Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Potato Cakes

This is a very exciting blog post for me. To start off its my 50th blog post! Since I started blogging in the fall I have really come to love it and look forward to every post that I write. Blogging has lead me to try making new things that I never would have tried, and I now have new hobbies to pursue, (cake/cupcakes decorating, and food photography) that are fueled by the blog!

Second- Kevin and I invented the most delicious food! Usually I cook from a recipe, and I was making a sweet potato and spinach hash that I had seen in Real Simple magazine, Kevin was watching the process (which involves grating the sweet potatoes) and suggested that we make them into cakes and fry them like latkes. Since this was a huge departure from the recipe I let Kevin take the lead, and we mixed in an egg and some bread crumbs to the spinach mix, fried them up, and oh. my. goodness. They were amazing! We were both incredibly surprised by how great these tasted. No they aren't the prettiest, and we probably should have baked them instead of fried but wow. Just wow.

Sweet Potato and Spinach Cakes
yield- 8 cakes, 4 servings

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
1 9oz bag of baby spinach
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon salt and pepper
1/4 c seasoned breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup canola oil

Peel sweet potatoes and grate. Set bowl aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan. Chop shallot and saute in olive oil for 3-4 minutes until fragrant and shallots begin to soften. Add in spinach and continue to cook 5-7 minutes until spinach is wilted. Add sweet potatoes and continue to cook 5 minutes to combine flavors. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool. (The mixture shouldn't be that hot in the first place so this should only take about 5-10 minutes, make sure to stir it now and then so it will cool faster- or pop in the fridge if you are in a hurry. Its ok if its warm- it just can't be hot because you don't want the egg to cook when you add it)

Once mix has cooled down a little bit mix in egg and half of breadcrumbs. Knead with hands and continue to add breadcrumbs until the mixture can be formed into patties. The mixture should about the same consistency as ground beef. Use a cloth to wipe any leftover bits of sweet potato from the pan, and add canola oil. Heat oil on medium. The pan is ready if a pinch of the sweet potato sizzles when dropped in. Cook cakes, 3-4 at a time, for about three minutes each side. Blot with a paper towel and serve immediately.

printable recipe

We served these with grilled pork tenderloin that Kevin made a marinade for. He makes these amazing marinades, that are sweet, sour, salty and hot. He discovered this when he was cleaning the fridge and trying to get rid of bottles that had only a few drops at the bottom. The marinade changes a bit every time he makes it, but is always great and has such complex flavors from all the different ingredients. 

Pork Tenderloin Marinade
1 part Dijon mustard
2 parts Italian dressing (or other acid)
2 parts Worcestershire
1 part A-1
1 part soy sauce.
1 part sriracha (or to taste)
2-3 tbs chopped garlic (or more)
1 part BBQ sauce
black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients into a small bowl. Let meat marinate for up to 12 hours, (if you don't have the time just pour on and make sure to baste generously). Heat Grill to high and sear all sides, then transfer to indirect heat. Baste occasionally throughout cooking until center reaches 165 degrees. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing into medallions. Marinade is also good on chicken. 

printable recipe

This turned from a simple dinner to one of the best things we've made in a while. Not too hard to make either. I'm sure I'll be adding both of these to our regular recipe repertoire.


  1. YUM, YUM & more YUM. Duane makes pork tenderloin alot. In fact he does most of the cooking. He uses bbq and syracha (or however you spell it) too. Also peanut sauce is great with garlic & soy. He often slices it over rice. Recently we have added a grilled portobello mushroom. Gah my mouth is watering. I'm definitely going to try those sweet potato cake thingys!

  2. Oh yum! That pork tenderloin looks terrific. My hubby will love this recipe!

    Great blog; happy I found you!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls