Friday, May 06, 2011

Pork Diane with Baked Sweet Potatoes

There's been some life changing health news this week in the ATC household. Don't worry, nobody's dying and nobody's pregnant, BUT we are going to be making some changes in the ATC kitchen. Those changes mean we'll be trying new foods/recipes and making adjustments to some old favorites.

This week we tried out a couple new recipes and you all get a front row seat to see how we liked them. That's right this week you get TWO recipes for the price of one. Which means I better get started on sharing the directions.

What I used:
Baked Sweet Potatoes
1 large sweet potato
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 pinches dried oregano
2 pinches salt
2 pinches pepper

Pork Diane
4 3oz boneless pork chops
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon dijon mustard (I used yellow)
1/2 to 1 tsp lemon-pepper seasoning
1 tablespoon butter or margerine
1 tablespoon fresh oregano (I used dried)

How I made them:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Wash sweet potato and cut into 1 inch cubes.

3. Place the cut sweet potatoes in baking dish, add olive oil and
    turn them until potatoes are coated.

4. Sprinkle moderately (to taste) with oregano, salt, and pepper.

5. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes (until soft). I initially placed aluminum
    foil over the pan and removed it when I stirred the potatoes half
    way through the baking time.

Once the potatoes are in the oven, you can start the pork chops.

6. For the sauce, mix the water, Worcestershire sauce, lemon
    juice, oregano (if using fresh wait until end to add) and mustard
    in a small bowl. Set aside.

7. Trim the fat from the chops. Sprinkle both sides of each chop
    with lemon-pepper seasoning.

8. In 10" skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add chops and cook
    for 8-12 minutes or until juices run clear (or 160 degrees if you
    have a meat thermometer). Remove from heat and transfer
    chops to serving plate. Keep warm.

9. Pour sauce into skillet and stir to scrape up any crusty brown
    bits from the bottom. (If using fresh oregano stir it in now).
    Pour the sauce over the chops.

The Verdict: We had mixed reviews on these recipes. We thought the pork chops were delicious and moist (without being underdone), but thought the potatoes were only fair. But we have to be honest and let you know that neither of us are big fans of sweet potatoes to start with, so getting a fair rating is actually pretty good for them.

What I'd do different: I wouldn't change a thing about the pork chops, but for the potatoes I would probably use more seasoning as they were a little bland. TheHusband suggested using some of the lemon-pepper seasoning on them, and I think it's worth a try.

Variations: With the potatoes you can use whatever seasonings you are using in your main entree. It's a good way to tie the flavors together. If you're not a fan of Dijon mustard you can use your favorite kind. I used yellow mustard (because we didn't have Dijon like I thought we did) and thought it turned out great.
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