Oct
10
    
Posted (Lori) in News

SWEET POTATOS

I consider sweet potatoes as totally interchangeable with winter squashes, though they are totally different botanically (squashes are members of the cucurbit family, along with summer squash, melon, and cucumber; sweet potatoes are convolvulaceae, related to morning glories and very few foods; they are unrelated to white potatoes. But once the flesh is cooked and removed from the skin, it can be used just like winter squash in recipes (though good sweet potatoes are often sweeter than most winter squash).

The easiest way to deal with sweet potatoes is to bake them. I’m including a recipe (from chopchopmag.org) below but I usually just prick it all over and shove it the oven at 350 degrees; it take 20-40 minutes to bake (I never know until it’s baking). When it’s a bit soft, I cut it in half and put it back with cut sides up.)

INGREDIENTS

2  sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean

2 teaspoon unsalted butter; or honey, maple syrup, or brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Turn the oven on to BAKE and set it to 425 degrees.

Put the sweet potatoes in the baking pan and, using the tip of the knife, poke them in a few places to make teeny holes (so the steam can escape while they’re baking).

Carefully put the baking pan in the oven and bake until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Slice each potato open very carefully (remember, it’s a hot potato and lots of steam will escape). Divide the butter/honey/syrup/sugar and salt among the sweet potatoes and mash the seasoning in a bit with a fork.

NOTES

Did you know? In the U.S., we use “sweet potato” and “yam” to mean the same thing—but true yams are a completely different species, native to Africa and Asia.

Here are some other ways to prepare them, from North Carolina’s NCsweetpotatoes.com

Sautéed Sweet Potato: Slice or dice sweet potato, toss in oil and sauté for about 10 minutes.

Boiled Sweet Potato: Quick boil by adding 1-inch thick slices to a skillet with 2 inches of boiling water; cook for about 12 minutes.

Steamed Sweet Potato: Steam 1-inch slices over simmering water.

Microwaved Sweet Potato: Microwave whole sweet potatoes for 5 to 8 minutes rotating halfway through.

Micro-Bake Sweet Potato: Microwave whole sweet potato for 4 minutes, then bake at 450° for 5 to 10 minutes.

Grilled Sweet Potato: Cut sweet potato in half lengthwise and grill 20 to 25 minutes until tender and crisp.

Broiled Sweet Potato: Cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch thick slices; broil for 10 minutes.

One more idea: If you have a spiralizer, sweet potatoes is their best candidate. Spiralize a whole bunch, then sauté—or better yet, throw them into hot oil for crispy sweet potato noodles.

And don’t forget mashed sweet potatoes; cook any of the ways above and mash with salt and butter, adding whatever other herbs, spices, and other flavorings you like. Even better—boil the sweet potatoes with other vegetables—turnips, white potatoes, parsnips, winter squash, carrots, beets—and mash them all together.

Some recipes:

THE BEST ROASTED SWEET POTATOES RECIPE

From Serious Eats

Tender, extra-sweet roasted sweet potatoes with olive oil, parsley, and a touch of honey. Par-cooking the potatoes in water between 135 and 170°F activates an enzyme that converts their starch into maltose, making them extra flavorful and sweet, without the need to add extra sugar.

Ingredients

3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/2-inch slices

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 tablespoon honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar

Directions

1. Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Heat water to 160°F as registered on an instant read thermometer. Cover and set aside for 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, adjust oven racks to upper middle and lower middle positions and preheat oven to 400°F. Drain sweet potatoes and transfer to large bowl. Toss with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread sweet potatoes on two rimmed baking sheets and roast until bottom side is browned, about 30 minutes. Carefully flip potatoes with thin offset spatula and roast until second side is browned and potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes longer.

3. Transfer to a large bowl. Toss with remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, parsley, and honey (or maple syrup or agave nectar, if using). Serve immediately.

CLASSIC SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE

THIS RECIPE ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON SOUTHERN LIVING

This mouthwatering sweet potato casserole will satisfy lovers of crunchy pecans and cornflakes as well as marshmallows.

Ingredients

4 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup milk

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups cornflakes cereal, crushed

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 400°. Bake sweet potatoes at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Let stand until cool to touch (about 20 minutes); peel and mash sweet potatoes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

Beat mashed sweet potatoes, granulated sugar, and next 5 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Spoon potato mixture into a greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish.

Combine cornflakes cereal and next 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle over casserole in diagonal rows 2 inches apart.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle marshmallows in alternate rows between cornflake mixture; bake 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

SWEET POTATOES WITH PECANS AND GOAT CHEESE
From The Smitten Kitchen

Serves 2 -3

1 1/2 pounds sweet potato, scrubbed, unpeeled, in 3/4- to 1-inch coins

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/4 cup toasted and cooled pecan halves

2 tiny or 1 small shallot

2 stalks celery

2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon dried cranberries or cherries (optional)

2 ounces firmish goat cheese

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet generously with olive oil, about 1 to 2 tablespoons. Lay sweet potatoes in one layer on the oiled sheet. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast, without disturbing, for 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully flip each piece: the undersides should be blistery, dark and a bit puffy and should release from the pan with no effort. If they’re not, let it cook longer. Sprinkle them with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper and return the pan to the oven for another 10 minutes or so, until the undersides match the tops.

Meanwhile, prepare your salad. Chop your pecans well, mince your shallot, chop your celery and parsley, mince cranberries if using them. Crumble your goat cheese. If you, like me, got too soft of a goat cheese for mixing, set it aside and sprinkle it on top. If it’s firmer, stir it into the mixture. In a small dish, whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon dijon. Pour half over salad.

When the sweet potatoes are done, set a couple coins aside just in case the baby isn’t into the toppings. Lay the rest on a serving platter. Scoop a spoonful of the salsa over each round. Pour remaining salad dressing over top, to taste. Eat immediately.

SWEET POTATO SHORTBREAD COOKIE BAR

1½ cups mashed sweet potatoes (cooled to room temp)

1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg (room temp)

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons melted butter cooled to room temp

Crust

About 10 ounces cookies—shortbread or another variety

¼ cup butter

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Cream Cheese Glaze

¼ cup cream cheese (room temp)

½ cup confectioners sugar

1 tablespoon cream or milk (or more to thin to your liking)

½ teaspoon vanilla

INSTRUCTIONS

Crust

Preheat oven to 375° F.  Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper.

Crush cookies in to fine crumbs using a food processor or put them in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin.

In a medium bowl add cookie crumbs, melted butter and sugar.  Mix until all the cookie crumbs are wet.  Pour into prepared pan and press down with your hands, making sure the crust is even and goes right to the sides and into the corners.

Bake for 7 minutes.

Remove and let cool while you make your bars.

Bars

Set oven to 350° F.

In a large bowl add sugar, egg and vanilla.  Mix until no lumps remain.

Add sweet potatoes and mix well.

Add in flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt all and once and mix just until no streaks of flour remain.  Batter will be thick.  Add in melted butter and stir until the butter is incorporated into the batter.

Pour on top of your shortbread cookie crust and spread out taking care not to pull up your crust as you move the cake mixture around.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool.  When cool, drizzle with cream cheese glaze, slice into squares and serve.

Cream Cheese Glaze

With an electric mixer beat cream cheese until smooth.

Sift in confectioner’s sugar and add vanilla.  Beat again until well mixed.

Add cream or milk to thin.  If you prefer a thinner glaze, add a little more milk until your desired consistency.



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