Paula and I made dinner together tonight. I picked out a couple of recipes from Cooking Light. One of them was Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin with a Lime, Soy and Maple Drizzle. The other recipe was Savory Sweet Potato Mash. The two dishes went well together. We also made a salad that added some greens to this meal.

In order to make the pork tenderloin, cut a 1 pound piece of pork tenderloin into 12 medallions (about 1/2 inch thick). Arrange the pork medallions in a single layer on a work surface, and press each with the palm of your hand to flatten to an even thickness. Combine 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the pork medallions.  Then heat a few tablespoons of canola oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork to skillet in a single layer and cook just until done, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with thyme leaves, if desired.

The pork is served with the lime-soy-maple drizzle. To make the drizzle, melt 2 teaspoons of butter in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 minced garlic clove and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant but not browned, about 30 seconds. Add 2 tablespoons of lime juice, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and a dash of red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and then bring to a simmer. Mix 1 teaspoon of water and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch in a small bowl. Add to the sauce. Cook, stirring often, until the sauce thickens, which should take about 2 minutes.

To make the sweet potato mash, place 1-2 pounds of cubed sweet potatoes in a large saucepan. Cover with water to 2 inches above potatoes. Bring to a boil over high and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, about 18 minutes. Remove from heat. Drain and return potatoes to saucepan.

Combine 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium. Cook until browned and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of dried thyme. Add 1/4 cup of milk as well as salt, and pepper (to taste) to the sweet potatoes. Mash with a potato masher to desired consistency. Drizzle with the butter-oil mixture and gently stir once or twice.

This was a wonderful meal. It was perfect on a fall day where it was cold and rainy outside. We enjoyed a glass of red wine with the meal. Since Paula and I are now eating most of our meals with just the two of us, it was almost like being on a date. Except that we were cooking together in the kitchen. But that is all right. We have fun when we work together to make the meal!

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