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PortWatch

June 18, 2014

Sweet on strawberries

Triple-glazing pork tenderloin adds lots of flavor

When you discover foods that have a natural affinity for one another, it’s easy to find numerous excuses to enjoy them together.

One of my favorites is strawberries and balsamic vinegar. Both sport assertively sweet, nicely acidic flavors that not only work well together, but also pair up wonderfully with so many other foods. Often, I’ll keep it simple and make a vinaigrette — 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons strawberry jam, pinch each of salt and pepper, sometimes some minced garlic. Dump it over a salad, and top with almonds.

Or if I’m feeling lazy, I’ll just make a salad and slice strawberries into it, then squirt the whole thing with balsamic glaze. Intense, but delicious. If I’m in the mood for something sweet, I’ll use that same combination — fresh strawberries and balsamic glaze — over vanilla ice cream.

With grilling season well underway, I decided to come up with a way to put these ingredients to work with something meaty. The result was a fantastic grilled pork tenderloin that is slathered with a strawberry-balsamic glaze. For optimal flavor, the pork gets hit with the strawberry-balsamic blend three times — as a marinade, as a glaze during grilling and again as a sauce when served.

You’re going to want something starchy to help balance the flavor — and mop up some of that sauce. Consider microwaving some new potatoes until nearly, but not quite cooked. Gently crush them so they are partly flattened, but not falling apart. Drizzle them with oil, then season them with salt, pepper and garlic powder, then finish them on the grill.

STRAWBERRY-BALSAMIC GLAZED PORK TENDERLOIN

Start to finish: 40 minutes

Servings: 6

1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

3 cloves garlic

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

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