Once again, I may have gotten overly ambitious when planning my dinners for this week. I was up late last night cooking, but it was totally worth it (and really, it was my fault for starting too late).

I had a couple of frozen pork tenderloins in the freezer and I remembered a delicious recipe for Five Spice Pork Tenderloin that I tried a few months ago. I already had most of the ingredients, so then I started to think of sides. I thought that some kind of mashed sweet potato would go nicely…maybe with some ginger? To round it off with something green, I went with one of my go-to vegetable sides lately: green beans with oyster sauce.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Ginger
I didn’t do a great job of measuring the quantities of liquid that I added to the potatoes, but the amount really just depends on how big the potatoes are and how thick you want the mash to be. I tried to approximate.

3 sweet potatoes
1 tbsp. grated ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. peanut oil
¼ c. orange juice
3-4 tbsp. whole milk
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Bake the potatoes whole in a 400 degree oven for about an hour, or until soft in the middle.
2. Heat the peanut oil over medium-low in a pot big enough to hold the potatoes and sauté the ginger and garlic until soft, but not browned.
3. Add the orange juice to the pot and stir until heated.
4. Peel the potatoes and add to the pot. Add some salt and pepper.
5. Now, there are a couple of options for what to do next. If you like your potatoes with some texture, then mash them directly in the pot. I like mine really creamy, so I first mashed them lightly in the pot and then pureed in my food processor. I wouldn’t recommend doing this with white potatoes, though; they’ll get over-worked and gummy.
6. Slowly add the milk as you’re mashing or pureeing the potatoes until they get to the consistency you want. Adjust the seasoning, and they’re done.

Green Beans and Oyster Sauce
I don’t even know if I can call this a recipe or not because I just stir-fry some green beans in store bought oyster sauce, but I think it’s worth including. I add it at the very last minute of stir-frying and just enough to lightly coat the vegetables. It has an intense, salty flavor, so a little goes a long way.

Five Spice Pork Tenderloin
I followed this recipe exactly except for modifying the cooking instructions. The recipe calls for first searing the whole tenderloins and then roasting in the oven. I, quite frankly, didn’t feel like dealing with the mess of searing so I did some research and found a way to get a similar effect by roasting at a very high temperature in the oven. Then, I realized that I (a) wouldn’t get through two whole pork tenderloins in one week and (b) wouldn’t enjoy reheated pork tenderloin throughout the week. I decided to roast one whole and then freeze it for later (maybe for a stir fry) and thickly slice the second to pan sear throughout the week. That’s a win-win, I think.

For the whole tenderloin, I roasted it on one of the lower racks of my oven at 500 degrees for 10 minutes. Then I flipped it and roasted it for another 7 minutes. The exact times will vary by oven, but I like to take mine out when the internal temperature is at 150 degrees. Be sure to let it rest when you take it out of the oven because the internal temperature will rise slightly and the juices will set in the meat.

To pan sear, I just cooked the pork on each side for a few minutes until the pork was medium/medium-well inside and had a nice crust on the outside. I topped it with sliced scallions. Not a bad weeknight dinner, if I do say so myself 🙂

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