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Make Holiday Meals Smooth and Special

11/03/2015 04:10AM ● Published by Family Features

(Family Features) A holiday meal shared with family and friends is a special occasion, and it calls for special touches in the kitchen. Cooking with olive oil is one way to achieve exceptional flavors that taste as good as they are good for you.

Extra virgin is the highest quality of olive oil, meaning that the acidity level of the oil is low. Options range from light flavor profiles to more traditionally robust extra virgin varieties, depending on the type of dish you’re planning.

Extra virgin olive oil contains antioxidants, polyphenols and no cholesterol, making it a great addition to (or substitution for butter in) recipes savory and sweet. The strong flavors of Pompeian Robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil are best suited for marinades, pastas and salad dressings. Alternatively, the smooth, fruity taste of new Pompeian Smooth Extra Virgin Olive Oil is ideal for more subtle preparations such as sauteing, sauces and stir-frying.

Keep these tips in mind when shopping for olive oil:

  • Select the oil for quality, not color. Olive oils come in a range of colors, from dark green to a light golden color, due to the type of olives included in the oil.
  • Look at the label for quality indicators. For example, Pompeian is the first and only national brand to carry the U.S. Department of Agriculture Quality Monitored Seal for extra virgin olive oil, reflecting rigorous testing for sensory, quality, purity and origin to ensure a quality product in every bottle.
  • Look for a bottle that’s dark in color, which helps prevent oxidation, keeping oil fresher, longer. Keep oil in your pantry, away from heat and light.

Find more tips and recipes for a delicious holiday meal at pompeian.com.

Pork Tenderloin Braised with Cranberries, Shallots and Apples

Ingredients

  • 2 pork tenderloins (2 pounds)
  • sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 6 tablespoons Pompeian Smooth Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 12 medium whole shallots, peeled
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 3/4-inch thick slices
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Pompeian Burgundy Cooking Wine
  • 3/4 cup cranberry juice
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Season pork tenderloins with salt and pepper. In large skillet over medium-high heat, add 3 tablespoons of Pompeian Smooth Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add tenderloins one at a time and brown well on all sides. Transfer to medium-size, non-reactive baking pan.
  3. Add 2 more tablespoons of Pompeian Smooth Extra Virgin Olive Oil to skillet. Stir in shallots and cook until lightly browned on all sides. Transfer shallots to baking pan. Add apples to skillet and brown on all sides. Transfer apples to small bowl and set aside. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in skillet and add garlic and thyme. Cook garlic until golden, then pour in cooking wine. Bring wine to a boil, scraping brown bits at bottom of pan. Add cranberry juice and cranberries. Bring back to a boil, then pour liquid over pork in baking pan.
  4. Transfer baking pan to oven, cover and braise for 15 minutes. Add apples to pan, cover and braise another 10-15 minutes, or until thermometer inserted into pork registers 155 F. Transfer pork to platter and return pan to oven for 10-15 minutes more, until shallots are tender.
  5. Cut pork into 1-inch thick slices and spoon shallots, apples and cranberry-wine sauce over pork.

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