Taste the Local Difference – our partner in delivering these “eat local” features – hasn’t posted their 2008 feature on the mighty, mighty blueberry. In 2008 Michigan blueberry picking information, Edward Veilmetti writes that blueberries are ready to pick in southern Michigan. Add to that the 3 pounds of Holland-grown blueberries I’m pigging down, and I think we can set the blueberries free.
From Ready to Pick: Blueberries (2007), Janice Benson writes (with our links):
Native Americans gathered blueberries for centuries, and much folklore developed around them, as they were considered a highly valuable food source. The elders of a tribe would tell the story of how the Great Spirit sent “star berries” to relieve the children’s hunger during a famine. The star refers to the perfect five-pointed star on the blossom end of each berry. Blueberry juice and tea were used as medicines, and as an excellent dye for baskets and clothing. They were also used in soups and stews and in a beef jerky that was eaten year round.
The National Institute of Health suggests that there is evidence that the antioxidants in blueberries can prevent some of the problems associated with aging, and can actually reverse some of these effects. In one study, scientists studied rats and found that ones who consumed blueberries were more active and alert!
Blueberries are low in fat, and a good source of both fiber and vitamin C. One cup of fresh blueberries will give you five grams of fiber and 15 percent of your daily vitamin C.
We can’t eat facts though, so bring on the main course, courtesy Eric Villegas and Fork in the Road (more blueberry recipes from Eric right here!).
Roasted Maple Brined Pork Tenderloin with Fresh Blueberries
4 maple brined pork tenderloins trimmed, see brine recipe in episode 2
6 to 8 ounces each
1 pint veal, chicken or pork demi-glace, see recipe
french sea salt, to taste
fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
2 ounces lime compound butter, see recipe in episode 8
1 cup fresh Michigan blueberries, frozen will work if fresh are not available
Preheat your oven to 475 degrees. Place the brined and seasoned tenderloins in an ovenproof or cast iron pan and place in the center of your hot oven and roast the meat for about 5-6 minutes. Then flip meat over and roast until juices run clear. Remove meat from pan and let rest.
In a non-reactive sauce pan add the demi-glace and season with the salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and add the blueberries. Bring the sauce back to a boil and let reduce a bit (2-3 minutes) so the sauce is thick and the blueberries have burst. Finish the sauce by adding the lime butter and shaking the boiling sauce in the pan to incorporate the butter and emulsify the sauce. Place each tenderloin on a warmed dinner plate and serve with blueberry sauce poured over the top.