Pork Medallions with Grilled Pineapple, Feta and Tangy Balsamic Molasses Reduction

1 whole, fresh ripe pineapple (preferably a "golden" variety)
11/2 cups balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup molasses
2 or 3 sprigs fresh, sweet basil leaves
1/4 cup coarsely chopped yellow onion
2 pork tenderloins (approximately 11/4 pound each)
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons butter
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Trim off sharp points of the pineapple leaves so a tuft remains. Grasp tuft and keep pineapple upright as you trim away tough outer skin with wide, downward strokes, using a large, sharp knife. Remove remaining "eyes."

Now turn pineapple on its side and slice into 1/2-inch-thick rings. Trim out core from each slice. Set slices aside for grilling.

To prepare balsamic-molasses reduction, combine the balsamic vinegar, molasses, basil and onion in a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce to a lively simmer and cook until sauce has been reduced to about 2/3 cup and is thick and syrupy. Strain, return to pot and keep warm (or reheat when ready to serve).

Within 20 minutes of serving, grill pineapple slices over medium-hot coals (or a gas burner), cooking on both sides until edges are golden brown and slices are still juicy. Keep hot until ready to use.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 F. Cut a dozen, 1/2-inch-thick slices from the pork tenderloins (you may have some tenderloin remaining; refrigerate for another use). Season both sides of each medallion with salt and pepper, to taste.

Heat a large, heavy pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and butter then, when butter is melted, sear medallions on both sides and a bit on edges. Remove to a baking pan, making four groups of three medallions each (medallions in each group should be touching, more or less to look like a shamrock). Place a generous crumbling of the feta on top of each group of pork medallions and bake for 5 to 6 minutes.

To serve, place a grilled pineapple slice on each plate and top with a group of three pork medallions. Drizzle balsamic-molasses reduction over medallions. Serve with a simple rice or pasta dish.

Makes 4 servings.

VARIATION: If you already have a batch of Jan's Basic Balsamic Vinegar Reduction in your fridge, you can substitute it for this recipe's balsamic-molasses reduction. On the other hand, if you're willing to make a little more effort, then substitute Best Ever Balsamic Sauce for the reduction in this recipe.

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