There are some combos in this world that catch your eye because they’re just a tad unexpected. They probably shouldn’t go together, but they do, and that makes them that much more striking, charming or memorable. High tops and a wedding dress. A violin player on a busy street corner. Snow falling from a mostly blue sky. I love discovering juxtaposed elements…they’re like life’s little surprise parties that can cheer your day or turn your mood around.
My daughter, Katie, and I ran onto such a gem while traveling last May. We were walking through the streets of London, through a fairly shabby downtown block. A little corner bar caught her eye. It was dark, dingy and very small…not really worth a second glance, or even a first! However, in the window, on a small pewter platter, glimmered a tiny display of the most magnificent-looking donuts we had ever beheld. Of course, we were drawn in. There was not a soul inside except the bartender. The place would only fit a handful of people, and looked as though it hadn’t had any customers for years. Yet, there sat one of the most magnificent things I have ever tasted: a freshly fried, silky, dark chocolate-filled croissant donut coated with fine sugar. Heaven on a plate. It doesn’t get better than that! We went back for seconds, without any hesitation whatsoever.
Okay, so now we’re all craving cronuts. Sorry about that…I think we may have to recreate that recipe! For now, however, we’re going back to “real” food. Pork and grapes. Two foods that probably shouldn’t go together, but turns out, they do in a beautiful way!
This recipe for Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Grape Chutney was dreamed up by me and Sarah when we wanted something just a little different to finish off a tenderloin. We had a huge crop of ripe grapes out on the vine, and wanted to showcase them in an unexpected way. Chutney and pork are such a natural combo, so we wondered, “Why not try a chutney using grapes?” We think this surprising duo works very well together, and it’s a visually stunning dish to wow your dinner guests.
What are your favorite unexpected combos?
- 1 1/2-lb. pork tenderloin
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Juice of one lemon
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 Tbsp. worcestershire OR soy sauce
- 1 tsp. dry mustard
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/2 white or yellow onion
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 3 cloves garlic
- Salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 red onion
- 3 1/2 cups red grapes
- 1 small jalapeño
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- Zest of one orange
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place pork in large ziploc.
- Combine all other ingredients and pour over pork.
- Marinate in refrigerator several hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in skillet, take pork out of bag and brown on all sides.
- Place pork in roasting pan and pour marinade over.
- Roast 20-25 minutes, until thermometer reads 150 degrees.
- Let rest for five minutes before slicing.
- Heat oil in skillet.
- Chop onion and jalapeño and add to skillet.
- Add grapes and rest of ingredients.
- Sauté until onion is soft and grapes begin to fall apart.
- Mash about 1/3 of grapes with back of spoon.
- Spoon chutney over pork to serve.
*Note that you must marinate pork several hours or overnight.
*Chutney can be served hot or cold.
*Chutney also makes a great appetizer served with goat cheese and crackers.