Monday, September 30, 2013

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Sauce

Fall cooking inspiration is hitting full force.

The summer is subsiding, but preserved summer fruit is still a great cooking option. Some dear friends sent us a Zingerman's care package with their award-winning Apricot Jam. I knew immediately that I had to pair this silky jam with with pork. The zesty, fruity flavors would perfectly complement the rich meat.

I love organic pork tenderloin, both because it's a lean and healthy source of protein, but also because it's mouthwateringly delicious. I rubbed the tenderloin with some blackened seasoning, fresh thyme, salt and pepper, then seared it on the stovetop, before roasting it in the oven.

After it had reached a perfect medium rare, I let it rest for a few minutes and then sliced it, topping it with a quick sauce I whipped up from the apricot jam and some apple cider vinegar. I served the sliced medallions of tender pork over stone ground grits (from Trader Joe's) made with the last of summer's fresh sweet corn and crumbled goat cheese. The resulting dish was fabulous.

Rich, sweet, tangy—very fall-like.


Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Sauce
Serves 2 people
Cooking time: about 30 minutes
Gluten-free; dairy-free

1 pork tenderloin (about a pound)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, stems removed
1 teaspoon blackened seasoning
2 tablespoons grapeseed or macadamia nut oil (for high heat cooking)
1/2 cup apricot jam
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Rub the pork with the thyme and blackened seasoning and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Heat the oil over high heat in a pan that can transfer to the oven. Quickly sear the pork tenderloin on all sides.

3. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the tenderloin for about 20 minutes for medium doneness (or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit). Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, make the apricot sauce by adding the jam and apple cider vinegar to a small pan. Dilute the jam with a little water if needed to make a saucy texture, depending on the consistency of the jam. Warm the sauce gently over medium heat and check seasoning, adding a little more vinegar if it's too sweet.

4. To serve, slice the pork tenderloin into medallions and divide them between two places. Spoon the apricot sauce over the top. Enjoy!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Honey Rosemary Baby Carrots

Happy September... though it doesn't feel like fall here at all. It still feels like the peak of summer in Southern California. Even so, I've been wanting to eat more fall flavors.

What's more fall-like than root vegetables?

I roasted baby carrots with olive oil and sprigs of rosemary, and then tossed them with a smidgeon of honey. The resulting dish, though simple, was quite wonderful. The sweet honey and herbaceous rosemary flavors really compliment the tender carrots. This little side dish is sure to impress, perfect for the fall season and for the upcoming winter holidays.

Honey Rosemary Roasted Baby Carrots
Serves 4 people
Cooking time: about 20 minutes
Vegetarian; gluten-free

1 pound baby carrots (1 bag)
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon honey

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Toss the carrots with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet with rosemary sprigs. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, until tender and browned.

3. Remove from the oven and pick out the rosemary sprigs (you may use them for garnishing if desired). Toss the carrots with honey. Check seasoning (salt and pepper). Enjoy!