendered out. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the pan to the paper-lined plate and reserve it on the side, leaving the fat in the pan. Decrease the heat to low and whisk in the remaining ½ cup of flour until smooth and the consistency of wet sand. Cook, whisking constantly until the roux becomes light brown and nutty, about 10 minutes. Add the diced bell peppers, onion, and garlic and cook vegetables in the roux until tender, about three (3) minutes.

Carefully whisk in the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper, Creole spice, cumin, paprika and bay leaves. Once the spices are incorporated, whisk in the stock and chopped tomato with its juices until a smooth sauce is formed. Increase the heat to medium and bring the sauce to a low simmer. Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, skimming off any excess fat. Strain the sauce (I left the vegetables in.) through a sieve and return it to the skillet. Place the pork cutlets in the sauce and warm them through. Serve the pork in the sauce over the grits and garnish with the sliced green onions.


Creamy Grits

8 cups whole milk

2 cups quick grits

1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces (I used ½ of this amount)

½ cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Place the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it scalds (when a skin forms on top, and it begins to bubble around the edges). Whisk the grits into the milk and decrease the heat to medium-low. Cook for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally to prevent clumps. Finish the grits by whisking in the butter, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Cover with a lid, remove from the heat, and reserve until serving. It will stay hot for about 20 minutes, covered.