Last night we were eating an apricot glazed pork tenderloin roast and the most beautifully soft and lightly sweet biscuits I have ever tasted. Missing from our table was a household staple of red meat and Russet potatoes.
You see, we were eating without my teenage son who is a total red blooded, red meat eating carnivore of a teenager who is sure that french fries and french fries alone are the solution to any vegetable question (his biggest stretch is baked white potatoes…seriously).
I realize I am the proverbial “bad mom” for letting him get away with this mentality, but I do have various veggies on our table every night for the taking and although I may cajole him into a bite or two, I choose to not go to battle over eating them.
Somehow, you learn as a parent to pick your battles all along the way and eventually, with a few scars mind you, you earn your “seasoned parent” stripes and learn that you just can’t follow all those dang rules that are set out in those infamous parenting books and you stop comparing yourself and your child to others.
Leah, an efriend of mine and fellow blogger (The Seven Hills Collection), is ready to give birth to her first child and this brings up memories of being a new parent and thinking that you never know the answers and that you are always doing it wrong; whatever it was. This post is to tell her that when she is up to her eyeballs in parenting do’s and don’ts, and “helpful” neighbors or relatives who are sure their way is the only way, I want to tell her that her way, the one that suits her, is the one that matters.
I remember when I was sure I had to swaddle my newborn just right, avoid the “evil” pacifier, listen to my son cry himself to sleep because that’s what “good” moms do. And the list goes on forever and still carries on now, but my advice, though unscientific and unasked for, is if it kills you to listen to him cry, then pick him up. He will survive.
Trust me, my son is NOT attached at my hip; infact as I write this, he is at a Track and Field team party celebrating their season and he casually told me, “You can come to the awards thing at the end…if you want…it’s up to you”. I kind of wish he still needed me to soothe him to sleep, but that would be weird so I just am happy that he is growing up strong and independent.
When my son came home later that night, he let me know he was more than relieved to have dodged the pork roast “bullet” at our house along with the sweet potato biscuits—gasp! Although, I have to admit, I was a bit relieved that he didn’t want the only biscuit left that night…I was kind of hoping it would be my breakfast tomorrow.
For the record, I gave up the whole cry himself to sleep thing after three long and painstaking nights. There were many things I didn’t do by the book nor even close to the book and there were many, many times I did what got me through and guess what, I have two happy and healthy kids who are doing great in school, have nice friends and are good with who they are. What more could I want? Only vegetable eating perhaps.
Well, I hope you make these over-the-top soft and delectable sweet potato biscuits and if anyone is dodging them at your house, then more for you my friend! I have also included a short description of my pork roast since it was very yummy and took about two minutes to prepare. How can you go wrong with that?
Sweet Potato Biscuits
Changed a smidge from Paula Deen’s Recipe
makes about 6-8 biscuits depending on how big they are.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 T. sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes (about 2 medium or 1 very large potato)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) softened butter
3-5 tablespoons milk (depending on the moisture of the potatoes…I used 6!)
For the biscuits: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Scrub and poke your sweet potatoes a few times with fork and cook them in the microwave on high until soft (about 8 minutes or so depending on your microwave)
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut very cold butter into 1/4 inch cubes and then put them in the dry mixture. I like to use a pastry blender (hand tool) in the beginning and then mix with my hands to feel the mixture. The butter should end up pea sized and the mixture should be gravel-y but not sandy. The pea-sized butter helps make your biscuits flaky by creating air pockets when they bake. Now, add all your sweet potatoes and some of the buttermilk a couple tablespoons at a time, carefully incorporating the milk and potatoes with a rubber scraper. Once your dough looks like this, stop. Don’t over mix or add in too much milk.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board and toss lightly until the outside of the dough looks smooth. Roll (I patted out the dough instead of rolling. It is a very soft dough) out the dough to 1/2-inch thick and cut with a biscuit cutter. Place the biscuits on a greased pan or on parchment paper. Bake for about 15 minutes. (Watch your oven: If the biscuits are browning too fast, lower the temperature.) Serve warm…with a little butter please.
Roast Pork with Apricot Glaze –
1 pork tenderloin (many packages come in two’s so just double the recipe then)
dash salt and pepper for seasoning the roast
1 t. ground ginger, you will use 1/2 t. to season pork roast and 1/2 t. for glaze.
1/3 c. of apricot jelly (I like to use no sugar added)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and coat a rectangular glass dish with cooking spray. Simply season your pork tenderloin with salt, pepper and a 1/2 t. ground ginger. Next, get a large skillet nice and hot with some Canola oil in the pan…like about 2 T. On medium high heat (or high depending on how hot your burner gets), sear all sides of the pork tenderloin, about 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side. When you turn the pork, dont’ let bits stick to your pan, you may want to use a spatula instead of tongs as you turn it to sear it on all sides. Place roast in a glass rectangular Pyrex dish or such coated with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, put in your apricot jelly and place it in the microwave for about 10 seconds or so to slightly melt it and make it smooth. Add your ginger and mix with a fork or small whisk to get it smooth. Brush the glaze on your seared roast with a pastry brush and put it in on the middle rack of your oven. You can throw in peeled chopped sweet potatoes tossed in olive oil with rosemary if you like for the easiest side dish ever.
Baste the roast with the remaining glaze about 15 minutes after cooking and then keep roasting it. Throw out the remaining glaze since a raw pork pastry brush has “tainted” what ever’s left. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes depending on the thickness of your tenderloin. Most are about 1 – 1.5 inches thick in diameter and they take about 30 minutes to roast but the thick ones might take about 45 minutes. I do the unthinkable and make a small cut in the center when I think it should be done and take a peak. It can be a very, very light pink but should register 160 degrees F. on a meat thermometer. Let sit for 5 minutes after removing from the oven to allow the juices to rest inside the pork. This way the yummy juices don’t run all over your cutting board instead of flavoring the meat.
If you would like a little more glaze for drizzling over the pork, just mix up a little bit more apricot jelly and ginger and microwave it again so it’s hot. It’s beautiful to pour it artfully over your pork on the serving platter with the roasted sweet potatoes surrounding it. A very nice presentation, a delicious meal and it’s super easy. Don’t forget the gorgeous basket of biscuits!