Cornflake-Crusted Pork NuggetsCrispy meat nuggets typically involve deep frying: it’s a mainstay in our food culture and in our food pleasures. For the home cook (me), deep frying is intimidatingly messy. Greasy. And then there’s a full pot of oil to dispose of. But I’ll stop complaining, because I found a tasty baked option, for a change of pace.

The “Cornflake-Crusted Pork Nuggets with Mojo Glaze” and the “Mashed Sweet Potato with Jalapeño Pepper,” from the May/June 2016 issue of Cuisine at Home (recipes below), were a bit fussy, but forgiving.

Cornflake-Crusted Pork Nuggets with Mojo Glaze
Cuisine at Home, May/June 2016
Makes 4 servings

For the pork, cut:
20 oz. pork kebab chunks
salt, black pepper, granulated garlic
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs, beaten
6 cups cornflakes cereal, crushed
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

For the glaze, sauté:
4 Tbsp. minced red onion
2 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup orange marmalade
2-4 Tbsp. lime juice
2 tsp. chives

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place a baking sheet inside the oven.

For the pork, cut tenderloin in half lengthwise, then cut halves into ten 1-2-inch pieces. Pat pieces dry with a paper towel and season with salt, pepper, and granulated garlic.

Place flour, eggs, and cornflakes in three separate shallow dishes. Toss pork pieces in flour to coat, dip into egg, then dredge in cornflakes; brush pieces with butter.

Transfer pork pieces to preheated baking sheet and bake until golden, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the pieces registers 145 degrees F, 7-9 minutes.

For the glaze, sauté onion and fresh garlic in oil until onion softens, 2 minutes. Stir in marmalade and lime juice and simmer until glaze thickens; remove from heat and stir in chives. Serve glaze over pork.

Mashed Sweet Potato with Jalapeño Pepper
Cuisine at Home, May/June 2016
Makes 4 servings

20-24 oz. sweet potato, peeled and cubed

Stir in:
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 jalapeño, seeded and sliced
salt and black pepper to taste

Boil sweet potato in salted water in a saucepan over high until tender, about 10 minutes.

Drain potato; return to the pan. Cook potato over medium, stirring, to remove excess moisture; mash to desired consistency.

Stir in butter and jalapeño and season potato with salt and pepper.

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See how hot this oven is. Preheating the baking sheet is how we get a super-hot surface to crisp our coated pork nuggets.

The “fussiness” factor applies to the dredging process: three separate dishes for the flour and the eggs and the crushed cornflakes. Then, once tossed and dipped and dredged, the pork gets brushed with melted butter. OK. Crispiness will happen in the oven.

As for the “mojo glaze,” the orange marmalade and the lime juice produce a tart, sticky mixture, which sits well on those crispy pork nuggets.

To keep this orange-colored theme going, I also mashed some sweet potatoes, including more butter than was necessary. We had no problem eating all of this food.

Pork Kebab Chunks (20 oz.) = $9.63
Sweet Potato (1.44 lbs.) = $2.23
Jalapeño = .07¢

PREP TIMES: allow oven to preheat to 450 degrees F, take time to dredge pork, cook in less than 10 minutes; mojo glaze needs only a few minutes for assembly and stove-top thickening; sweet potatoes boil in 10 minutes
TASTES: tart orange glaze dresses crispy pork; buttery sweet potatoes are treated to a bit of jalapeño spice

Having been wooed by the May 2016 “France Issue” of Saveur, next time I want to make the “Provencal Stuffed Squid.” Come back to my site next week, to see how quick and easy this will be.