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Polynesian cooks beat us to the idea ... fruit and meat together.

FRUIT AND MEAT HAVE been acquainted for centuries, but thier relationship has blown hot and cold. In late medieval and Renaissance times, they frequently appeared together, and, in the form of mencemeat (which once actually had meat in it), they formed a perfect union.

Over the years they grew apart and seldom saw each other except for the mandatory pineapple rounds on baked ham, the grapes in chicken Veronique, and the cranberry sauce with turkey. Of course, Polynesian cooking was different; South Sea islanders put fruit salad on everything, or so some restaurants believe.

Of late, modish cooking has rediscovered the meat-and-fruit combination, and we are only mildly surprised to find a veal chop resting in a blueberry puree or lamb with black currants. Falling right in step, Frank Doherty supplements the sweetness of his roast pork with figs and dates, as well as with the familiar apple.

Roast Pork with Date

and Fig Sauce

1 boned pork shoulder roast, 3 to 4 pounds 1 clove garlic, halved 1/2 teaspoon dry summer savory leaves Pepper 1 cup finely chopped tart apple 1/2 cup dry white wine 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar 1 cup pitted dates, cut into pieces 6 dried figs, stem ends trimmed, coarsely chopped

Trim excess fat from pork, then rub meat all over with cut garlic. Place meat in a 9-by 13-inch pan and evenly sprinkle with savory and pepper.

Roast meat, uncovered, in a 375[deg] oven until a thermometer inserted in center of thickes portion registers 155[deg] (takes 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours). Transfer pork to a warm plater; keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a 2- to 3-quart pan, combine chopped apple with 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook over medium heat until apple is soft when pressed, 4 to 5 minutes; set mixture aside.

Skim and discard fat from juices in pork pan; add wine to the pan and stir over medium heat to loosen browned bits. Add apple mixture, sugar, dates, and figs; simmer, stirring, until mixture is hot, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour into a small bowl.

Slice pork and accompany with fruit sauce. Makes 9 or 10 servings.

Perserving: 291 cal.; 21 g protein; 8.7 g fat (3.3 g. sat); 33 g carbo.; 87 mg sodium; 72 mg chol.

THE PLUMP, OLEAGINOUS duck is currently in fashion, both as breast slices artfully fanned over a pool of colorful sauce, and as warm slivers in a salad of arugula, frisee, and other upwardly mobile greens. There are even designer ducks now--the brawny, aggressives Muscovy, which does not quack (it hisses), and the mullard, a hybrid between the Muscovy and the mallard, the green-headed wild ancester of our common farm-yard breed.

One way of cooking a duck remains a time-honored classic: duck with orange flavor obtained from the citrus fruit itself or from some derivative of the fruit. Jay Nelson uses frozen orange juice concentrate and orange marmalade, along with orange slices for garnish.

Orange Duckling

1 duck (4 to 5 lb.), thawed if frozen 1 large onion, cut in half 1 stalk celery, including some leaves 1 can (12 oz.) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed 1/3 cup orange marmalade Belgian endive leaves or parsley sprigs 1 large unpeeled orange, cut into wedges

Pull off and discard chunks of fat from duck; reserve giblets for other uses. Rinse duck and drain. With a fork, prick skin all over.

Tuck one half of the onion into the neck cavity and the other half into the body cavity. Cut the celery into pieces and tuck inside the body cavity. Place duck, breast down, in a 6-to 8-quart pan. Add orange juice concentrate and 2 can water. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, and reduce heat and simmer until duck is tender when pierced in thigh, about 1 1/2 hours; turn duck over every 30 minutes.

Place duck, breast down, on a rack in a 12- by 14-inch roasting pan. Roast in a 400[deg] oven until back is brown; then turn breast up and continue to roast until skin is brown, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, skim and discard fat from pan juices. On high heat, boil juices with marmalade, uncovered, until liquid is reduced to 1 cup, about 40 minutes.

Place duck on a platter and garnish with endive leaves and orange wedges. Carve and accompany with juices. Makes 3 or 4 servings.

Nutritional data is based on conventionally roasted duck; at present, there is no information available to calculate teh reduced amount of fat that remains after simmering first, then roasting. Per serving: 781 cal.; 35 g protein; 49 g fat (17 g sat.); 50 g carbo.; 116 mg sodium; 145 mg chol.
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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Author:Doherty, Frank; Nelson, Jay
Date:Oct 1, 1991
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