Weeknight Dinner Guests: Caramelized Pork & Sweet Potatoes

We had our good friends Pam & Tony over for dinner tonight.  They are always lots of fun!  Without fail, Pam brings more wine than I think we can consume but by the end of the evening the bottles are empty and we’ve had a great night!

It was a Tuesday night so I wasn’t going to have much time to prepare for dinner but I had two beautiful pork tenderloins in the fridge.  I turned to Real Simple for a recipe and the magazine did not fail me.  Not only was the pork incredibly flavorful, but I had the majority of the ingredients needed for the recipe in my pantry!

The only change I would make is to salt the sweet potatoes before roasting them.  I think they were missing a little something.

To accompany the pork and sweet potatoes, I made a Barefoot Contessa broccolini recipe that is super simple and delicious.  I used two bunches of broccolini instead of the one called for in the recipe.

Thanks to Real Simple and Ina Garten, I was able to pull together an elegant but easy weeknight meal for our friends.  Hopefully Pam & Tony enjoyed it!

Caramelized Pork & Sweet Potatoes
Real Simple

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 2 pork tenderloins, halved (1 1/2 to 2 pounds total), 4 skinless, boneless chicken-breast halves, or 1 1/2 pounds salmon fillet (4 pieces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Juice from 1 orange

Heat oven to 450° F. Lightly coat 2 baking pans with vegetable cooking spray. In a bowl, toss the sweet potato slices with the oil. Arrange in a single layer on one of the baking pans; sprinkle with half the rosemary. Place in the oven and cook until tender, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, season each side of the meat or fish with the salt and a few grinds of pepper, spread with the mustard, then sprinkle with the sugar and the remaining rosemary; arrange on the second baking pan. Place in the oven. Roast 20 minutes for the pork or chicken, or 10 minutes for the salmon, turning once, until cooked through. Check the potatoes for tenderness; let them cook longer if necessary. Arrange the potatoes on 4 plates and top with the meat or fish; cover to keep warm. Place the baking pan used for the meat or fish over medium heat on top of the stove; add the orange juice and cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Pour over the meat or fish. Season with salt and pepper to taste

Yield: 4 servings

Sauteed Broccolini
Barefoot Contessa

  • 1 bunch broccolini
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Blanch the broccolini in a large pot of boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain immediately and immerse in a bowl of ice water.

Melt the butter in a large saute pan. Add the lemon zest and garlic and stir. Drain the broccolini and add it to the garlic mixture and heat for 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper, and toss well before serving.

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