pork · wine

Brown Sugar Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Whipped Sweet Potato

Two of my best friends and I went up to wine country this weekend for a couple free tastings, taking advantage of our respective wine club memberships. Wine country is never a bad idea… charcuterie boards, photo ops, the best kind of nature. And all the wine. First stop was Ram’s Gate


I spotted a kale tree in their garden, which is apparently a thing.

The charcuterie board though… all local everything, including chocolate toffee bark. The star of the board in my eyes was the chicken liver mousse, and that’s not usually my thing. 

Followed by a pumpkin and ricotta ravioli, #becausefall.

The last stop was Scribe, which I’ve written about many times on this blog. It never disappoints. 

The best part about this visit was that I already know I’m coming back in two weeks for the pick up party! 
Gratitude journal entry: I’m grateful to be able to visit California’s wine country whenever I want. It is always worth the 45 minute drive away. 

So that dinner I was gonna make on Friday got rescheduled to Sunday. Sundays can be tough. I find myself fighting three separate fronts: the need to complete all life admin duties (laundry, groceries, eating vegetables, cleaning my apartment). Or the opposite desire, to hide under the covers as the Sunday Scaries wash over you (or simply taking advantage of the “day of rest”). And lastly FOMO (fear of missing out), the need to take advantage of your day off, be social, participate in Sunday Funday. I don’t know what a successful balance looks like, but at least I’ll eat well tonight and I have clean clothes to wear in the morning. 

This pork loin recipe is not new to the Plate either, but it’s been a while. 

Brown Sugar Spiced Pork Loin
Rub Ingredients:
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 pork tenderloins (2 1/2 lb. total), each tenderloin cut into two chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil

Glaze ingredients:
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic (about 6-8 cloves)
1 tablespoon tabasco sauce (or Sriracha)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon, then coat the pork with the spice rub. Heat the oil in an ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet that is ovenproof (I used my cast iron skillet) over medium high heat until the oil is hot and rippling. Brown the pork, turning, about 4 minutes total. Leave pork in the skillet. If you don’t have an ovenproof skillet, brown the pork in a skillet and transfer it to a foil-lined baking pan (like a 9X13-inch). I’ve done both and either method works great.

Stir together the brown sugar, garlic, and Tabasco and pat on top of each tenderloin. Roast in the middle of the oven until a thermometer inserted diagonally in center of each tenderloin registers 140, about 25 minutes. Let pork stand in the skillet at room temperature for 10 minutes. The temperature will rise to about 155 while standing. Slice on the diagonal and serve, spooning the sauce from the skillet on top of the pork.

For the whipped sweet potatoes, I just roasted (2) whole yams at 400 for 45 minutes, until very soft. Mashed them in a bowl with a fork and added a few tablespoons coconut water to thin it out and a dash of cumin and chili powder.  

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