Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Quick Cuban Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Onion

I belong to the "I-Own-Too-Many-Cookbook-Magazines Club." Over the years, I have bought those handy-dandy magazine storage boxes where I have filed (in chronological order) back issues of my favorite magazines, Fine Cooking, Cuisine at Home, Cook's Country and Cook's Illustrated. But, they just keep sitting where I've stored them, and I forget to use them-- and it's hard to remember which recipes I wanted to make! I had to do something, but what?

For the longest time, I couldn't justify the cost of buying an Apple iPad. Eventually, I began to rationalize consider that I could download cookbooks and magazines, thereby reducing a lot of paper clutter.  I saved for a while, and became an owner of an iPad.   I cancelled my paper magazine subscriptions and switched to digital magazines. Know what? I'm loving it. Sure, there are some cookbooks that I want to hold in my hands-- to admire the beautiful photographs. Still, I discovered that I could download cookbooks (for less money) and I'm not struggling to find room on our limited book storage. Win!

Once I downloaded my first digital version of my favorite cooking magazines, I was in awe at how beautiful the digital photos looked!  This month's Jan/Feb 2014 issue of Cuisine at Home was loaded with quite a few recipes that I loved.  I bookmarked several of them (another useful feature of digital magazines).

Making authentic Cuban pork is on my bucket list, but this quick version seemed like a good place to start-- especially since I'm always looking for fast work night dinners.

The pork tenderloin is seasoned with salt and pepper...

For the Cuban flavors, brown sugar, orange zest, a paste of fresh garlic and salt, cumin, coriander and light  RUM is mixed together.   Yum!  (If you don't want to add the rum, use a little chicken stock.) This is rubbed all over the pork tenderloin and set aside, while I prepare the vegetables.

Sweet potatoes are, pretty much, a staple in our home. I love them roasted, steamed or mashed. I cubed 2 peeled sweet potatoes, in cut up one large red onion, into wedges.  

Next, they are drizzled with olive oil, fresh orange juice, cumin, coriander-- and a little more light rum, for good measure, and tossed to coat evenly. The oven is preheated to 475F and I heat a cast-iron skillet with a little olive oil on medium-high heat.

Please pardon the poor lighting, but the sun has already gone down and I'm photographing with artificial light-- not my favorite way, but its Winter and we eat dinner about 6:00pm. Anyway, the pork is seared to a golden brown...

The pork tenderloin is flipped over and the vegetables are nestled alongside.

I set the timer for 15 minutes, and I noted that the potatoes could use a little extra drizzle of olive oil, and then I gently turned the over-- for even roasting. I checked the temperature of the pork roasted, and it wasn't quite at 145F. I gave it five more minutes in the oven.

The aroma of this dish was tantalizing. Roasted onions and sweet potatoes... wow!  I couldn't wait for this dinner to be ready.

It took about 20 minutes for the pork and the vegetables to be ready (test the potatoes with a fork or knife for tenderness. You can always let the veggies roast longer, while you remove the pork to rest).

Of course, allowing the pork to rest for a few minutes, will help the juices to redistribute and that means juicy meat!

We like our pork roast to be a bit pink in the center.  I know this can give some folks "the vapors", but believe me when I say that the USDA approval is 145F.  The days of having to cook pork well done are over, for fear of trichinosis.  If you still don't trust that, cook it to well done. I won't judge, if you don't!  

TASTING NOTES:  From start to finish, this dinner was on the table in 45 minutes. When I think of Cuban food, I associate cilantro and lime with it.  I ended up adding a little lime juice over the pork and veggies, and I liked the brightness of it.  I wish I had thought to garnish  the sweet potatoes with a little fresh cilantro , and I will do that next time.  The pork was juicy, and the seasonings a great combination. I love the caramelization from the brown sugar, and the cumin wasn't overpowering.  I really couldn't taste the rum, which can be a good thing. After all, the alcohol has burned off in the oven.  I wouldn't go as far as saying this dish is the same as a more traditional Cuban pork, because the citrus and rum doesn't have a lot of time to marinate-- but it was really good.  Pork and sweet potatoes are a perfect pairing.  So are Cuban Black Beans.  I made a quick version with "Kicked Up" canned black beans.

Kudos to Cuisine at Home for another dinner that is worthy of company, or for a fast dinner at home.  This recipe will definitely have an encore. Oh, and another reason that this magazine is one of my faves-- no ads!

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Joanne said...

I have an iPad and yet I STILL get magazine subscriptions. oy, I really should switch over!! What a great meal.

Big Dude said...

I have pile of those magazines that I never use but hate to toss out. I need to go the e-route as well. We love Cuban sandwiches but have not had a recipe for the pork and this sounds like a very good one. Your whole meal looks delicious and meat looks perfectly cooked.

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

I have boxes of magazines stashed in my closet that I just can't seem to get rid of. I go through them every so often, but I'm getting tired of them taking up space. I've started storing new recipes I want to save on my ipad. That should help a little bit. Your pork roast looks delicious, Debby.

Bill said...

Yum, yum, yum!! I love pork tenderloin and sweet potatoes and they go so well together. I love everything about this recipe, Debby! I can so relate to the cooking magazine dilemma! I have a huge cabinet full of magazines and cookbooks. BTW, thanks SO much for your kind comment on my blog. Check out my response when you get a minute.

Tina said...

We had this last night and really enjoyed it! It was a little out of my spice palate so I hesitated a little, but all the flavors came together wonderfully. Thanks for posting it!

Debby Foodiewife said...

You are welcome, Tina. Thank you for the positive feedback.