Chili-glazed pork and sweet potato hash

In recipe on February 16, 2011 at 7:31 am

Mad‘s back with another guest post! Don’t forget to head over to her blog for the whole Dinner & an Album feature!

I consider myself a fan and connoisseur of pork in just about any formation, be it loins, ribs, roast, chops, or the king of pork products, BACON, so it’s always fun to try out a new approach to cooking this most appetizing of meats. This recipe for chili-glazed pork was relatively simple, and goes exceedingly well with the side dish of savory sweet potato hash.

You can do a lot of things with pork tenderloin since its shape gives it a propensity for being stuffed with any number of hearty delectables, but in this case we’re taking the easy route by simply coating the outside with salt, pepper, olive oil, chili powder and maple syrup. (Who wants to bother with kitchen twine anyway?) Admittedly, I did go a bit heavier on the “glazed” part of this recipe than the “chili” part, but the proportions are pretty malleable depending on your preference for spiciness/sweetness. The end result is an aromatic, mouthwatering main course that is also quick and filling.

If the pork was the famous, high-paid star of this dinner production, the hash was the underrated character actor who ultimately stole the show. Deepak Chopra has this thing about “the flavors of life,” which describes the benefits of a diet that includes a wide range of color and texture. This idea appeals to both the artist and foodie in me, and the dark oranges and greens of the potato hash are definitely as attractive as they delicious. Though the ingredients may seem sparse (it’s literally sweet potatoes, shallots and spinach), the mélange is comforting and savory and packs a nutritional punch to boot. Let’s hear it for unintentionally eating healthy!

Chili-glazed pork & sweet potato hash

Adapted from Real Simple

Ingredients

  • 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 1⁄4 pounds)
  • 2 tbl. olive oil
  • 1 tbl. chili powder
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 4-5 tbl. pure maple syrup
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and shredded
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • Baby spinach (5 ounce package)


Pork:

1. Heat broiler on high. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place the tenderloin in the middle.
2. Coat the outside of the tenderloin with olive oil, and rub with salt, pepper and chili powder. Proportions need not be extraordinarily precise with this recipe… you can disperse the spices as you see fit.
3. Place in broiler for about 10 minutes, then turn and baste with maple syrup. Repeat until cooked through.

Hash:
1. Shred the sweet potatoes in either a box grater or a food processor.
2. Heat some olive oil in a pan, and add the chopped shallots. Cook them for about 3 minutes on medium-high, or until they start to turn light brown.
3. Add the shredded sweet potatoes and cook for about 10 minutes (or until they are tender), stirring occasionally.
4. Add the spinach and stir into the hash until it has wilted.

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