They'll want seconds

Entertaining: Duck or pork spiced by a rhubarb-apricot chutney.

July 04, 1999|By BETTY ROSBOTTOM | BETTY ROSBOTTOM,LOS ANGELES TIMES SYNDICATE

One day last week, my culinary assistant, Charles Worthington, came to work excited about a recipe he had created for a dinner that he had catered the evening before. His golden rhubarb and apricot chutney served with roast duck had been a smashing success. Guests had returned for seconds and even thirds of this dish. Although the chutney had worked beautifully with the duck, the young chef suggested that it would be equally good with pork.

I had planned a small party for a group of good friends the next weekend and decided to make the chutney and serve it with grilled pork tenderloins. The condiment was easy to assemble.

I rubbed the tenderloins with five-spice powder, then grilled the meat. For serving, the pork was sliced, topped with the golden chutney and a sprinkling of chives. My guests, too, returned for more than one serving.

This easy main course would make a fine entree to serve for the Fourth of July. The chutney can be prepared three days ahead and kept refrigerated, and the pork tenderloins will take only about 30 minutes to grill. Although I like the pork best when hot, it can also be served at room temperature. Cole slaw and steamed green beans would make fine accompaniments to the pork and chutney.

Charles Worthington's Grilled Pork With Golden Rhubarb Chutney

Serves 8

CHUTNEY:

1 vanilla bean

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon whole cloves

4 ( 1/4 -inch-thick) slices peeled ginger root

grated zest and juice of 1 large navel orange

1 cup (5 ounces) dried apricots, cut into slivers

4 cups (about 1 1/4 pounds) fresh rhubarb, rinsed, dried and thinly sliced

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, including 2 inches of green stems

TENDERLOINS:

4 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder (see note)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 pork tenderloins (14 to 16 ounces each), trimmed of all excess fat

1 tablespoon chopped chives or tops of green onions

To prepare chutney, slit vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape seeds into large, heavy saucepan. Cut each half into 4 pieces and add to pan along with vinegar, sugars, water, cloves and ginger. Cover and simmer over low heat 10 minutes.

Remove lid and stir in zest and juice of orange, apricots, rhubarb and green onions. Bring mixture to simmer and then remove from heat. Cover and let cool to room temperature 45 to 60 minutes. Remove and discard ginger and vanilla bean pieces. Cover and refrigerate. (Chutney can be prepared 3 days ahead. Bring to room temperature before using.) Makes about 3 cups.

When ready to grill tenderloins, prepare grill, preferably one with lid. Oil rack and arrange 5 inches from heat source. Preheat grill. Combine five spice powder with salt and rub half of this mixture on each tenderloin. Grill pork (with lid on if you have grill with lid) until meat thermometer inserted in center of meat registers 150 degrees, 30 to 35 minutes. Turn meat occasionally and watch carefully as cooking time will vary depending on type of grill used and intensity of heat. Remove and cool 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.

To serve, slice pork on the diagonal into 1/4 -inch-thick slices. Place bowl with chutney in center of serving platter. Arrange sliced pork in overlapping pattern around chutney. Sprinkle with chopped chives.

Leftover chutney is delicious on ham or roast pork sandwiches or on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Note: Chinese five-spice powder is a blend of spices which usually contains cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds, star anise and Sichuan peppercorns. It is available in Asian markets and in many grocery stores.

Pub Date: 07/04/99

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