A seasonal stunner
Dec. 22, 2011
By Kim Dannies
Looking for a last minute showstopper for your holiday dinner? Or, how about something special to ring in the New Year? Either way you’ll be set with this quick and gorgeous roasted pork with dried fruit & port sauce. My neighbor and fabulous cook, JanaG, turned me on to this meal courtesy of Southern Living magazine (November 2010).
ROASTED PORK W/ DRIED FRUIT & PORT SAUCE
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil and sear pork three minutes on each side or until golden brown. Place pork in a roasting pan; reserve drippings in the skillet. Roast pork at 425 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest portion registers 150 degrees. Remove from oven, cover and let stand 10 minutes.
Add 1 teaspoon of oil to the hot drippings in the skillet. Add 1 cup each of dried fruit: apricots, plums, peaches and cherries. Add ½ cup pine nuts. Sauté the mixture 4 minutes on medium-high heat, until the pine nuts are fragrant. Add 1 cup port wine, 1 cup pomegranate juice and 2 cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Stir in 1/2 cup of chicken broth and simmer 15 minutes, until fruit is tender and plump. Remove the cinnamon sticks.
To serve, slice pork and place on a warm serving platter and top with some of the fruit and sauce. Serve remainder in a side dish. Serves 6-8.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS & BACON
Prepare 6 Brussels sprouts per person by slicing off the base knob and peel a layer or two of the cabbage. Place in a glass bowl and add 1/2 cup of water. Seal and microwave the sprouts on high for 4-6 minutes. Remove and drain excess water. Heat a large skillet and cook 6 strips of bacon. Remove bacon to a paper towel and chop. Add the Brussels sprouts to the hot drippings. Sauté for several minutes (allowing the cabbage skin to brown and blister), season with a large pinch of sea salt. Test for tenderness with a toothpick. When the sprouts are tender, add the bacon and 1 tablespoon of butter. Coat the sprouts in browned butter and place in warmed serving bowl. Top with fresh pepper.
Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France. She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three twenty-something daughters who come and go. For archived Everyday Gourmet columns go to kimdannies.com.