Since it's the beginning of blueberry season, I decided to go blueberry picking as my next trip out to the fields. Last weekend was the first day the farms opened for blueberry picking. I was so excited that despite the rain - typical of Portland, atypical of the summers - I still went. It wasn't quite as fun with the rain and the muddy fields. I gave in after less than half an hour mainly because I found several critters falling from the plants into my berry bucket (spiders and pincher bugs, yuck). I spent most of the time trying to fish them out with a stick that I thought maybe blueberry picking isn't as fun as strawberry picking. Maybe there are more bugs in blueberries.. or maybe it's just the rain? As I left, I saw a ladybug (which I think is a sign of good luck) - I decided it was a sign to go try again another day.
This brings us to this past weekend, which was absolutely beautiful. It was a perfect sunny Saturday morning in Portland, so I decided it was the moment give blueberry picking another shot. The fields were beautiful. The plants were filled with blueberries. The fields were filled with eager people. I kept telling myself as I walked into the fields - know when to stop. Don't pick more than I need. After all, I don't want to end up with the 21 lbs of strawberries situation. So instead of taking 2 buckets each like last time, we only grabbed one. After all, how can we go wrong with just 1 bucket?
But, as I walked into the fields, saw millions of clusters of firm and super blue, blueberries. Once I started picking, I couldn't stop. I kept picking... and picking... and picking. It was so easy, and the ripe berries came out by the handfuls.
In less than an hour, I had a bucket that had berries piling out the top (which was ok since my hubby's was just under the brim). I decided it was time to call quits. When we went to weigh and check out.. my jaw dropped. Who knew 2 buckets of blueberries would yield 26 pounds?!
Once again, I went home and did the whole berry washing and drying process. My entire kitchen and living room were filled with blueberries. Just imagine all your countertops and tabletops being filled with blueberries. It was a rather funny sight. So after freezing half and saving the rest for jam and consumption, it was time to eat - dinner. I figure the theme for the next week will be blueberries.
For dinner, I decided to create a savory blueberry chutney to go over some pork tenderloins. Yes, it was very tasty, and they pair extremely well together. It was definitely a true success, especially when comparing it to a strawberry-dijon glaze that I created for some salmon after my last strawberry picking expedition.
Yes, I had to share one proper closeup of my blueberries. The photos from the fields were taken from my cell (since I forgot my camera), and I felt it really didn't serve 26 pounds worth of justice :).
Pan-Fried Pork Tenderloin with Blueberry Chutney
Inspired by Abundance of Blueberries
Yield: 2 servings
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 small shallot, minced
1 tsp red-wine vinegar
pinch of salt
dash of pepper
1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp red-wine vinegar
1 bunch watercress, ends trimmed
salt & pepper to taste
1. Finely mince the shallot and fresh ginger.
2. In a small saucepan, combine blueberries, ginger, shallot, and 1/3 cup water. Add salt and pepper.
3. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until blueberries break down and mixture thickens, about 20 minutes. [Continue with step 6 while this is cooking.]
4. Stir in 1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar.
5. Cook another minute or two, set aside. Mixture should be thick, but still runny.
6. Trim pork tenderloin and cut cross-wise into 8 pieces, about 1/2" thick. Gently flatten them with your hand (or a fork). Sprinkle some salt and pepper on both sides of the pork.
7. Place flour in a shallow dish. Toss and coat pork loins evenly, dust off excess.
8. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pork to the skillet and cook, turning once, until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter.
9. In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and dijon mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, add watercress and toss. Enjoy pork with chutney and salad.