Corn, apricots, and oranges sounded like the worst possible combination. So did orange juice, chai tea, and shallots. But Baking Illustrated and Hyvee have become my mainstays for trusted recipes, so I went big for dinner and made Orange and Sage-Glazed Pork over Whole-Grain Pasta with a side of Corn and Apricot Muffins with Orange Essence. Izzy had the saddest face on while we ate the pork loin chops. Since my pictures of her are usually from above, gravity eclipses her jowls from the shot and you can’t fully appreciate her bulldog pout. Here is Izzy pouting head on. Perfect look for a Monday:
Then, because impossible combinations had become the theme of the day, I bought a sheer black and orange floral Lane Bryant (never say never!) blouse at Savers ($1.99!) to style as a dress layered under a black sweater. Here I am proud of unlikely successes:
Corn and Apricot Muffins with Orange Essence
|In food processor, process 2/3 cup granulated sugar and 11/2 teaspoons grated orange zest until pale orange, about 10 seconds. Transfer to small bowl and set aside.|
|In food processor, pulse dried apricots for ten 2-second pulses, until chopped fine (I don’t have a food processor—but my birthday is next week! Hint, hint..) Transfer to medium microwave-safe bowl; add orange juice to apricots, cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and microwave on high until simmering, about 1 minute. Let apricots stand, covered, until softened and plump, about 5 minutes. Strain apricots; discard juice.|
|Bake until muffins are light golden brown and skewer inserted into center of muffins comes out clean, about 18 minutes, rotating muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking time. Cool muffins in tin 5 minutes and transfer to wire rack.KP and I agree that the orange-sage-chai pork tenderloin chops were the best dinner we have had since the eggplant parmigiana. The reduction of orange juice and chai with shallots and garlic is incredible, and tastes great over pasta (wish we had somewhere in town we could buy quinoa spaghetti! Missing the NW).
The apricot-corn muffins taste wonderful, especially with a cup of chai tea! 4 stars!