— As crowd-pleasers, they are berry, berry good.
If you’re planning a festive meal, don’t forget to celebrate with cranberries. Cranberries often are associated with the holidays, but their nutritious tastiness is worth having anytime. Like many fruits, cranberries are high in fiber and vitamin C and low in calories and fat. A fresh cup of these tangy berries has 5 grams of fiber and 24 percent of the vitamin C the average person needs in a day, but just 51 calories. Use fresh, frozen or unsweetened dried berries for the best nutritive value.
Cranberries are packed with antioxidants that may help maintain heart health and reduce cholesterol. The tannins in cranberries might help prevent gum disease and urinary tract infections. In the lab, cranberries prevent bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract and the gum line. According to the November 2010 edition of the Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter, “trials investigating cranberry intake and urinary-tract infections showed that there has been some benefit established in reducing the number of infections in women.”
Cranberry juice is often the form used when deliberately seeking to prevent infection. The fluid in the juice does help maintain hydration, which is known to help prevent infection. Cranberries are very tart and are often consumed in combination with sugar. For example, a glass of cranberry juice cocktail has about 30 grams of sugar and 137 calories.
This wonderful recipe uses a cranberries combined with figs and apples to add punch to a delicious roasted pork tenderloin.
(Additional information provided by Janet Eckert, Regional Nutrition and Health Education specialist, Harrison County, University of Missouri Extension.)
Pork Medallions with Cranberry and Fig Chutney
2 cups fresh, frozen or dried cranberries
1 cup apple juice or apple cider
1 medium Gala, Fuji or Granny Smith apple, peeled, stem and core removed and chopped
1/2 cup snipped, dried figs
3/4 cup packed brown sugar or granulated sugar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
2-1/2 teaspoons salt
2-1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 (12-ounce) pork tenderloins
3 tablespoons honey mustard
2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
6 green onions, tops and white ends, diced (optional)
Hot cooked brown or long grain rice (optional)
1. For the chutney: In a small, heavy saucepan, stir together the cranberries, apple juice, apples, figs, sugar, rosemary and 1 teaspoon of the salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes or until the chutney reaches the desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
2. Cut each tenderloin crosswise into six pieces (12 pieces total), about 1-inch thick. Press each piece with the palm of your hand to an even thickness. Mix the mustard together with the remaining salt and pepper, and the poultry seasoning. Coat each piece with the mustard mixture evenly on both sides.
3. Pour the oil into a large, nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Place the pork in batches in a hot skillet. Do not overcrowd. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the pork is slightly pink in the center and the juices run clear, turning once halfway through cooking time. Do not overcook.
4. Place cooked pork on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Add more oil to the pan as needed. Continue cooking, a few pieces at a time, until all the pieces are done.
5. Place 2 pork medallions on each dinner plate. Serve with hot cooked rice. Spoon some of the warm chutney over pork. Sprinkle with green onions, if desired. Pass remaining chutney. Makes 6 servings. ••
Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” Her website is www.divapro.com