Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Behold, the sweet potato...

The other day Lisa at tardyhomemaker posted a recipe for a spicy sweet potato, shrimp and coconut soup. I thought I would get on the sweet potato bandwagon and share my favorite recipe for sweet potatoes. It comes from the March 2000 issue of Vegetarian Times magazine. Here is the recipe as printed in the magazine.
• 2 tsp. vegetable oil
• 2 medium onions, chopped
• 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3/4- inch dice
• 2 large cloves garlic, minced
• 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
• 4 tsp. ground cumin
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 3/4 cup frozen corn
• 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

In large, heavy skillet, preferably cast-iron, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add sweet potato and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown in spots, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, jalapeño, cumin and salt and cook, stirring often, 30 seconds. Add 3/4 cup water and cook, stirring to scrape any browned bits from bottom off pan, until potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in corn and beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Season with freshly ground pepper to taste and serve hot.

4 servings
207 calories per serving
9 g Protein
3g total fat
9g fiber

I like to use recipes as a base and then create my own variation based on what I have on hand. So, I don't really use that recipe anymore except as an idea to get me started. I usually use olive oil and instead of jalapeno, I dice up a red or green bell pepper (I prefer red) and add that with the onion. I also often dice up two sweet potatoes (because I really like them!) I use fresh or frozen corn and I substitute whatever beans I have handy-sometimes kidney or pinto. I also add about 1 1/2 cups of fresh salsa. While the hash is still hot I throw a tortilla with some grated Cheddar cheese into the toaster oven. When the cheese is melted, I put some of the hash on it and fold the tortilla over and eat!
Variation #2
A couple of weeks ago, I had some sweet potato hash, some cooked Quinoa and some leftover tomato sauce. I mixed the Quinoa in with the hash and put some onto tortillas, rolling them like enchiladas. I then put a little sauce and salsa into the bottom of a baking dish and put the enchiladas on top, I added more sauce and salsa to cover and some grated Cheddar on top. I put them in the oven at 375 or 400 F for about 20 minutes or until the cheese melted and got a little bubbly. It was so good.
I absolutely hated sweet potatoes for years. I have vivid memories of my Mother's sickly sweet marshmallow capped sweet potato "casserole" at Thanksgiving and Christmas-not pleasant ones. Anyway, something clicked a few years ago when I realized that other than meat there were only a few foods that I wouldn't really want to eat. Sweet potatoes, bananas, avocados and Brussel sprouts were the main members of that list. I am happy to report that I have overcome my aversion to all of them. Sweet potatoes and Brussel sprouts are really favorites now. The other two I no longer avoid like the plague.
Do you have a favorite sweet potato recipe? Does it involve marshmallows? For more info and recipes go here.


Lisa said...

Mmm. That sounds really good. Both the original and the variations.

I had the same revelation as you, but my list had beets and brussel sprouts. I love both of them now. I think proper preparation is everything.

Tonia said...

Beets didn't make that list because I have always liked them pickled. I do admit to not cooking them very often because I haven't had them any other way. I need to branch out with beets.

Angelina said...

Hey, that sounds really good to me too! I haven't decided if I'm going to indulge in my love of sweet potatoes yet or not. I didn't eat any for a year because we don't grow them locally but then Oakhill organics had them one week so I had a few bites. Oh I miss them!

I also just had bananas this week for the first time in a year. I think what I might do is make a little list of all the things that are pretty much never local or in season here and then rotate them a bit. You know, so I don't spend too much or indulge too much in tons of nonlocal foods but so I get to have a little bit of all of them now and again.

I don't know. Now I'm really hungry for some sweet potatoes. (I still call them yams.)

Lisa said...

Sweet potatoes and yams are different though, I think. Oakhill Organics has given out sweet potatoes the past two or three weeks in our share, so we have lots. Last week was the last one, though, because they don't store as well as regular potatoes, they gave them all out early in the season.

Tonia-The two methods I most frequently use for beets are roasting with olive oil, salt and pepper til they are tender and carmelized and also steaming them, then slicing and tossing with a dijon vinaigrette while they are still hot/warm. This is good at warm or at room temp.