Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Saga of the Citrus Marmalade... with Pork Tenderloin and Salmon

I had put together a gift basket of my father’s favorite treats: ginger snaps, shortbread and chocolate truffles, vanilla wafers and fruity fig bars, fancy soup and cheesy crackers, tea and some seasonally-themed coffee.  And, of course, marmalade.  Thinking I would get him something special, I picked out the Three Fruit Marmalade with Seville oranges, grapefruit and lemon.

It was a tough decision between Three Fruit and Orange Marmalade with Champagne.  But as I’ve mentioned before, I really like Mackays Preserves, especially the Three Berry one, and so I opted for the Three Fruit Marmalade.

My parents gobbled up everything over a couple weeks and then reminded me that grapefruit was on their “do not eat” list… due to adverse reactions with their medications.  So they gave the jar of Marmalade back to me.  It was still completely sealed and good as new.  And I thought… I’m sure to find someone else who loves marmalade and would appreciate a simple indulgence.

But then my mother made biscuits.  And my father felt, for certain, that he was safe if he only had a very small dollop of marmalade on each of his biscuits.  So we opened the jar.  And he ate the tiniest portion possible, which didn’t make a dent in 12 ounces of marmalade.

Now I don’t like things to go to waste.  But I’m also not a huge fan of marmalade.  So what to do?  Luckily I found this recipe for Honey Orange Pork Tenderloin by Julianna Grimes from Cooking Light.  It reads as follows:

1/3 cup orange marmalade
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1½ tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1½ teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Combine first 5 ingredients, stirring well with a whisk.  Reserve 2 tablespoons marmalade mixture.  Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil; swirl to coat.  Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper.  Add pork to pan; cook 5 minutes or until browned.  Turn pork over; brush with ¼ cup marmalade mixture.  Bake at 350° for 10 minutes.  Turn pork over; brush with ¼ cup marmalade mixture.  Bake an additional 10 minutes or until a thermometer registers 150°.  Remove pork from pan; brush with reserved 2 tablespoons marmalade mixture.  Let stand 10 minutes; slice.

I tested out the recipe, and it was fabulously easy and tasty.  Of course, I used the Three Fruit Marmalade, and the lemon and grapefruit definitely brought a stronger citrus flavor and a touch of bitterness that both Walter and I liked.  Our tenderloin was over 1¼ pounds, so we increased baking time by about 6 minutes… basically 3 extra minutes per side.

We liked the recipe so much we decided to try the glaze with salmon.  And it was incredibly easy and tasty.  A couple tips:
  • We used just about 1 pound of salmon fillet and left the bottom skin on;
  • I halved the glaze recipe… which taxed my brain a little (½ of 1/3 cup = about 8 teaspoons);
  • I just poured the glaze, including 1 tablespoon of canola oil, over the fish – no need to sear the salmon – and baked for about 25 minutes.
Voila!  And yum!  We served it with asparagus and deli potato salad for a light dinner.
If you prefer something sweeter, definitely use a plain orange marmalade and consider adding more honey.

Now... I need more marmalade.

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