Tag Archives: sweet potato

White Chocolate Macadamia Sweet Potato Bread

In my pantry today:

  • 1.25 c smashed sweet potatoes
  • 2 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c ground flax
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 c canned sweet potato liquid
  • 2 tsp orange extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/3 c chopped, roasted macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 c white chocolate morsels

wcmnspb2Making this batter in a food processor was an easy delight. Creaming butter and sugar then all that subsequent mixing can be a pain on the wrist. Instead, choose to cut up butter in pieces and put it in the food processor with sugar. Cream with mechanical vigor. Add in wet ingredients one at a time, pulsing everything into continuity with each. When all the wet ingredients are well mixed, add in the dry ingredients in parts with pulsing between each. Add little bits of can “juice” when things look too dry. Once it looks pan-ready, throw in half of your morsels and pulse. Pour into greased/dusted loaf pan and thump on the counter until settling happens. Sprinkle on macadamia nuts and remainder of morsels then tap lightly into batter with a gentle spatula. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for approximately 1 hour. Using whole wheat flour, adding ground flax and being less heavy-handed than instinct would dictate on the nuts… well, that makes this a (slightly) less guilty dessert for breakfast item to go with coffee and out the door. Or in bed with said coffee. Whatever. 5 spoons!

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Unintentionally Vegan Homecoming (or “What a Crock of… Awww, Love.”)

In my pantry today:

  • 2/3 c dried lentils
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 4 medium russet potatoes
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 heart of celery, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tsp safflower oil
  • 6 c vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp hot curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida

Crush the cloves of garlic well, and let them simmer in the ghee/oil mixture for a few minutes. Before the garlic turns brown transfer it, along with everything else up there to your brand new off-the-wedding-registry crock pot. Set the timer and smile, because maybe now you can properly cook beans. 4 spoons!

I still have neither found nor purchased a new camera. Pictures will continue to be Google Image Search results and/or cell phone-resolution shots. First world problems suck, but we still make do… in fact, we had to borrow someone else’s camera for our awesome, should-write-a-book wedding trip to NYC.

(Oh and yeah, I just got married!!!!!!!!)

 

Sweet — and Savory — Potatoes

 

In my pantry today:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion
  • 1/4 c quinoa
  • 2-2.5 c broth (vegetable here)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable ghee
  • 1/4 c blackberry preserves
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp kala jeera
  • 1 tsp hot curry powder
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

First thing’s first — slice your onion moderately thinly and start it out in ghee that’s mostly melted and in a pan on M. Cook onions over ML heat for about 5m. Dice your sweet potato — skin and all — and add it into pan. Stir in the remainder of seasonings and preserves then add enough broth to cover everything and bring to a boil. Cover and let cook over ML heat until potatoes are fork-tender. At this point, stir in quinoa and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to L for about 20m. Ring the dinner bell — 4 spoons!

 

Butter Just Got Better

In my pantry today:

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/3 c light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp orange extract

Have you happened to have tried the newly offered sweet potato from Wendy’s®? It has had me fall in love with sweet potatoes again — partly for their creamy well-baked texture, but largely-er partly to the spread that accompanies them. I spent a good deal of time thinking about making a copycat version — to get it wrong would be an anti-climactic foray into buttertown, but to get it right would be to be able to move away from the mystery spread base from the fast food window. The experiment created a version much like the one at Wendy’s®, but with straight-up from the cow butter. Cream together all of the above, adjusting each ingredient to your taste if warranted, and tell me I’m wrong. 5 spoons, yo!

 

 

Shakarkand Curry (or “A Shakarkand a Priest Walk Into a Bar…”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1.5 c lentils
  • 1 large sweet potato, baked
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion
  • 1 14.5 oz can [chicken or vegetable] broth
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp safflower oil
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp cashew butter
  • 1 tbsp ground brown flax
  • 2 tsp yellow curry
  • 1 tsp hot curry powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida

So I’ve been roasting sweet potatoes at will lately — I hate that I’m inspired by anything a fast food chain does, but I can’t help but be by the sweet buttery spread that accompanies one of these “Signature Sides” from Wendy’s®. I’ve duplicated — nay, improved upon — their formula and that recipe is forthcoming. But back to the copious number of baked sweet potatoes in my refrigerator.

This one is gonna be a not-sinful-dessert-or-sometimes-meal option. It’ll be a curry! We’re gonna take the soft already-baked pulp out of the skin and set it aside. Start your minced onion and garlic in your oils warming to M. When full heat is reached, reduce to ML and let them cook until the onions become translucent. At that point, add your sweet potato and mash it into the pan. Add seasonings and flax and continue mashing. Once you feel good and smash-happy, add the broth slowly and dial it back to a more gentle pulverization. Once it’s a happy family, let simmer on M for just a minute then slowly stir in your lentils. Let the whole mess simmer together for 15-45m before serving over Basmati rice. 5 spoons!

++

Whole Bird with Tubers!

In my pantry today:

  • 1 2.65 lb chicken
  • 1 extra large baking potato
  • 1 average sweet potato
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 pearl onions, skinned
  • 3/4 c olive oil
  • 1/2 c dill seeds
  • 1/3 c hot curry powder
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp sea salt

Turns out I ate some spoiled cippoline sott’aceto in Venice about a decade ago that forever ruined pearl onions for me — just go ahead and use regular onions. I’m giving the rest of the uncooked onions to my brother upon this memories’ harkening to one of few moments that were un-outstanding during my summer in Italy. Grossballs.

"Living Room of the Renaissance"

I lived here in 2000. Jealous? (You should be.)

Fortunately, I had been too lazy to peel many and the potatoes and carrots were still just fine. Preheat the oven to 425° and set about to the washing, peeling and prepping of your root vegetables. Lay them in a gently overlapping layer inside a large casserole dish and drizzle 1/4 c olive oil atop. Layer seasonings:

  • 1/8 c dill seeds
  • 1 tbsp hot curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp sea salt

Toss until everything’s evenly coated, then cover the pan and stick it in the oven for an hour.

Now it is time to handle the larger part of something’s carcass. Mix the remainder of your seasonings with the remainder of your olive oil until a nice, paste-like uniformity reveals itself. Rinse your chicken inside and out under cold water and cut off that little dangling fat turd that dangles off its butt. Cut finger-sized slits in the skin on the wings, legs, thighs and breasts and first massage in some of the seasonings and olive oil between the meat and skin, then move to all other major outer areas, and end with a cavity massage with 1/4 of the paste.

When the tubers come out, downgrade your oven temperature to 350° and slap in your foil-covered chicken pan. Now, I was under the impression that 20 minutes per lb was the general chicken-roasting rule. Maybe I should’ve checked the internet for a brain-freshening on this, because it’s taken a bit more than that. I’d budget 90 minutes before your first check, and possibly another 30 after that depending on your oven’s maw. Regardless, the deliciousness will repay your patience: 5 spoons!

Tonight’s bonus (since I just flipped through some old pictures) is this classy photo of me in my room at the Università degli Studi di Urbino. Nobody thinks to tell the fattest girl on the plane that a summer anywhere in Europe unofficially requires a physical fitness certification. I remember having waking paralysis in my bed there some nights, but above all else — the heat, the sun, forcing my legs up mountains — the determination to never be the last straggler on walks. It would be another eight years before my diagnosis and I just assumed all of my problems were due to my heft. That’s what all the doctors said, and who doesn’t believe their doctor? So, dogged in my resolve, I traveled the peninsula at about 300lbs with another 200lbs of luggage in my arms (art history courses abroad should be considered suspect to the over-burdened traveler). I like to regard the entire amazing odyssey as a small turning point in just how much shit I was willing to take from my body — nothing was going to steal even a moment of where I got to be. Not even that pubescent gypsy who stole my wallet on the subway in Milan.

3 Recipes in One Meal! (or, “Tuber Good to be True”)

In my pantry today:

  • 3 leaves of kale
  • 2 tbsp onion slivers
  • 6-10 white grapes
  • 2 tbsp raw walnuts

Sweet potato bites:

  • 1/2 medium-sized sweet potato
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp hot red chili powder

Mandarin orange vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 c drained mandarin oranges
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 1/4 c apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/4 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/4 tsp hot red chili powder

The weather is starting to get warm. Not summer’s “Blast Y’all from Face to Anus” hot as South Carolina will soon prescribe, but warm enough for me to start thinking about cold showers in the afternoon.* Warm enough that soup weather has gracefully exited the stage so quietly that I didn’t even get to have a season’s finale recipe for it. When soup weather departs, it’s salad weather.

So to inaugurate this climatic change, de-stem and chop your kale; set aside. Sliver off some onions; set aside. Peel and finely chop your sweet potato into little fork-size chunks, then toss with olive oil and hot red chili powder then put on a baking sheet and into a 400° oven for 15-20 minutes.

To make the vinaigrette, I measured everything in a Pyrex glass then dumped it all into the food processor and blended; just pour it in your serving apparatus and chill until dinner. Like many, but not all, things, it will taste better with a little time under its belt.

When the sweet potatoes are done, spatula them onto a plate and let them cool while you gently but thoroughly massage your kale with a little of the vinaigrette. Halve the grapes then twiddle your thumbs for about 15 more minutes before assembling kale, onions, sweet potato, halved grapes and walnuts. Top with another small dollop of mandarin vinaigrette and give the sun your first middle finger of the season (if’n you hadn’t already). 5 spoons!

*When my core body temperature rises, even when not from physical exertion, I can expect pseudo-exacerbations and Uhthoff’s Phenomenon. A cold shower can help dissuade these noisemakers.

Sweet Potato Bisque and Tempeh Fingers (Or, “Tempeh, Tempeh!”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1 package Lightlife organic tempeh
  • 1 large and 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 small onion
  • 2.5 oz jar of Bronco Bob’s Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 4 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 2 tbsp safflower oil
  • 1 tsp cashew butter
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3.5 c water

Slice your block of tempeh into 1/4″ slices and put in a cold pot on the stove. Mix Bronco Bob with the vinegar, sesame oil and 2 tbsp soy sauce and pour over the slices; turn the burner on L, cover, and let it sit for a few minutes then turn each slice and let sit a few more. Add 1c water and turn the stove to M. Bring the marinade to a low boil then turn off stove, toss the slices and let sit until cool enough for Tupperware. I done did this a few hours in advance of their cooking, so they were transferred to Tupperware and allowed to continue cooling in their juices with a trip to the refrigerator.

Peel your sweet potatoes and slice into a series of large, thin discs. Slice your onion nearly as delicately and cook that on M in 2 tsp of hot ghee for a minute or so, then add your sweet ‘tater slices and 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste. Toss, coat, then pour in 1/2 c water and a tbsp of soy sauce and cover. Leave on M and walk away until everything begins to caramelize, then return to spread that wealth to the masses and spatula-chop (not mash) the minions. Add another 2c of water, 2 tbsp soy sauce  and return the lid. Bring to a boil until water is reduced and all solid pieces are soft. Remove from heat upon final smashings and stir in a tsp each of ginger-garlic paste, cayenne pepper and cashew butter.

Now, move the entire mixture to the food processor and puree until smooth. Return to pot and add 1 can of vegetable broth. Let simmer while you get the tempeh in order:

Warm 2 tbsp safflower oil in the deep-bottomed frying pan and when at full M, add patted-dry tempeh slices. Sear until edges crisp then turn heat to L and continue flipping until the first one breaks in half. At that juncture, remove all slices to drain on a paper towel. Go make yourself a bowl of soup while that transpires.

Top bowl of bisque with 1/2 tsp vegetable ghee for a fancy highfalutin experience. When tasted by an outside party, this bisque got an immediate “Slap Yo Mama Good” reaction. This means five spoons. The tempeh, honestly, only gets three spoons… but some extra potential points still exist in that little soybean cake; I am interested in its ideas and would like to subscribe to its newsletter.


Thank You, Bacon Grease

In my pantry today:

  • 2 tbsp reserved bacon grease
  • 4c cooked, sliced/cubed sweet potato
  • 4c cooked lima beans
  • 1 leek
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • .5 tbsp salt
  • 1.5 c chicken broth
  • Basmati rice

Your dinner will owe its life to that reserved bacon grease.

So start out with a great idea. I imagined a delightful meal of various colors and textures; not another pot of mush, y’know? Start your sliced leek out in the bacon grease at M. Realize that not only are your sweet potatoes overcooked, but holy crapballs so are the shouldn’t-be-at-a-rolling-boil lima beans. This is why — one reason of I am certain many — not to self-engineer a double boiler while something is cooking under the melting chocolate. Sigh and mix the beans into the pan.

Carefully fold in the sweet potatoes. Add garlic and salt. Let it continue cooking on L for a solid 20m. In that time, embrace the mush as just as valid as the more solid form you had originally envisaged.

Take the lid off the pan. It will be a solid block of fuck-I-can’t-throw-away-this-much-food. Add chicken broth. Make it a sauce for the rice — some of the lima beans are still visible in their whole form, and it is rife with flavor. Pretend you meant to do that and enjoy its deliciousness over rice. For it is delicious. Just unintentionally ugly.

10 out of 10

In my pantry today:

  • 1 XL sweet potato
  • 2 tbsp cashew butter
  • 1.5 c chicken broth
  • 1 leek
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp cardamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 box plain couscous

So like most people with families, I’ve been doing other, holiday-related business all damn day. When I walked blindly into the kitchen I automatically pulled something from that “we gonna go bad if’n you don’t cook us” list. Whenever sans plan, default to the produce drawer. Cupboard, in this case. I pulled out the highest ranking “bout to go” item and set about tinkering. Tinkering… for success.

Julienne your sweet potato while the finely-sliced leek is sizzling on M. Once the edges of your leeks brown, throw in the potato and seasonings; toss until everything is real friendly together then add the broth. Turn the pan up to MH and once it begins boiling, cover and reduce heat to ML. After leaving it the hell alone for twenty minutes, return to remove and reserve both the potato and broth. Put your cashew butter in the pan and slowly add the liquid back in, stirring consistently until you’ve got the consistency of that gravy people sometimes eat on their morning biscuits. Gently fold the sweet potato back in. Serve over plain couscous. I had no idea cashew gravy could be so meaty-delicious. I give this impromptu dinner experiment a 10 out of 10 (on that 1-10 scale I’ve never actually implemented in any real or consistent way).