Bring out spring with flavorful world recipes
As the days get longer and the sun gets brighter we take pause to celebrate winter, but also look forward to spring. The air is warming up and the snow – although far from over – is losing its potency.
I spend a lot of time traveling in Asia, and it seems every family meal is indeed a celebration. So this month I bring you a favorite dish from across the warm and balmy Pacific Ocean to brighten your day.
This recipe is really simple to prepare. Don’t let the seemingly exotic ingredients keep you from giving it a go. Because of Alaska’s wonderfully diverse population, every item you need can be found at a variety of stores across the state. I prefer to visit the smaller markets; no hustle and bustle and lower prices on many items. Best of all, free cuisine advice. My favorite is A&P on the corner of 36th Avenue and C Street in Anchorage. Tell them I sent you and get ready to take notes.
This recipe is inspired by Japan. A scant six-hour flight from Anchorage, it is weird to think that you can be in Tokyo in roughly the same amount of time it takes to fly to Hawaii.
Miso apricot pork loin is a wonderfully tender and flavorful dish. It has a mysteriously mouth-watering flavor from the land of the rising sun. Pork loin goes on sale a lot, so keep your eyes open and take advantage of the opportunity.
Point the airplane back toward the land of the midnight sun and you are back in Anchorage. The journey is over you say?
Hardly. It is only the beginning. Local and talented people are creating and producing world-class food products right here in Alaska.
Take for example, Alaska Umami Sauce. A taste thought to have started in the 1800s in China, many Asian cultures have embraced and indeed have perfected it. I highly recommend this made-in-Alaska product for some of that salmon that still remains in your freezer. Simply use it as a marinade and a baste for the grill. It’s truly an Asian flavor born of Alaskan ingenuity. (www.ultimateumami.com/home.html)
Celebrate the season. Embrace the many cultures we have in our state. The culinary horizon is endless. I can’t think of a more exciting time for the ethos of food in our home known as Alaska, The Last Frontier.
— Mark J. Bly
The Flying Chef
Miso Apricot Pork Loin
1 to 2 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
5 tablespoons apricot preserves
½ cup chicken broth
¼ cup red miso
¼ cup champagne vinegar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Coat a baking sheet with oil.
In a saucepan on the stovetop over a medium heat, combine the apricot, miso, vinegar, orange peel and garlic. Cook until thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside.
Season the pork loin with salt and pepper.
Place on baking sheet and brush the top with 2 tablespoons of the apricot glaze. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
Turn the loin over and brush with more glaze. Be sure and reserve the remaining glaze for the sauce.
Bake the loin for an additional 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 150.
Remove pork from oven and “tent,” with foil for about 10 minutes to “rest” it.
While the pork is resting, reheat the glaze over medium heat and add the chicken broth.
Simmer for about 5 minutes or until the liquid has been reduced by a third. Season with salt and pepper.
Slice the pork into ½-inch slices.
Plate the pork, drizzle with the sauce and serve.