Health & Fitness

Apricots add succulence to grilled pork

Backyard grilling usually means meat — and possibly a few vegetables for good measure. For some reason, fruit hardly ever gets grill marks, yet the high heat can add a delicious caramelized sweetness to a meal.

Take this recipe for grilled and glazed pork with apricots. Lean pork tenderloin is made more succulent and nutritious with the simple addition of this small, velvety, peach-colored fruit with a slightly musky flavor. Fresh apricots are available mostly in the summer months. Ninety-five percent of the crop comes from 300 growers in California's San Joaquin Valley.

Apricots are high in vitamin A and offer a moderate amount of vitamin C. They're also a good source of fiber and potassium.

Shopping tip: For the most antioxidants, choose plump, reasonably firm apricots with even color. If fresh apricots are not available, substitute four fresh, firm but ripe nectarines. Proceed as recipe directs, grilling 3 to 5 minutes or until grilled and hot.

Grilled and Glazed Pork With Apricots

1/2teaspoon pepper

1/2teaspoon ground nutmeg, divided

1/4teaspoon salt

1 lb. pork tenderloin, all visible fat and silver skin removed

1/4cup apricot all-fruit spread

3 tablespoons orange juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

3 to 5 drops hot pepper sauce

4 to 6 ripe but firm apricots, halved and pitted

Preheat grill to medium-high direct heat or allow coals to burn down to white ash.

Combine pepper, 1/4teaspoon nutmeg and salt. Sprinkle seasoning mixture evenly over pork; set aside.

Combine all-fruit spread, orange juice, olive oil, honey, ginger, hot pepper sauce and remaining 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg; stir to blend well. Measure 3 tablespoons juice mixture into a microwave-safe liquid measuring cup; set aside.

Place apricot halves in a resealable bag. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the remaining juice mixture. Seal bag and toss gently to cover apricots evenly; set aside.

Grill pork until meat thermometer registers 155 degrees, turning to brown evenly, about 18 to 21 minutes. During the last 5 to 10 minutes of grilling, brush generously and frequently with remaining juice mixture, covering all sides of the pork evenly.

Just before pork is done, drain the apricots. Place the apricot halves on the outside edge of the grill, cut-side down. Grill 2 to 4 minutes or until grill marks are evident and fruit is hot, but not overcooked.

Allow pork to stand, covered, 5 minutes until meat thermometer climbs to 160 degrees. Heat reserved juice mixture in microwave oven about 30 seconds or until hot. Cut pork crosswise into slices about 3/4-inch thick. Cut apricots into wedges. Arrange apricot wedges over and around pork. Drizzle with reserved, heated juice mixture. Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 249 calories (27 percent from fat), 8 g total fat (2 g saturated), 74 mg cholesterol, 20 g carbohydrates, 25 g protein, 195 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber

The Wichita Eagle—07/13/10