Sunday, 4 September 2011

Half a Minute

Fettina di Maiale con una Crosta di Erbe & Limone, su Patate Dolci e Peperoni al Miele
Pork Tenderloin with Lemon and Herb Crust, on Sweet Potato and Honey Peppers

It was an amazingly hot and sunny day today- wonders will never cease! I went into town and met a couple of dear friends at the wine stand in front of the indoor market here in Frankfurt, sipped on a chilled glass of rose and thought to myslef "life is good". But after an hour of sitting out in the sun sipping wine... I began thinking "shade is good" and ducked inside to get my groceries...

So today it was the humble sweet potato that I decided I needed to re-visit. I like sweet potatoes a lot, but they are somehow not quite so popular here in Europe. For a European palate, they tend to be too sweet and too soft- maybe better suited for soups than anything much else. Well think again folks- I have a little trick or two in my box that might surprise you and win you over!

I scrubbed the sweet potatoes but didn't peel them as they do tend to be a little bit more delicate than regular potatoes and leaving the peel on keeps them in shape better- I also simply prefer to eat potatoes un-peeled... hey- that fibre is good for ya! Lightly rub the potato slices with olive oil and drop them on a hot grill pan. Sprinkle them on with nutmeg and pepper and let them cook for 2-3 minutes, then add some water to the pan to give them a blast of steam. Flip them over and do the same to the other side. This way, they do no overcook and turn to mash! You also pick up a little of the toasty flavor from the light scorch-marks from the pan. The pepper and nutmeg will give them some character and neutralize the intense sweetness... which is how I prefer mine anyway!

The pork I used was simply a couple of small "minute-steak" slices, that I quickly flipped in a dry frying pan on either side... for yes, you guessed it- a minute each way! Just to get the color to change and the cooking process started. I then made a mix of lemon zest, parsley, dill, breadcrumbs, a tiny bit of crumbled feta cheese, some honey, pepper and olive oil and spread this out on top- not too much, just enough to crisp up and flavor the meat. And you can see what a minute under the broiler did- yum!

The little extra, was bell pepper slices which I sauteed in a little butter, with a drizzle of honey, a pinch of salt and some finely chopped fresh mint, making a sweet, fresh addition and completing a nice trilogy of Summer flavors...

Give the sweet potatoes a sprinkle of coarsely ground salt and serve up that dinner fast- what are you waiting for? Enjoy!

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