Tag Archives: sweet potato

Baked Root Vegetable Fries

root veg fries tastefood

You can have your fries and still feel virtuous with these colorful roots. Give the russet potato a well-deserved break, and substitute carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, or sweet potato for the ubiquitous spud. As their name implies, root veggies are the roots of growing plants, which means that they are storehouses of energy and nutrients. Not only that, they are jammed with pent up flavor and natural sugars, which translates to sweet, earthy, nuttiness on the plate.

Mix and match your favorite roots and spice to your taste. Simple salt and pepper is always a winner, or spice them up with a zesty mixture of cumin, paprika, and cayenne. And yes, you can have your dipping sauce too without tipping the scales. Try a cool and creamy Greek yogurt sauce infused with garlic and chipotle for a smoky, low fat and highly addictive sauce. Alternatively, ditch the sauce and ramp up the garlic notes with a zesty lemon, garlic and parsley gremolata.

Baked Root Vegetable Fries 
Serves 4 to 6

1 large parsnip
1 large carrot
1 medium sweet potato
1 medium rutabaga
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Chipotle Sauce:
3/4 cup Greek whole milk yogurt
1 chipotle in adobo, minced
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar

Lemon Gremolata:
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley leaves
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

Heat the oven to 425°F. Cut the root vegetables in 2-inch batons, about 3/8-inch thick. Place in a large bowl. Add the oil,  salt and pepper and toss to coat. Spread in one layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake on the lowest rack of the oven until browned on the bottom, 20 to 25 minutes. Move the baking sheet to the top rack of the oven and bake until golden brown on top, about 20 minutes.

While the vegetables are roasting, whisk the chipotle sauce ingredients in a small bowl if using. Serve the fries with the sauce for dipping.

Alternatively, remove fries from oven and toss with the gremolata ingredients.

Root Vegetable Mash

mashMashed Sweet Potato, Celery Root and Rutabaga

Root vegetables are winter’s best kept secret. Packed with nutrients, natural sugars and starch, the lowly root is a healthy and flavorful substitute for the ubiquitous potato, and a superb way to get your vitamins and nutrients in the cold weather season. A good peel of skin reveals a rainbow of colors ranging from magenta to ochre to creamy white, sure to brighten any dreary winter day – and your holiday table. Feel free to mix and match roots, such as sweet potato, parsnip, rutabaga, carrot, celery root, and of course the dependable russet, to your taste and preference.

Root Vegetable Mash

Choose a balance of sweet and savory roots for even flavor (I used 1 pound each of sweet potato, celery root and rutabaga) and mash to your desired consistency. I like to leave my roots a little chunky for a more rustic presentation.

3 pounds mixed roots
Salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
Freshly ground black pepper

Peel the root vegetables and cut into 1-inch chunks. Place in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and cook until vegetables are tender and easily pierced with a fork. Drain and return to the pot. Let cool 5 minutes. Add the garlic, butter, sour cream, and yogurt. Mash with a potato masher or in a food mill to desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into a serving bowl and serve warm.

Prepare ahead: The mash may be prepared up to 1 day in advance of serving. Cool completely and transfer to a buttered, deep gratin dish. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before serving. Preheat oven to 325°F. Dot the top of the mash with 1 tablespoon butter and cover with foil. Bake in oven until heated through, 35 to 45 minutes.

Sunday Supper: Braised Short Ribs and Sweet Potato Mash

~ Braised and Glazed Beef Short Ribs ~

Never mind that September is the “real” summer in San Francisco. As you may know, in the Bay area our summer months are characterized by mist and fog and accessorized with fleece. September and October are the glorious weather months, brandishing golden sunshine, warm days and air as soft as butter.

Even still.

Once school starts up and Labor Day is crossed off the calendar, I can’t help myself. I start fingering my woolies, eyeing the fireplace, and reaching for my Dutch-oven. Sundays become slow-food days, meant for braises, stews and roasts, accompanied by squidgy mashes and bubbling gratins, with the aroma of meat and spice wafting through the house. It may be warm outside in San Francisco, but the smells of fall are in the air – and in the kitchen.

Braised and Glazed Short Ribs
Serves 4 to 6

8 4-inch short ribs with bone, 3 1/2 – 4 pounds
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 medium daikon radish, peeled and chopped, about 1 cup
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 750-ml. bottle full-bodied red wine
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1/4 cup soy sauce

Heat oven to 325 F (170 C). Sprinkle the short ribs all over with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a Dutch oven or large heavy oven-proof pot with lid over medium-high heat. Brown the short ribs on all sides, in batches, without overcrowding the pan. Transfer short ribs to a plate. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from the pot. Add onion, carrot, daikon and garlic. Sauté over medium-high heat, scraping up brown bits, until vegetables brighten in color and begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add paprika, cumin, coriander and chili powder. Sauté until fragrant, 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients, stirring to blend. Return short ribs to the pot, submerging in the wine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 2 to 3 minutes to allow the alcohol to burn off. Remove from heat and cover. Transfer pot to oven. Cook for 3 hours, or until meat is tender, stirring occasionally. Remove pot from oven and increase oven temperature to 425 F. Transfer short ribs to a roasting pan or baking dish. Bring sauce to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until thickened and reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Brush the meat with the reduced sauce. Place roasting pan in oven and roast ribs until they are glazed and beginning to crisp, about 15 minutes. Serve with Sweet Potato Mash.

If you like this, you  might enjoy these recipes:
Beer-Braised Chipotle Short Ribs from TasteFood
Korean-Braised Short Ribs from Appetite for China
Beef Bourguignon from TasteFood
Slow-Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Ginger and Scallion Beef from Rasa Malaysia

Adult Spaghettio’s: Anelletti with Bacon, Peas and Sweet Potato

~ Anelletti, Bacon, Sweet Potato, Peas, Sage, Parmigiano ~

This recipe is a celebration of bacon. Not just any bacon, but a wedge of my own home-cured bacon: a wicked habit I developed after a year of making my own charcuterie courtesy of Charcutepalooza. Since then, I always have a stash of bacon on hand, portioned from a hefty slab I cure every few months.

Once again I found myself this week at the dinner hour when I hadn’t shopped and the refrigerator was bare. (How does this happen when I cook and write about food?)  In this situation, an easy improvised pasta dinner is on the menu. Naturally, I reached for a hunk of bacon, cubed and fried it, rendering a slick of fat. Normally I would discard the fat and proceed from there, but since it was my own bacon, I wasn’t ready to part with it, preferring to celebrate it somehow, so I dumped a chopped sweet potato unearthed from the vegetable bin into the pan, frying the potato until glistening and tender. Not quite finished, I gave a few semi-wilted sage leaves a reprieve (I said my refrigerator was empty) and fried them until crisp. Now I was ready to discard the bacon fat, all but a tablespoon, which I used to sauté a little garlic and and a handful of peas just long enough to release the garlic’s aroma and brighten the peas.  Then all of the ingredients, redolent with bacon, converged in a bowl with a wonderful pasta I discovered in my pantry, smuggled home from a long-ago trip to Italy. I call them adult spaghettio’s.  Continue Reading Anelletti with bacon, Peas and Sweet Potato

Sweet and Red Potato Mash

~ Sweet Potatoes, Red Bliss Potatoes and Celery Root Mash ~

It’s the time of year for soft and fluffy things. This applies to our food as well as our clothes.  As we wrap ourselves in wool and light the fire, we contemplate sating meals to comfort and fill our bellies. This simple side will do just that. Sweet and red potatoes are smashed together with celery root in a rustic rendition of fluffy mashed potatoes. Faintly sweet with potato and redolent of roasted garlic, this savory side is mellow and rich, promising to warm us as much on the inside as our fleece is protecting us on the outside.

Sweet and Red Potato Mash

Whole milk Greek style yogurt adds body and creaminess without excess fat to the potatoes. If you prefer extra richness, substitute sour cream for the yogurt. Serves 4-6.

2 pounds red potatoes with skin, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 pound sweet potato, peeled, cut in 1 inch pieces
1/2 pound celery root (celeriac), peeled, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, divided
Salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt or sour cream
1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Sage leaves for garnish

Combine potatoes and celery root in a large pot. Peel and smash 3 garlic cloves. Add to the pot. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until potatoes are very soft. Drain. Return to pot and cool slightly. Mince the remaining garlic and add to the potatoes. Add butter and yogurt. Mash with a potato masher to desired consistency. Stir in cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, garnished with chopped sage leaves.

If you like this, you might enjoy these TasteFood recipes:
Root Vegetable Gratin
Beet Gratin with Gruyere and Thyme
Smashed Potatoes and Celery Root with Horseradish

or these recipes from the food blogs:
Sweet Potato Hummus from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Creamy Sweet Potato Soup from Simply Recipes
Kale and Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes from 101 Cookbooks

Root Vegetable Gratin

If you are searching for holiday side dishes, Root Vegetable Gratin is a fresh alternative to a traditional potato gratin. Layers of rutabaga and sweet potato alternate with red potatoes in this colorfully striated dish flecked with sage.  The root vegetables lend an extra dimension to this rustic winter gratin with their sweet earthy flavor, while adding a more nutritious alternative to the simple potato.

Root Vegetable Gratin
Serves 6-8

16 ounces sour cream
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 medium red potatoes
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
1 large rutabaga, peeled
6 ounces Gruyère cheese, finely grated

Preheat oven to 375 F. (190 C.) Butter a gratin dish.
Combine sour cream, garlic, sage, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a bowl and mix well. Thinly slice potatoes and rutabaga, preferably with a mandoline. Arrange 2 layers of red potatoes, overlapping, in bottom of gratin dish. Spread a thin layer of the sour cream over the potatoes. Sprinkle with a little Gruyere cheese. Cover with a double layer of sweet potatoes. Spread with a thin layer of sour cream and a sprinkling of Gruyere. Repeat with a layer of rutabaga. Repeat process until all of the vegetables have been incorporated. (There should be about 6 layers in all.) Thoroughly top gratin with remaining sour cream. Sprinkle a liberal amount of Gruyère over sour cream. Bake in oven until vegetables are tender and top of gratin is brown and bubbling, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. (Loosely cover gratin with buttered foil if browning too fast.) Serve garnished with fresh sage leaves.

If you like this, you might enjoy these TasteFood recipes:
Beet Gratin with Gruyère and Thyme
Smashed Potatoes with Celery Root and Horseradish
Kale, Bulgur and Carrot Salad

or these gratin recipes from the food blogs:
Onion Gratin with Rosemary and Thyme from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Potato Fennel Gratin from Herbivoracious
Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin from Smitten Kitchen

Southwestern Spiced Sweet Potato Fries with Chili-Cilantro Sour Cream

 

Sweet Potato Fries

Here is the good news:  Sweet Potatoes are one of the most nutritious vegetables you can eat.  They are packed with dietary fiber, Vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, protein and complex carbohydrates. Not only that, they are low in calories and taste great.  There are many ways to eat a sweet potato. They can be mashed, baked, puréed and roasted.  They are delicious in soups and stews, curries and ragouts.  And, of course, their natural sweetness makes them a perfect addition to desserts – puréed in pie fillings and baked in breads and cakes.

These fries are one of my favorite preparations. The fries are sweet and salty with a fiery kick from the added spices and served with a cooling chili-cilantro sour cream dipping sauce.   They are quick to prepare and healthy to eat, since they are not deep-fried, but roasted in a hot oven.  I’m not sure if they should be called a side dish, snack or meal, but they are guaranteed to be gobbled up faster than you can say “Sweet Potato Fries.”

*This recipe was chosen as the winner in a competition hosted by Food52 and will be published in their upcoming cookbook.  You can find this recipe and many other delicious recipes on their site, and have a chance to cast your votes for favorite recipes.

Southwestern Spiced Sweet Potato Fries

I like to keep the skin on my sweet potatoes adding texture and extra nutrients to this healthy side dish.  Serves 4 -6 as a side dish or snack.

2 large sweet potatoes, cut in large matchsticks/batons approximately 1/4 inch by 2 inch
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chile powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste

Chili-Cilantro Sour Cream (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 425 F. (220 C.)
Toss sweet potatoes and olive oil in a large bowl.  Combine salt, cumin, chile powder, paprika, pepper and cayenne in a small bowl.  Add spices to potatoes and toss to coat.  Arrange potatoes in one layer on baking sheet.  Bake in oven on lowest rack 10 minutes. Turn potatoes with a spatula and bake 10 more minutes.  Remove from oven and serve with Chili-Cilantro Sour Cream.

Chili-Cilantro Sour Cream:

1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons sweet chili sauce
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 heaping tablespoon chopped cilantro

Combine all the ingredients except the cilantro in a medium bowl and whisk together. Stir in cilantro.

Baked Root Vegetable Purée

Root Vegetable Puree tf

There is no set rule for the types of root vegetables you can use in this recipe.  In fact, what you see on the ingredients list is what happened to be in my kitchen when I set out to make a this dish to serve with roast chicken  last night.  As I puréed the steamed vegetables, I envisioned doctoring it with all sorts of extra spices, a little grated cheese, maybe even some minced onion.  But then I tasted the purée, and was blown away by its soft, sweet, nutty flavor.  Mild and delicate, all it needed was salt and pepper and a dollop of sour cream to lighten its texture.  For a little autumnal flourish, I topped the purée with fresh sage leaves before baking, so their woody flavor would lightly infuse the vegetables.

Baked Root Vegetable Purée
Baking the purée creates a crusty texture on its top.  If you would like a soft purée, omit the baking step.  The sage leaves will lightly infuse the purée with their flavor during baking.

Serves 6-8 as a side dish

3 medium parsnips
2 large turnips
1 large sweet potato
1 large rutabaga (swede)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup (60  ml.) creme fraiche or sour cream
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Sage leaves for garnish

Peel and cut vegetables in 2 inch chunks.  Steam in a large pot until very tender, 20-30 minutes.  Transfer in two batches to a food processor.  Purée each batch with 2 tablespoons butter. Combine puréed vegetables, sour cream, salt and pepper in large bowl and mix well.  Pour into baking dish.  (Purée can be made to this point up to one day in advance.  Allow to cool completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before baking.)
Arrange sage leaves on top of purée, pressing gently.  Bake in pre-heated 350 F. oven 25 minutes.  Remove and serve immediately.