Moroccan food is renowned for its unique use of spice and texture to take ordinary foods to a whole new level. The spice mix is a heady blend of cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and garlic at its base. It is an excellent compliment to pork and sweet potatoes. This very easy and delicious sheet pan dish will fool everyone into thinking you made something real fancy.
Serves 4-6 Prep time: 15 minutes to prep Cook time: 30 minutes Total time: 45 minutes
For the spice mix:
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 tablespoon ginger powder
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
For the dish:
3 tablespoons olive oil
4-6 boneless pork chops, regular cut (not thick)
2 large or 3-4 medium yams or sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch thick chunks
1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into chunks
2 medium fennel bulbs, fronds removed and bulb thinly sliced (about 1/4 inch thick)
1 small red onion, peeled and sliced (about 1/8 inch thick)
2 teaspoons ground sumac
Fine kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Line a large, rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper.
3. In a small skillet, combine all of the spice mix ingredients and place over medium heat. Toast, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes or until the spices become very fragrant. Remove from the heat and set aside.
4. Toss the sweet potatoes, red bell peppers, fennel, onion, and sumac with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spread in a single layer onto the prepared sheet pan. Make a well amongst the vegetables for the pork chops and place them amongst vegetables. Sprinkle with another pinch or two of salt, then sprinkle generously with the spice mix. Drizzle the chops with remaining olive oil.
5. Cover the pan loosely with foil and place in the oven. Roast for 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender (but not mushy) and the pork chops are shiny. Remove the foil, lightly toss the vegetables, and return to the oven. Roast uncovered for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven.
6. Sprinkle everything on the pan with chopped cilantro to taste and serve with lemon wedges.