Apricot-Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin

After doing the non-traditional barbecue it was time for Ample Bites to do something a little more mainstream. Pork tenderloin is a perfect vehicle for fruit glazes. This apricot-balsamic glaze was inspired by ingredients in my pantry including a jar of apricot preserves and a bottle of The Olive Mill Blackberry Ginger Balsamic vinegar.

Apricot-Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin
(Recipe by Mark Kelly, 2012)

Serves 4

1 1/2 lbs trimmed pork tenderloin
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp Creole Seasoning (such as Emeril’s Essence)
4 ounces apricot preserves
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp Olive Mill Blackberry Ginger Balsamic Vinegar
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Bring pork tenderloin to room temperature. Season evenly on all sides with the Creole seasoning and let stand for 30 – 45 minutes. Drizzle pork with olive oil before grilling.

In a small bowl mix the apricot preserves, ginger, garlic, and vinegar, Whisk until fully combined.

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Place tenderloins on the grill and sear on all sides, about 1 – 2 minutes each. Reduce heat to medium indirect and grill the pork for 10 – 12 minutes until reaching firmness. In the last 5 minutes of grilling glaze with the Apricot-Balsamic mixture. Glaze and turn every minute until all sides have been covered.

Removed the meat from the grill and let stand for 2 – 5 minutes before carving and serving.

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Sauteed Spinach with Roasted Garlic and Parmesan

I make sauteed spinach frequently. It is a great side dish for salmon, pork chops, steak or even a pasta entree.

I really like the flavor of roasted garlic and I often use it in mashed potatoes or as a spread for crostini. My sauteed spinach recipes typically include minced garlic, that is softened before the spinach is sauteed, but until I saw this recipe I never before thought about incorporating roasted garlic with sauteed spinach.

Sauteed Spinach with Roasted Garlic and Parmesan
(Adapted from Chicago Foodies)

Serves 4

1 pound fresh spinach
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
About 25 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp Olive Mill extra-virgin lemon olive oil
1/2 lemon
1/2 cup thinly grated parmesan cheese
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

First, preheat oven to 400F. Put your garlic in a pan and cover it with the 1/4 cup of olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover with tin foil. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until garlic is soft and lightly browned.

Using a large pan, saute the butter on medium-high heat. As it begins to melt, add the spinach. When it has wilted, add in the juice from the lemon. Stir in the garlic cloves whole, along with some of the remaining olive oil. Mix in salt and pepper, and top with the parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

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An Orange-infused Simply Asian Dinner

I adapted both of these orange-infused recipes from Simple Asian Meals cookbook by Nina Simonds using products from two of my favorite sources, Adoboloco, a Hawaiian hot sauce maker, and The Olive Mill, a local purveyor of quality olive oils and vinegars.

The prep time for both of these dishes combined is less than 30 minutes making this healthy Asian dinner combination perfect for a busy week night or a quick but elegant meal on a weekend.

Orange-Maple Salmon

Serves 4

1 ½ Tbsp orange zest
½ cup fresh orange juice
1 ½ Tbsp fresh lemon juice
¼ cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 ½ Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp Adoboloco jalapeno sauce (or other mild hot sauce)
1 Tbsp Olive Mill Blackberry Ginger balsamic vinegar
1 4 salmon steaks about 6 oz each
3 Tbsp olive oil, for oiling the grill

To make the Orange-Maple sauce: mix all of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer for about 5 minutes. Pour half into a bowl and cool slightly. Keep the other half warm.

Arrange the salmon in one layer in a shallow pan, add the cooled sauce and turn the fish so all sides are coated. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for not longer than 15 minutes.

Preheat the grill to medium-high temperature. Brush the grill with oil and arrange the salmon on the rack. Grill until the flesh is just opaque, about 6-7 minutes per side, brushing with the sauce from the pan. Carefully slide the fish off the grill and serve with the remaining warmed sauce spooned over the top.

Spicy Orange Fennel Slaw

Serves 4

2 fennel bulbs (about 1 ½ pounds)
3 large seedless oranges
¼ cup chopped cilantro

2 tsp chopped or grated orange zest
½ cup fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp Olive Mill Lemon Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Japanese rice vinegar
1 tsp Adoboloco Jalapeno Sauce (or other mild hot sauce)
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 ½ tsp sugar
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 ¼ tsp Kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Trim the root end of the fennel bulbs and cut away the stalks and discard, reserving the fronds. Cut the fennel bulbs in half. Cut out the core and discard; cut the bulbs into very thin slices. Coarsely chop the fronds and set them aside.

Grate the zest and squeeze the juice of 1 orange, set aside. Peel the remaining 2 oranges cut away the white pith. Separate the orange sections and cut each section crosswise in half. Mix the fennel and orange sections with the chopped fennel fronds and the cilantro in a serving bowl.

Combine the zest, juice, ginger, oil, vinegar, garlic and seasoning in a bowl and mix thoroughly to create the dressing. Pour the dressing over the fennel and orange sections and toss lightly to coat. Cover and let sit or refrigerate to chill slightly before serving.

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