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Glazed Pork Loin with Cilantro and Garlic

★★★★★

Brine

  • 1 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 2 cups apricot nectar
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled, halved, germ removed, and grated on a Microplane grater
  • One 6 1/2- to 7-pound pork loin

Seasoning Blend

  • 2 tablespoons Ancho chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon lemon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground fresh black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin

Glaze

  • ½ cup apricot preserves
  • 1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled, halved, germ removed, and grated on a Microplane grater (I don’t know that my husband went to all this trouble, likely he just peeled it and squished it in a garlic press.)
  • About 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Finely ground fresh black pepper
Place the pepper flakes in a small bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Let sit for 1 to 2 minutes to rehydrate the flakes. Combine all the brine ingredients in a blender, or in a large bowl using an immersion/stick blender. Stir in the pepper flakes and the soaking water.
Place the loin in an extra-large resealable plastic bag, pour the brine over the top, squeeze out any excess air from the bag, and close. Roll the bag to evenly coat the meat. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or up to 12.
Preheat an indirect barbecue with a drip pan and fruitwood (preferably apple), a ceramic cooker with deflector plate and fruitwood (preferably apple), or a charcoal or gas grill with a box or packet of fruitwood (preferably apple) to 250°F.
Combine all of the seasoning blend ingredients.
Place all of the glaze ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake to combine. Set aside.
Remove the loin from the brine and lightly pat dry with paper towels.
Sprinkle the rub evenly on all sides.
Using your hands or a brush, evenly, but lightly, coat the loin with canola oil.
Insert a remove thermometer into the center of the meat.
Place the loin in the cooker and cook until the internal temperature reaches 135°F, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Give the glaze a quick shake to reincorporate any ingredients that may have settled. Brush the loin with the glaze and return to the cooker until the internal temperature reaches 145°F, about 15 minutes. At this point the meat will be slightly pink in the center; cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes for more well-done.
Pour about half of the remaining glaze on a cutting board and top with the loin. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Slice the meat into 1/4-inch slices. Dredge the slices in the glaze, adding additional as needed to coat the exposed sides. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.Makes 12 servingsSource : Epicurious May 2009

This was the grilling recipe of the week. Hubby had the day off and started the morning preparing the brine for this. He said he was intimidated by the sheer number of ingredients, but it came out wonderfully. In the past we’ve never really had a fruit glaze recipe that I’ve cared for, this one was a keeper. The pork was tender and moist and the glaze was the perfect compliment. It made plenty, even giving us leftovers (rare these days). We served it along with…

Un-Fried French Fries

★★★

  • 1 ½ pounds baking potatoes, about 3
  • ¼ cup Kraft Light House Italian Dressing
  • ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese
Heat oven to 425ºF
Wash potatoes; pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick sticks; place in large bowl. Add remaining ingredients; toss to coat.
Spread potatoes into singe layer on large baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Spray potatoes with additional cooking spray.
Bake 22 to 24 minutes or until potatoes are crisp and golden brown, turning after 12 minutes.Makes 6 servingsSource : www.kraftrecipes.com

For starters, I am not very good at making homemade french fries. Maybe I’d do better if I did fry them. My nonstick pan stuck to all of them, even with the amount of oil they were coated in. Therefore my fries looked positively mutilated by the time they hit the table. I also cut mine much, much finer than the picture showed, hoping they would cook faster. That little plan also did not work. The flavor was good. The technique just happened to be tricky for me.

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