Monday, July 14, 2008

Sweet Potato Week

Okay, okay, I'm a potato convert. Well, sweet potatoes anyway. I enjoyed them enough to wonder if maybe I've been wrong about claiming that mashed potatoes feel like they're choking me all these years. That said, I don't really think I'll expand to trying to like potatoes. Sweet potatoes are chock full of beta-cartotene, vitamin C and B6 and dietary fiber. As far as I'm concerned regular potatoes are just another ordinary run of the mill starch. And I already like sweet potatoes now, so it seems silly to mess with a good thing.

Oddly the one form I didn't really enjoy as much with the sweet potato was the sweet version. I know it is often pied or mixed with brown sugar or marshmallows, but that seemed a little much to me. Then again, I wonder if maybe I'm not being a little unfair to the sugary method because I didn't really have the ingredients to make it properly (ie marshmallows, brown sugar, pie fixings) so instead I just sprinkled on some cinnamon and white sugar (one of the pre-mixed things you can buy for making cinnamon toast) and hoped for the best. Once I get set up for actual baking, I may have to give it another go.

Another thing I'm saving for later that I thought looked good was a recipe for sweet potato coconut soup. As soon as I get a blender, I will be enjoying such festive summer soups with relish!

But enough on the negative and the things I was unable to accomplish in my limited cooking space! I made some delectable sweet potato fries that were well received thanks to the valuable donation of a friend with a full size oven and an apartment with a nice roof for sweet potato fry eating. We made one batch simply with a little kosher salt, but after those turned out so well, we thought we'd mix things up with the second batch with the addition of spices. He had curry and cumin (and an assortment of spices that didn't seem to lend themselves to sweet potatoes as well). The curry were delicious and the cumin were decent, but not quite as good. Considering the ease of this particular snack food, I could definitely see doing this in the future. I should also add, that I didn't really fry them because I hate frying things. Instead, I tossed them with olive oil and threw them in the oven for a while. They were perhaps not quite as crisp, but overall still delicious and perhaps slightly more healthful.

The other delicious find of this week was some sweet potato ravioli at an Italian grocery store. I'd been contemplating trying a sweet potato gnocchi, but really why go through all that trouble when you can just buy delicious pasta. I'm not sure about the availability of sweet potato ravioli just anywhere because I for one had never seen it before, but should you in your travels ever come across some--my recommendation is that its quite worth your time. In fact, I have a whole box of them, and right now I'm wondering if its too early in the day to fire up the hot plate and start some cooking.

So yes, to sum up: well done sweet potatoes! Its nice to find that beta-carotene is available to the masses in a delicious vegetable and that those snotty carrots don't have some sort of dominion over it.

Next week: radishes!


Anonymous said...

Please explain about the curry on the sweet potato "fries." Did you just sprinkle curry powder on before cooking? A little, a lot?

In France they eat raw radishes with a sliver of unsalted (delicious French) butter. Just cut in half, put on the butter and enjoy. I recently tried this with brie and it's also very good.

I think you can cook radishes with fresh green peas.

R. Sandfield, if you are reading, send your marinated radish recipe. Of course they also pep up a salad.


fafner said...

We just sprinkled on some curry powder and tossed them in it. We didn't add very much because we didn't have very much, but it was really good!

You should email him to get the marinated radishes--that sounds intriguing.

Melissa K. said...

I'm thinking you should try Magic Fruit. It's the hot new thing all the kids are trying in Brooklyn. Maybe you'll go to a Magic Fruit party!

Basically they are these rare little berries that you pop open and rub all over your tongue. They numb all your tastebuds except for the sweet receptors for about an hour, and when you taste things you don't normally like, they take on a deep, complex sweet flavor that isn't totally saccharine.

You should TOTALLY try them.

Melissa K. said...

Snerk, I totally meant Miracle Fruit. Magic Fruit is something in a bottle. Try this:

Alexa said...

duuude, sweet potato pie is so good! i've been making this one recipe of sweet potato pie for the last couple years that involves caramelizing sugar, rum (very important), and a gingersnap crust (extremely important). if you ever want to give sweet potato pie a second chance, this is the way to do it.

Alexa said...

i also just realized that i slept through phone time today. what a jerk!