As professional chefs, we get inspiration from everywhere. Especially the turn of a new season. Spring is in the air. And while this recipe isn't particularly spring-y, (we do still have to wait for the spring produce to come up), it was inspired by the warmer temperatures and abundant sunshine.
Roasted Pork Loin with Date and Cilantro Relish and Roasted Sweet Potatoes
1 lb pork tenderloin or thick boneless pork chops
1/2 cup dates, pitted
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons orange juice or pineapple juice
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into large chunks
kosher salt, cracked black pepper, extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and add sweet potatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until tender.
2. Meanwhile, prepare a skillet with a small amount of olive oil. Heat on medium-high heat until oil is hot. Season the pork with salt and pepper, carefully add to the pan. Sear on all sides until golden brown. Place skillet in oven to finish cooking through, or if not using an oven safe skillet, remove pork and place in an oven safe pan. This should take about 10-15 minutes for medium well pork.
3. While the pork is cooking, prepare the relish. Halve dates and then slice into thin strips. Place in a medium bowl. Chop the cilantro fine and add to the bowl with the dates. Remove the ends from the jalapeno and discard. Halve lengthwise and remove the seeds and ribs, or leave in tact for a spicier relish. Slice the pepper into thin strips and add to the bowl. Add the juice and about 1 tablespoon of evoo. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Remove the sweet potatoes and pork from the oven. Allow the pork to rest for about 5 minutes, then slice against the grain into thin strips. Top with the relish and enjoy.
Friend that Cooks personal chefs in Wichita, Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City offer weekly meal prep for families with busy schedules, food allergies or special diets. Learn more at http://www.friendthatcooks.com