This is an easy pork tenderloin dinner you can make--mostly--in one pan. The pork cooks up tender and gets a sweet-savory sauce that is great on the accompanying sweet potatoes as well as the pork. Hoisin sauce is the key ingredient and helps the sauce adhere to the pork and sweet potatoes as well as adding a sweet and tangy taste. I use a large chef's pan to make the dinner, with a little help from the microwave to soften the sweet potatoes. The pork cooks in minutes, meaning you can have dinner ready in about half an hour. Although this is a low clean up meal and easy enough for a weeknight, it's also worthy of a special occasion. Just add a green vegetable and a salad, and you'll have a company-worthy dinner. Enjoy!
Pork Tenderloin With Hoisin Sauce and Sweet Potatoes -- Serves 4 +
1-2 sweet large potatoes (I used one about 3 inches in diameter and 6 inches long)
2 pork tenderloins--about 16 ounces each
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of cornstarch
2-3 tablespoons of canola oil, divided
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cups of reduced sodium chicken broth (or reconstituted chicken "Better than
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 cup of hoisin sauce
2-3 tablespoons of orange juice
Wash the sweet potatoes well and pierce the sweet potatoes with a knife in several places. Place the potatoes on a microwave-safe plate, wrap them in a paper towel, and microwave them until they're barely cooked. Leave the sweet potatoes wrapped in the paper towel (it will be quite damp), until the potatoes are cool enough to handle (if you'd like, you can cook the potatoes early in the day and just leave them until they're cold or even cook them a day or two ahead--it works fine). Strip/peel the skin from the potatoes and cut them into 1/2-inch slices or chunks and set them aside.
Cut the pork tenderloin crosswise into 1-inch or so medallions/rounds and place the rounds into a plastic bag (ziplock or other). Add the flour, cornstarch, and salt to the bag and seal and shake the bag to coat the pork with the flour/cornstarch mixture. Set the pork aside and heat a large chef's pan over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of the oil to the pan, and when the oil shimmers, add the onion to the pan. Saute the onion for about five minutes or until it begins to soften. Move the onions to the sides/rim of the pan, turn the heat down to medium, add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, and then arrange the pork slices in the pan in one layer. Cook the slices for about five minutes or until lightly browned. Flip the pork, adding another tablespoon of oil to the pan if necessary, and brown the other side for a few minutes. While pork is browning, combine the broth, garlic powder, and hoisin sauce. Move the pork to one side of the pan and add the sweet potatoes to the pan on the other side of the pork. Pour the sauce over the pork and sweet potatoes, scraping up the bits from the bottom of the pan to incorporate them and spooning the sauce up and around over the pork and potatoes. Partially cover the pan and let the pork cook for about 5 minutes (or until it reaches an internal temperature of 145-150 degrees). Spoon the sauce over the pork and potatoes periodically while they cook. If the sauce isn't as thick as you'd like it (keep in mind that it will thicken up as it stands), remove the pork from the pan and let the sauce cook a few minutes, uncovered, to thicken. Stir the orange juice into the sauce and serve the pork and potatoes with the sauce spooned over them.