Saturday, September 4, 2010

Summer, Sunflowers, and Sauce

School's almost in session, I am back in my little apartment, and the weather is o so fine and dandy! It's been a wonderful couple days back so far, albeit busy. Taking the job on as peer advisor for 13 students as well as directing hundreds of students through orientation is quite a lot of repeating and re-repeating, but is so rewarding. I love greeting the shy, nervous looking student with a big, "Welcome to Berklee! How are you doing today? Where are you from? What's your instrument?" If I can get them to leave with a smile and a little less nervous, I've done my job and I feel so good about it.

Since I've been back, I've been on a bit of a health regime. I find myself craving fresh herbs, fruits, and veggies. Dylan and I ran into the Copley Square Farmer's Market last Thursday, which was a pleasant surprise, and led to the purchase of several freshly baked rolls and sweet corn. I became fascinated, as Dylan stood in line for bread, with the amazing sunflowers Siena Farm was selling. Huge, beautiful sunflowers smiled up at me out of buckets while honey bees busily collected their quota of pollen for the day.

Today's recipe is a little something I concocted one night this week to satisfy my need for meat--something I often overlook between my busy schedule and mouthfuls of food. The other reason I often find myself in a meat shortage has to do with Dylan's and my picky price requirements. We sometimes focus so much on the cheapest best quality food, that we overlook the meat section entirely, simply because nothing there is under 5 dollars. Luckily for us, Trader Joes provides meats that don't push the budget too much as long as we work it into our meals for the week. This week's perfect find: pork tenderloin for a little more than $5.00. And to satisfy my eternal craving for a balance between savory and sweet, a buttery apricot sauce to serve it with.

Black Pepper Encrusted Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Sauce

You Will Need:

-1 pork tenderloin
-sea salt
-freshly ground black pepper
-1 clove garlic
-1/3 cup white vinegar
-1/2 cup apricot jam
-1 cup chicken stock
-2 tablespoons butter

1. Cut of the silver skin of the tenderloin. Sprinkle with salt. Cover, roll, etc. in the black pepper evenly. You need A LOT of black pepper. Make sure you have enough to create a nice crust.

2. Brown the tenderloin in a HOT pan about 5-6 min. a side.

3. Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 20min or until done. Then, let rest while making the sauce.

4. To make the sauce: Use the same pan you seared the tenderloin in (don't wash). Saute the garlic for half a minute.

5. Add vinegar, jam, and stock. Mix well with whisk. Cook on high until reduced to half the original volume.

6. Add the butter and stir till melted.

7. Serve the diagonally cut pork tenderloin over the sauce! Yum!

As always, Happy Cooking!


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