Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Chili-Glazed Pork With Sweet Potato Hash

Chili-Glazed Pork with Sweet Potato Hash

This recipe comes at us from Texas via TrixieDit, aka Ditty's mom. She grabbed it off Real Simple's website and says, 
"This is my submission for your website...pretty paleo I think, except the 2 tBsp of real maple syrup and hot sauce, but the caveman I know uses that. The sweet potato hash was amazing. We did use the hot sauce on the pork and the hash and loved it! The pork took a little longer than the recipe called for, but could have been my broiler." 
Hit the link to see my take on the questionable ingredients at the end of the recipe.

Chili-Glazed Pork with Sweet Potato Hash

serves 4| Hands on Time: 25m| Total Time: 25m

1 pork tenerloin (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled
2 large shallots, chopped
1 5-ounce package baby spinach, chopped
hot sauce (optional)


  1. Heat broiler. Place the pork on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Rub with 1 teaspoon of the oil, the chili powder, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Broil, turning occasionally and basting with the maple syrup twice, until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor fitted with the coarse grating disk, grate the sweet potatoes.
  3. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and cook, tossing occasionally, until tender, 7 to 9 minutes more. Add the spinach and cook, tossing, until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  4. Serve the pork and potatoes with the hot sauce, if desired.
My take on the maple syrup is that it's not a horrible choice (such as agave nectar.*), but since it's a concentrated form of sugar, strict people should avoid it. If not, 2 Tbsp. spread out over 4 servings would be relatively harmless, plus it is lower in fructose than most other sugars. A better option would be raw honey and you can always halve the amount and dilute with water. Watch out for gluten in the hot sauce, depending on what is in the bottle. 
I dig the idea of using a food processor to make sweet potato hash, definitely a weekend food experiment for me!

*agave nectar is touted as being healthy since it is "natural" but it's really just a highly refined, concentrated form of sugar. Not only that, but due to its nature of being mostly fructose, it will promote fat storage, mess with your liver, and a bunch of other nasty stuff. For more on fructose, see Fructose, the not so innocent sugar by Laura Pappas.

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