Recipe Ideas: Sweet Potatoes

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(This photo via TheBittenWord.com)

With sweet potatoes being prominent in the shares right now, we thought it might be useful for you to get some new ideas for how to use them. 

So here are a few recipes we've stumbled upon recently for new ways to use sweet potatoes:

As a Carroty Soup or a Mash: Cooking Light has two recipes that look intriguing: a Creamy Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup and Mashed Sweet Potatoes spiced with Curry.

As Roasted Discs: Gourmet has a recipe for Roasted Sweet Potato Rounds with Garlic Oil and Fried Sage.  

As a Southwestern Soup: And the Food Network features a well-rated recipe for a Sweet Potato Soup with Blue Corn Tortillas

Fajita Spiced: At home, we like tossing cubed sweet potatoes with fajita season and then roasting them. You can read our entry about Fajita Sweet Potatoes on my blog. 

As Home Fries: Previously here on the Clagett blog, we've featured a recipe for Sweet Potato Homefries

Hopefully these ideas will help you find some new ways to use sweet potatoes.

Do you have a favorite sweet potato recipe? If so, please share it!


Sweet Potato Homefries

This is my current favorite way to prepare sweet potatoes, and it's worked with regular potatoes too.  I imagine it would work with just about anything that's good to roast.  Also, it's super easy.

Ingredients:

3 sweet potatoes (~ 1 lb each)

1 T Cinnamon, 1 t chili powder, fresh cracked pepper, 3 t garlic salt (I usually just use plain old salt), fresh grated nutmeg, drizzle of honey and olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Prepare a pan to roast vegetables in: if you're a foil liner, go with that; I usually just make sure there's enough oil so nothing sticks too much.  Clean sweet potatoes and cut into 1/2" wedges.  Toss in a bowl with the spices, honey and oil.  Arrange in a single layer in the pan.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until brown.

(Credit: Katie Sweeney.)

I usually omit the honey altogether, and make sure there's enough olive oil that they get a little crispy when baked.

Enjoy!

~ Anna


Continue curing your sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes can be a little tricky to store, so I wanted to pass along a few helpful hints. 
First, we cured your sweet potatoes for about 6 days.  This means that after we washed them, we held them in a room at 85 degrees Fahrenheit and high humidity in order to make the flesh sweeter and toughen up any nicks in their skins so they don't mold.  I often see it recommended that you cure them for as long as 10 days, but we did not have the space or time to cure all of your sweet potatoes for that long and still get them into your share before the season ended.  So if you have a warm spot in your house to keep them for a few days, that could further improve their flavor. 

I tend to use all of my sweet potatoes by Thanksgiving, so once their cured, I just leave them out in the kitchen and they keep well enough for that short time.  Cook your small sweet potatoes first, since they will lose moisture more quickly if the humidity is low.  Also cook the ones with any dark spots that might be an indication of some kind of decay.   The large ones can store all winter under the right conditions, as long as you check on them once in a while.  Once cured, store them in a way that most closely mimics the potatoes being in the ground.  The literature recommends 55 degrees Fahrenheit, 85% humidity.  So the refrigerator is too cold, but someplace cool, like a basement, is best.  I've seen some people recommend wrapping them in newspaper to prevent them from drying out, or even burying them in a box of sand. 

In case you are stuck in a habit of always baking your sweet potatoes, here are a few ideas.  CBF staffer, Rob Schnabel, highly recommends grilling thick slices of lightly oiled and salted sweet potato.  And below I've included a recipe I found in my files from 2002, but I can no longer identify the shareholder who gave it to me.  If you're still out there--thanks!  It's still a great recipe.  Quick and delicious.
-Carrie


GINGERED SWEET POTATOES

In a large frying pan, add five or six slices of ginger to a couple tablespoons of olive oil and cook gently for a few minutes.
Add thickly sliced sweet potatoes on top, with salt and pepper (lemon-pepper is also good) and a tablespoon of curry powder.  Cover and cook slowly until done (about 20 minutes). 
A dollop of Marsala wine is also a good addition. 


Sweet Potatoes--Wonder Food

Clagett Farm CSA Recipes
Fall 2006

Recipes by Rita Calvert

Sweet Potatoes--Wonder Food

As an antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory food sweet potatoes are one of the staples for the women of Okanawa who have extremely rare incidence of breast cancer. That fact made me take note!

This vibrant tuber is also an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) and a very good source of vitamin C, sweet potatoes have healing properties as an antioxidant food. Both beta-carotene and vitamin C are very powerful antioxidants that work in the body to eliminate free radicals. Free radicals are chemicals that damage cells and cell membranes and are associated with the development of conditions like atherosclerosis, diabetic heart disease, and colon cancer. This may explain why beta-carotene and vitamin C have both been shown to be helpful for preventing these conditions.

Since these nutrients are also anti-inflammatory, they can be helpful in reducing the severity of conditions where inflammation plays a role, such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin B6 which helps reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

History

Sweet potatoes are native to Central America and are one of the oldest vegetables known to man. They have been consumed since prehistoric times as evidenced by sweet potato relics dating back 10,000 years that have been discovered in Peruvian caves.

Christopher Columbus brought sweet potatoes to Europe after his first voyage to the New World in 1492. By the 16th century, they were brought to the Philippines by Spanish explorers and to Africa, India, Indonesia and southern Asia by the Portuguese. Around this same time, sweet potatoes began to be cultivated in the southern United States, where they still remain a staple food in the traditional cuisine. In the mid-20th century, the orange-fleshed sweet potato was introduced to the United States and given the name "yam" to distinguish it from other sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are a featured food in many Asian and Latin American cultures. Today, the main commercial producers of sweet potatoes include China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, India and Uganda.

Indian Style Lamb with Sweet Potatoes
Serves 4

This lamb dish is easy, and delicious. The combination of flavors and healthy benefits of lamb with the vegetables will make this recipe a favorite in your home. The blended spices of garam masala are flavorful, yet not too spicy, giving this dish a sauce full of flavor without being rich and high in fat. It is easily found in the spice section of your favorite market.


1⁄2 pound ground or minced lamb shoulder or leg
1 medium sized onion quartered and sliced thin
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
3 medium cloves garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon garam masala
5 cups finely chopped kale
3 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1 inch cubes (about 1 large potato)
1 cup + 1 tablespoon chicken broth
salt and white pepper to taste

Prepare all the vegetables by chopping and have ready.

Heat 1 tablespoon broth in a medium stainless steel large size braising pot or skillet. Healthy Sauté onion, garlic, ginger and lamb in broth over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add garam masala, mixing well for about half a minute. Add 1 cup broth and stir in sweet potatoes and kale. Simmer on medium low heat covered for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until lamb, potatoes and kale are tender. Season
with salt and pepper.

Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup
Serves 8

A different vegetable mix soup which tastes great! It's very spicy and alternative to a curry. Mix the sweet potatoes with all the varieties for a nice unique taste!


1 28 ounce can tomatoes (fire roasted such as Muir Glen)
1 14 ounce can lentils
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium sweet potatoes (mix between varieties)
1 cup Shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon chili, crushed
1 teaspoon cumin
3 cups vegetable stock

Place lentils, vegetable stock, chili, cumin and garlic in a medium Dutch oven. Mix and cook to the boiling point.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer until soft. Mash vegetables and serve

Caribbean Squash and Sweet Potato Stew
Serves 6

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
3 medium onions, finely sliced
3 cups vegetable broth
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small minced chile pepper
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 16-ounce can tomatoes
1 small butternut squash (about 1 1/2 lbs.), peeled, seeded, cut into small chunks
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
pepper to taste
1 16-ounce can black beans, drained
1/4 cup fresh cilantro finely chopped, for garnish
1-2 limes,cut in wedges, for garnish

In a medium nonstick pot, cook onions in bubbling balsamic vinegar until tender-about 10 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients, except black beans and garnish. Cover cook on medium low heat until squash and sweet potatoes are cooked, about 20 minutes adding water if stew becomes too thick.

About 10 minutes before serving, add black beans and cook to heat through.
Serve over rice, with cilantro sprinkled over top and a squeeze of lime.


Roast Herbed Sweet Potatoes with Bacon & Onions
Makes 10 to 12 servings


3  thick slices applewood-smoked or peppered bacon, diced
2  pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
2  medium onions, cut into 8 wedges
1  teaspoon salt
1  teaspoon dried thyme
1/4  teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F. Cook bacon in large, deep skillet until crisp. Remove from heat. Transfer bacon to paper towels; set aside. Add potatoes and onions to drippings in skillet; toss until coated. Stir in salt, thyme and pepper.

Spread mixture in single layer in ungreased 15X10-inch jelly-roll pan or shallow roasting pan. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until golden brown and tender. Transfer to serving bowl; sprinkle with bacon.
Note:  Potatoes can be prepared and baked up to 4 hours before serving; let stand at room temperature. When turkey comes out of oven, turn oven to 375°F and reheat while turkey stands and is carved. (Or, bake at 325°F alongside turkey for 1 hour.)


Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Spicy Apricot Dipping Sauce
Serves 6


3 sweet potatoes (12 to 14 ounces each), peeled, cut into narrow wedges
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Spicy Apricot Dipping Sauce (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 450°F. Gently toss potatoes, oil, salt and pepper in large bowl until potatoes are evenly coated. Divide potatoes between two large cookie sheets or jelly-roll pans. Bake 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve hot with sauce.

Spicy Apricot Dipping Sauce
Serves 6

1  cup apricot jam
1/4  cup orange juice
1  tablespoon prepared mustard
1/4  teaspoon ground red pepper

Melt jam in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in orange juice, mustard and red pepper. Purée sauce in food processor or with immersible mixer.

Tip:  Sauce can be served with chicken, either as a dipping sauce, or brushed over cooked chicken and browned briefly under the broiler for a tasty glaze.


Sweet Potato and Chick Pea Melange
Serves 4

A simply divine dish to lead you into fall. Use it as a salad, side dish or entree.

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 medium pear, diced
2 dried red chili peppers (serrano, cayenne or Thai), broken into pieces
or 1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 mild green chili peppers, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 cups cooked sweet potato cubes
2 cups chick peas (garbanzo beans)
juice of 1 lemon
salt to taste
thinly sliced garlic chives for garnish

Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet and add the mustard seeds. When they start spluttering, add the pear, red pepper and green chilies and sauté for a minute or two. Stir in the seasoning, sweet potato cubes and chickpeas to the pan and stir continuously for a minute or two. Remove from the stove, toss with lemon juice and sprinkle with garlic chives. Serve warm or cold.

A tasty variation of this recipe is to combine grated coconut and raw mango slices with it. After seasoning the oil with spices add two teaspoons fresh lemon juice along with the drained chickpeas to the skillet. Pan-fry for a minute or two while stirring continuously. Remove from the stove. Sprinkle one medium size raw mango cut into small cubes and 1⁄2 cup freshly grated coconut and stir gently to mix. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves. Serve warm or cold.



Fall at Clagett Farm

Folks,

The Harvest Festival is upon us--Saturday October 21!! Let's have a grand old get together! See you there!

Clagett Farm CSA Recipes
Fall 2006

Recipes from “Cook For Life Balance” by Rita Calvert

Gratin of Sweet Potatoes     
by Dan Barber, Chef Owner and Creative Director of Blue Hill Restaurant

If this recipe seems average to you, just feel honored that you can simple prepare a dish that folks will pay a fortune for. Hailing from the Rockefeller Stone Barns Project in West Chester County, NY it’s a recipe that emulates the fall harvest. Dan is as concerned about his food as a scientist and his recipe is laid out in the professional style.

Gratin of Sweet Potatoes

butter 2 ounces
granny smith apples 1 lbs (peeled, cored and sliced 1/4 thick)
sweet potatoes 1 1/2 lbs (cut into rounds)
salt 1 tablespoon
cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon
white pepper several turns on a mill
grated nutmeg a big pinch
cream 1/2 cup
milk 1/2 cup
panko or fresh bread crumbs 1/2 cup

preheat oven to 375

In a non stick pan, melt butter and saute apples until caramel colored.
put the potatoes in a bowl and season with salt, cinnamon and pepper and nutmeg.
Pour over the cream and milk and mix well
Butter a deep dish (10 inches or so) and alternate layers of potatoes and apples, starting at the bottom with potatoes.
cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour

turn heat to 500. Sprinkle bread crumbs and return gratin to oven until bread crumbs are brown.

GINGER SWEET POTATO SALAD
Serves 6-8

If you like, add some julienne slices of turkey or ham for a complete meal.

3 pounds sweet potatoes or yams
1 cup of chopped celery
1 bunch scallions (with part of the green tops),thinly sliced
2/3 cup of raisins
2/3 cup pecans, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
Dressing:
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup mango chutney
grated rind of one lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon. salt
freshly ground black pepper


Boil the sweet potatoes or yams (in their skins) for 15 minutes or until just tender when pierced with a paring knife. When the potatoes are cool, peel them and cut them into 1/2 inch cubes. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients. Add the celery, scallions and raisins. Gently fold in the potatoes and pecans. If you are planning to hold the salad for any length of time in the refrigerator, reserve the pecans and fold them in at the last minute.


Simple Pumpkin Bread
1 large or 2 small loaves

2 cups mashed/pureed pumpkin or winter squash

Mix and make a well in the center:

3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups sugar

Add to the center along with the pumpkin and stir just until all is mixed in:

1 cup oil
4 eggs
2/3 cup water

Then if you like: chocolate chips

Pour into 1 large and 2 small oiled bread pans (or muffin tins). Bake at 350 for one hour. (Or less for muffins.)

Pumpkin Ice Cream

2 cups cooked & mashed pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup milk
2 cups whipping cream

Mix ingredients, COOL, and pour into Ice Cream Maker.


Southwestern Salmon & Black Beans
Serves 4

We would never have thought to combine salmon with black beans before. However, the blending of flavors of the sweetness of salmon, richness of black beans and zestiness of the topping is a wonderful combination. This recipe is a healthier way to enjoy Southwestern flavors without excess fat from lard and cheese. And it can be made easily, giving you a great way to enjoy the nutritional benefits of salmon.

1 1⁄2 lb salmon cut into 4 pieces, skin and bones removed
1 small onion minced
1 small red bell pepper diced 1/4 inch
4 medium cloves garlic pressed
1⁄2 cup + 1 TBS chicken or vegetable broth
15oz can black beans, drained
11⁄2 tablespoons red chili powder
about 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce, outer leaves discarded
1 medium avocado cut into cubes

Sauce:
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped pumpkin seeds
salt and pepper to taste

Season salmon with a little salt and pepper. Set aside while you chop and sauté vegetables.

Heat 1 TBS broth in a stainless steel 10-12 inch skillet. Healthy Sauté onion, bell pepper and garlic in broth over medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring frequently.

Add 1⁄2 cup broth, drained beans, and red chili powder. Cook for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

While beans are cooking preheat broiler on high. Place a metal skillet large enough for salmon under the heat to get hot. This takes about 10 minutes.

Mix together in a bowl cilantro, mint, basil, lemon juice, olive oil, pumpkin seeds, salt and pepper.

Place salmon in the hot pan and return to broiler about 5 inches from the heat source for best results. This is usually the upper part of the oven or broiler. Broil salmon for about 3-4 minutes for medium doneness. This is our Quick Broil cooking method. Serve salmon, beans and lettuce together on a plate. Top salmon and lettuce with cilantro topping.

Vegetarian Pepper Stir Fry
Serves 4

This recipe we created gives you a delicious, and easy way of receiving the many health benefits of vegetables in your meal in just 20 minutes. Our Healthy Stir-Fry cooking method makes it even healthier by not using heated oils. Feel free to add other vegetables you may have on hand to this dish if you have the time.

1 medium onion cut in half and sliced medium thick
1 tablespoon vegetable broth
4 medium cloves garlic, pressed
2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2-3 red bell peppers cut into 1⁄2 inch pieces
1 cup sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms, (remove stems)
2 cups sliced green cabbage
5 oz extra firm tofu cut into 1⁄2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
salt and white pepper to taste

Prepare ingredients to stir-fry.
Heat 1 TBS broth in a stainless steel wok or 12 inch skillet. Healthy Stir-Fry onion for about 2 minutes in broth over medium high heat stirring constantly.

Add red pepper and mushrooms. Continue to stir-fry for another 2 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and continue to cook stirring for another 2-3 minutes.

Add cabbage, and rest of ingredients and cook for another 2 minutes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.