Friday, August 24, 2012

sweet and spicy pork...

one of my favorite things about cooking is discovering flavors that compliment each other. I firmly believe spicy always needs to be balanced with an element of sweetness so the spice doesn't become too overwhelming. I've been hearing a lot about hot pepper jelly lately so I wanted to incorporate it into an upcoming recipe.

Pork is quickly becoming one of my favorite things to cook. I like the flavor better than chicken and it actually takes much less time to cook. So the other night I decided to delve into the world of hot pepper jelly by combining it with pork. All I was missing was missing was the sweetness. I wanted something fresh with some texture to it so I created my own fruit salsa.

I combined mango, peach, pineapple and banana peppers and let the flavors marinate in the fridge for a few hours. I then poured a portion of it over the pork and let it marinate a little longer.

I then cooked the pork in a pan with 2 Tbsp of EVOO over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes on each side, until it is browned on each side and cooked through. Remove the pork from the pan and set aside. In a bowl I combined the hot pepper jelly and a little bit of lemonade to thin it out.

Take the jelly mixture and add it to the pan you cooked the pork in. Over medium heat, let it thicken, stirring occasionally. Then return the pork to the pan and coat it in the hot pepper jelly glaze. When I plated it up, top the pork with a spoonful of the fruit salsa you put aside (NOT from pork marinade). 

As a side dish (and to keep the sweet theme going), I roasted cubed sweet potatoes that I marinated in a little bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary and served it with apple butter and brown sugar. 

Not to toot my own horn, but it was so good. The pepper jelly is SPICY but mixed with the fruit salsa it was just the right balance of sweetness and spice. This will definitely be added to the dinner repertoire around here.

Have you ever used Hot Pepper Jelly? Share your recipes with me!

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