Recently I had a brief cleaning and purging frenzy, and I decided to sort through the stack of magazines in our living room and toss the majority of them. But not until I scanned them for recipes first, of course! I was driven by the fear that by blindly throwing them away, some amazing piece of culinary genius might end up in the trash instead of on my plate, and I would miss out without knowing what I was missing out on. (Is anyone else plagued by this fear when the purging of magazines is at hand?)
Anyway, weird magazine manias aside, I ended up with three recipes that I stuck on the fridge and plan on making in the weeks to come. This first one was from an issue of Better Homes and Gardens (Sept 2012), and it is incredible! There are a few separate steps–the garlic has too cook first, then be removed, the pork has to be cooked and then removed, etc–but it all happens in the same skillet, so it doesn’t create a pile of dishes.
This is some of the best pork I’ve eaten recently–tender and with perfectly balanced flavors. The sweet and salty syrup and the crunchy fried garlic are amazing together, and I can’t wait to make this again.
And what was Alice up to during all this cooking, you may ask? Well, snoozing her little head off.
There’s no better place to be in the evening than her dad’s arms. Especially after an exhausting day of cooing, fussing, napping, cooing, fussing, and napping. Oh, and contemplating the connection between her arm and her hand and the possibility of hitting that hanging toy that jingles.
And the arm bone’s connected to the . . .
. . . hand bone, and the hand bone’s connected to the . . .
. . . hanging toy bone . . .
Yep. All of that is simply exhausting. And you can’t blame her–I mean, learning that your hand is your hand? And that you can use it to reach out and touch something?
Anyway, with my adjustments, here’s the recipe. And if you happen to have a sleeping baby around as you cook, it enhances the experience like you wouldn’t believe.
2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into small cubes
1 ½ lb pork tenderloin
8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced in rounds
3 TBS olive oil
2 green onions, minced
3 TBS soy sauce
3 TBS honey
3 TBS water
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Place chopped potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and cut 8 or so slits to ventilate. Microwave 8 minutes on high, stirring halfway through.
- Cut pork tenderloin into slices 1 inch thick. Butterfly the slices by cutting into them ¾ of the way (with the knife running parallel to the cutting board), opening and flattening them. Sprinkle with black pepper.
- Mix together the soy sauce, water and honey; brush the pork slices lightly with this mixture and reserve the rest.
- In a 12 inch nonstick skillet, heat the garlic and oil together over medium high heat. Cook the garlic until it is just turning a golden brown; remove and set aside.
- In the same skillet, cook the pork 2-3 minutes per side, until browned and about 160 F. Remove the pork to a platter and cover to keep warm.
- Add more oil to the skillet if necessary and let it reheat for a minute or two. When the oil is hot, add the sweet potato cubes and cook for 5-7 minutes, until brown and beginning to crisp, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir the green onions into the sweet potatoes, remove and set aside.
- In the same skillet, pour in the soy sauce/water/honey mixture and whisk over medium high heat until bubbly (just about a minute). Remove the syrup from the heat.
- Serve each plate with a pile of sweet potatoes and some slices of pork topped with the syrup and fried garlic.
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