A must-try: This recipe got raves in our Test Kitchens. Use a food processor to grind the pecans.
2 pounds peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup packed brown sugar, divided
1 bacon slice, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 medium red onion, sliced and separated into rings (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 pound pork tenderloin
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1/3 cup ground pecans
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine
4 teaspoons finely chopped pecans, toasted
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°.
Arrange potato slices in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar; arrange bacon on top. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes. Turn potatoes over; bake an additional 30 minutes or until tender. Keep warm.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and 2 tablespoons sugar; cook 6 minutes or until onion is tender and lightly browned, stirring frequently. Stir in water, vinegar, and ginger; bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes, and remove from heat.
Trim fat from pork, and cut crosswise into 8 pieces. Place each piece between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, and flatten to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup. Place 1/4 cup flour in a shallow dish. Combine 1/4 cup flour, ground pecans, and pepper in a separate shallow dish. Dredge pork in flour, shaking off excess. Dip pork in egg whites; dredge in pecan mixture, coating both sides.
Melt butter in pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Arrange pork in pan in a single layer. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Top pork with onion mixture; sprinkle with chopped pecans. Serve with sweet potatoes.
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I was looking through some old CL recipes I'd cut out and stored in a binder and found I'd written a glowingly positive comment about this one back in 2002. After revisiting it, I'm not doing it again. It's not bad, but it takes a surprisingly long time to make and really just isn't that good. It's a bit bland and the ratios are off. Two pounds of sweet potatoes requires two pans if you plan on doing one layer of potato slices per pan. There isn't enough bacon to really make much of a flavor difference and (personal opinion here) I've never understood the point of adding sugar to roasted sweet potatoes. Also, at least in my oven, they started to burn about 40 minutes into the cooking process. The onion marmalade should be doubled since it's basically all that's substantially flavoring the pork and it really reduces down to a small amount. The amount of butter is also off - I had to add another whole TBSP to keep the pork (and the bits of crust that fell of) from burning in the bottom of the pan, thus making the dish decidedly less healthy. Also, the egg dried up (it needs to be three egg whites) and the amount of pecan mixture needs to be doubled. In any case, it’s not worth the time so I won’t be making it again.
This was FABULOUS! My family loved it. The recipe was a bit time-consuming but not difficult. I cooked the pork a LOT longer than suggested in the recipe because it was still pink even though the pieces weren't any thicker than what is in the photo. The pork was still very tender. I also left out the bacon from on top of the potatoes.
I was expecting more from this recipe, given the rave reviews. The onion marmalade was fantastic, though I would personally like less ginger to be involved. The roasted sweet potatoes were also great. The pork, however, did not stand up flavor-wise to the marmalade or the potatoes. There was absolutely zero flavor other than saltless pork and a vague nutty flavor from the ground pecans which needed something to boost it. Rather than complimenting the pork, the onion marmalade only causes it to taste even less flavorful. This was an easy recipe with a beautiful presentation. I will make it again, but will definitely alter the seasoning of the pork -- maybe add some sage and salt?
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