Tag Archives: potatoes

Garlic Pork and Sweet Potato Hash

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?

That’s huge.

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.


(Serves 4)

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Mix together the soy sauce, water and honey; brush the pork slices lightly with this mixture and reserve the rest.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Stir the green onions into the sweet potatoes, remove and set aside.
  8. 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.
  9. Serve each plate with a pile of sweet potatoes and some slices of pork topped with the syrup and fried garlic.

Click here for printer-friendly version: Garlic Pork and Sweet Potato Hash

Creamy Cauliflower Cheddar Soup

I’ve been delaying my post on this fabulous soup because my pictures are butt ugly and I was ashamed to share them with you. Butt. Ugly. Something about the pasty color, the lack of light in my kitchen, the glare of the flash–it was a depressing food shoot. But I’m swallowing my feelings about the pictures because this soup is worth it. With potatoes and cheese and cauliflower and a dash of mustard, it’s comforting and wonderful, and it would be a crime if a little picture trouble prevented me from putting it out there.

I didn’t realize how wonderful this soup was at first because I consumed most of my bowl while the soup was still hot as blazes. As the taste buds were nearly burned out of my mouth, I pondered “this soup is okay–yeah, I guess it’s pretty good.” But once the soup had cooled down, my taste buds had recovered from the shock and I actually started tasting the thing, my enthusiasm grew. It was really good, and I regretted not waiting for it to cool down to a tasteable temperature from the get-go.

So after that heart-warming story, let’s make it! From this recipe on Amy’s amazing blog (Very Culinary), let’s welcome our guest of honor, Creamy Cauliflower Cheddar Soupdiddly-oup-diddly-oup.


(Serves 5)

2 TBS butter
2 shallots
1 yellow onion
Kosher salt, to taste
1 medium potato
2 cloves garlic
3 ½ cups vegetable broth
½ head of cauliflower
2/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tsp Dijon mustard

There are the ingredients . . . but have I forgotten something?

Yes! The potato.

Okay, we are now complete.

Sorry, I can’t say the word “complete” without thinking of the Emperor. “Your journey towards the dark side will be complete.” Seriously, say “complete” like the Emperor does. It’s addicting.

Chop the potato into smallish cubes (peel only if desired–I didn’t desire).

Chop up the shallots and onion.

Mince the garlic too! But you’ve seen enough pictures of me mincing garlic. Right? No? Okay, fine.

But just because you asked.

The mincing of the garlic will be complete.

Chop the cauliflower into small florets–but no need to be pretty here. A rough chop will do, because it will all be pureed anyway.

Shred the cheese–and shred extra so that there’s plenty for garnish.

And by “garnish” I mean that gooey, wonderful mess on top of the soup that will make your mouth water and your eyes leak tears of gratitude for the human being who first created this thing called “cheese.”

Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the shallots and onion and cook for 3 minutes, until softened.

And one more time . . . the softening of the onions will be complete.

Okay, okay. I won’t do it again . . . in writing.

But I’ll be doing it in my mind.

Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add a sprinkling of salt, the cubed potato, and the vegetable broth.

 Bring to a boil, then cover the pot . . .

. . . lower the heat, and simmer for 8 minutes (until the potatoes are tender).

Add the cauliflower . . .

. . . cover the pot again, and cook for another 10 minutes.

Puree the soup to your desired consistency with an immersion blender:

I like mine with a little chunk still left in it.

Now, stir in the cheese and mustard. I had it prepped in a pile–doesn’t it look attractive? Altogether yummy?

Or not.

Thankfully it will all disappear into the creamy bowels of the soup. One might even say that the disappearing of the cheese and mustard into the soup will be . . .

*resisting* *resisting*

Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and black pepper if needed.

Serve with extra cheese sprinkled on top!

Not the most photogenic of soups–but delicious! The subtle tang of mustard is just perfect.

Thank you Amy for another great recipe!

Click here for printer-friendly version: Creamy Cauliflower Cheddar Soup