Sometimes, when holidays are buzzing and the days of December are clicking through a bit too fast, you need a meal to yourself. You can’t look at one more bunch of sage, anything else involving chestnuts, or one more recipe for pumpkin soup. That’s where this Joe Yonan recipe comes in.

Joe writes the “Cooking For One” column in the Washington Post and has lots of wonderful ideas to keep you from eating takeout every night when you don’t have a hoard of people to feed. I knew I liked him when I saw the section of his book dedicated to sweet-potatoes-with-stuff-on-them. This beautiful mess is one of those recipes, and it’s perfectly suited for just about now, because it’s full of winter foods but it’s not heavy. (The rapini and sriracha take good care of that.) Throw it together, watch a silly movie, and worry about this weekend’s cookie exchange party another time.

Miso Pork on a Sweet Potato
adapted from Serve Yourself by Joe Yonan

1 small sweet potato (about 6 ounces)
2 teaspoons neutral oil
1 shallot, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
a few gratings fresh ginger
3 ounces lean ground pork
4-5 stalks (6 ounces) broccolini or rapini, cut into 3/4″ pieces
1 tablespoon white miso
2 tablespoons water, plus more as needed
1 scallion, white and green parts, thinly sliced on the diagonal

Preheat oven to 425F. Use a fork or sharp knife to prick the sweet potato in several places. Place on a piece of aluminum foil and bake until the sweet potato is tender and can be easily squeezed, 40-60 minutes. (Alternatively, to speed up the process, the pricked sweet potato can be microwaved on high for 1 minute, then carefully transferred to the oven on a piece of foil. Bake until tender, 25-35 minutes.)

Meanwhile, pour the oil into a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add shallot, garlic, ginger, and pork and stir fry until no traces of pink remain in the pork and it starts to exude juices, about 5 minutes, breaking up any large lumps as you cook. Add broccolini and stir fry until the vegetables are barely tender and retain some crunch, 3-4 minutes. Add the miso and water; cook, stirring, for 1 minute or so, until a sauce forms. If the mixture seems dry, add up to a few more tablespoons of water, stirring to combine.

When the sweet potato has finished baking, place it on a serving plate. Use a knife to slash open the sweet potato, then spoon the pork mixture on top. Sprinkle with scallion, drizzle with Sriracha, and eat while it’s hot.