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At a recent cocktail party, a friend and I were talking about the different experiences our out of town guests had while in Arkansas. Hers walked the beautiful grounds of Crystal Bridges Art Museum, perused the elegant interior and were introduced to the delights of a local and very fabulous food cart.

In comparison, my visitors passed a chicken truck on the highway coming into town, were served a plain chicken dinner when they arrived, and then were loudly roused the next morning to chase down one of our own chickens that had escaped from the coop, had been pursued by our dog, and then hidden in the next-door-neighbors lush yard.

However, I hope I enhanced their Arkansas experience, and cast a favorable light over Fayetteville, Arkansas.

CITRUS BRINED PORK TENDERLOIN WITH PEACH MUSTARD

pork with peach mustard

CITRUS THYME BRINE

1/2 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup salt

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 orange, halved

1 lemon, halved

4 sprigs thyme

2 1-pound pork tenderloins

DRY RUB AND ASSEMBLY

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 tablespoon paprika

Peach Mustard (recipe follows)

CITRUS THYME BRINE

Bring onion, garlic, bay leaf, salt, brown sugar, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, peppercorns, and 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring until salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from the heat and add 2 cups of cold water. Transfer brine to a large heatproof bowl. Squeeze orange and lemon juice into brine and add citrus halves and thyme. Chill until cool. Place pork in a large resealable plastic bag and add brine. Seal bag, pressing out air, and chill at least 12 hours.

DRY RUB AND ASSEMBLY

Remove pork from brine, brushing off any spices. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before grilling.

Toast coriander and fennel seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, tossing occasionally until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool, then finely grind in mortar and pestle. Combine in a small bowl with brown sugar, salt, pepper and paprika.

Heat oven to 400F.

Pat pork dry and rub all over with dry rub. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer pork to a cutting board, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Slice and serve with peach mustard.

PEACH MUSTARD

1 ripe peach

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

1/3 cup Dijon mustard

1/3 cup whole grain mustard

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh herbs

freshly ground black pepper

Using the tip of a paring knife, score and X in the bottom of the peach. Cook in a small saucepan of boiling water just until skin begins to peel back where cut, about 30 seconds. Let cool. Peel and coarsely chop.

Bring peach, sugar, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until peach is very soft and mixture thickens slightly, 5 to 8 minutes. Pulse in a blender until chunky. Transfer to a medium bowl, let cool.

Mix in Dijon and whole grain mustards, and chives, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, July 2014

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