From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...When we were very young, food played a special role in recovery from childhood ailments. A bit like birthdays, when special foods were the order of the day, sickies were plied with favorite foods in hopes that they would help comfort and speed recovery. For most kids, that meant chicken soup and Jello, but I was born a contrarian and eschewed soups and weak tea for club sandwiches and apricot nectar. That nectar was the start of my love affair with apricots. While I don't always have fresh apricots in my kitchen, my pantry is never without the dried variety which I use liberally in cooking. This recipe is one that I developed for a meal when there are just two or three people at the table, and it, of course, gets much of its flavor from dried apricots and the water they soak in. The Silver Fox likes sauces that combine hot and sweet flavors, so it would be an understatement to say he like this pork dish. It is really simple to make and I think you will enjoy it. While the recipe can be doubled, I suspect you will want to keep this an adult meal. Young children will find it too spicy for their tastes. If you are into fast, simple and delicious, I hope you will give this recipe a try. The pork is wonderful when served with rosti potatoes or rice. Here is how it is made.
Sweet and Hot Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Sauce...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 cup boiling water
1/3 cup dried apricots
1 (12-16-oz.) pork tenderloin, trimmed
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
1/3 cup apricot preserves
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1) Using scissors, snip each apricot into 4 pieces. Place in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 30 minutes.
2) Slice pork tenderloin crosswise into 1-inch thick slices. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Pound until 3/4-inches thick. Dredge each slice in flour, shaking off excess. Set aside.
3) Heat oil and butter in a large skillet until it shimmers. Stir in paprika. Add pork and brown slices, about 2 minutes per side. Push pork to one side of pan. Add dried apricots and soaking water to skillet, scraping bottom of pan to remove crusty bits. Stir in chicken bouillon powder, apricot preserves, pepper flakes, oregano and vinegar. Cook over high heat until preserves melt. Cook for about 6 minutes more, turning once. Remove pork from pan and turn up heat. Boil until sauce thickens and syrupy bubbles form. Return pork to pan and turn slices to coat all sides with glaze. Transfer contents of pan to a serving platter. Serve immediately. Yield: 2 to 3 servings.
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