"True wine enthusiasts don’t collect wines.
They collect memories of wines shared with friends and family."

-Dario Zucconi

Monday, October 22, 2012

Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin; Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples

(Maple Syrup, Mustard, and Fresh Thyme Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples)
Do you ever find yourself flipping through a fashion or entertainment magazine, and find your inspiration for your next family meal? I sometimes do. This past weekend, as I was getting a pedicure, I was flipping through the November 2012 issue of Self magazine. It's not typically my kind of magazine, but the pickings were slim at the nail shop - there were so many people getting pampered on Saturday.  Anyway, as I flipped through pages after pages, without really finding any articles of interest, I came across this recipe for Maple Pork Roast http://www.self.com/fooddiet/recipes/2012/11/maple-pork-roast.  That captured my attention. I was particularly drawn by the side ingredients - rather than the main protein.  The dish calls for sweet potatoes and Fuji apples.  Sweet potatoes are one of my top favorite vegetables, if not my favorite. Apples (particularly Fuji apples) are probably my favorite fruit. When you have both of these ingredients in one dish, and it's the Fall season, I was so inspired to make the dish.

Unfortunately, I didn't have time to make it over the weekend. But, on Sunday, while grocery shopping for the week, I picked up some of the ingredients that I didn't already have at home. I called my favorite Butcher Shop in Oakland (Ver Brugge in Rockridge) and had them hold a beautifully cut pork tenderloin for me.

Tonight, when I got home, I made the tenderloin dish for dinner. Amazingly enough, it only took about 1 hour from start to finish. I got home at around 6:00. My daughter had volleyball practice until 7:00. By the time my husband went to pick her up from practice, dinner was served. And, it was delicious! The sweet earthy flavor from the maple syrup, combined with the acidity from the vinegar, and the whole grain mustard, plus the fragrant aromas of the thyme made the pork an inviting and delicious main dish. Then, the sweet potatoes roasted with the Fuji apples were a wonderful accompaniment. The dish really makes you feel like it is really Fall. It so happens that today was the first day of our "rainy" season around the Bay Area. It must have been fate that I flipped through that particular issue of Self magazine and found this recipe. It surely is a recipe that I will keep in the "Adel's Favorite Recipes" binder.

With this Autumn-type dish and the cold wet weather we're having today, I decided to open up a bottle of one of my favorite red wine blends.  It's Bennett Lane's Maximus (2006 Napa Valley, CA) http://www.bennettlane.com/Winery/Wines/Maximus2005NapaValley/tabid/123/Default.aspx. This wine was a true find at Cost Plus World Market, and there is actually a story behind it. One Friday, I went to Cost Plus.  As I walked into the Store, there was a display with the Maximus right up front. I was first drawn by the label. Then, I read the description. I looked it up on my iPhone. The wine typically sells for about $35 a bottle. But, Cost Plus had it on sale for $15. I also found out that this wine won Double Gold in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. I decided to pick up a bottle to try. When we tried it, it was really good. We decided to go back and buy more. When I showed up to the same store on Monday, they were completely sold out. The wine clerk at the store told me that the wine had gone on sale on that Thursday, but by Saturday, they were sold out. He called about 3 different Cost Plus Stores for me. Unfortunately, they were also sold out. We finally found a couple of stores in San Jose that still had some bottles left. So, my husband picked up a few more bottles for us on his way home from work. This wine is a full-bodied wine that is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Malbec.  It is smooth and velvety, and very easy to drink.  It has wonderful flavors of dark cherries, blackberries, and hints of chocolate. It's always worth enjoying this wine whenever we have it.

I hope you have a great week ahead. If you are somewhere where it's raining or snowing right now, stay dry, warm, and safe.

Until next time . . . Cheers!


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