Sorry for the crappy pic, but this was dinner last night. Pork carnitas & persimmon with cinnamon. Very easy to make, quick, and surprisingly delicious. For the carnitas, I used the pre-cooked & packaged version from Trader Joe's. Doesn't appear to have any ingredients I couldn't pronounce.
I conceived of this only minutes before, while sipping on a glass of The McCallan, 12-yr-old (just as good as the 18, in my very experienced opinion), over at my favorite pub. I reasoned that fruit tends to go really well with pork, and especially pork that you can caramelize a bit.
Here's how it went. First, I unpackaged the carnitas and mashed then up with the ball of my hand into a cookie sheet and spread them all over. Preheat oven to 400.
As the oven is warming, I chopped up two whole persimmons just as you see, then did about 1 1/2 cups of vegetable and chicken broth, half & half, in a covered skillet, along with about I rounded tablespoon each of butter and high-quality lard from Prather Ranch. Once I got that to a boil, I added a little dried parsley and a good amount of cinnamon (about a solid 1/2 teaspoon). Then I added the persimmons and let it simmer covered for a good 20 minutes so as to soften them up nicely. Pleasant surprise is that they have such a good fiber content that they soften nicely while still remaining firm, but with a skin that's soft and not chewy. With an apple, you'd probably need to peel it, and then it would probably fall apart under that kind of heat for that long. Here's a tip: the goal is to both soften the fruit and reduce the broth to a nice sauce. When covered, periodically lift the lid gently and level, then shake off the condensation into the sink. No use letting the moisture go back into the skillet.
In the meantime, into the oven go the carnitas, 5-10 minutes until sizzling a bit. Then on with the broiler for just a couple of minutes in order to crisp and caramelize them.
Once done, into the bowls went the carnitas, and I also fished the persimmons out of the skillet with a slotted spoon. Then the drippings off the cookie sheet went into the sauce and I finished reducing the sauce in under a minute. It really made a nice reduction, probably owing to the sugar content of the fruit. I then spooned it onto the persimmon & carnitas. Wow, the cinnamon combined with the sweetness of the fruit and the crispy caramelization of the pork, and Bea & I couldn't decide whether we were eating dinner or dessert.
Definitely give this a try.