The Cuban Swet Potato (Boniato))

Today was a particularly stressful Monday–thanks to disappearing content on my computer-assisted course. But one has to eat, stress or no stress.  My quick lunch today was the Cuban sweet potato (Boniato) that I brought home from the grocery store yesterday.

True to my usual idea about checking out something new, I did some skulking on the web, and decided that the best way to get acquainted with this new vegetable would be to prepare it as simply as possible.  Being rushed and needing uninterrupted computer time to recover from technological boo-boo, I just treated it like a baked potato–washed, oiled, couple light stabs with the tip of a paring knife (so it wouldn’t explode), popped into a 350°F oven for about 40 minutes. (That’s when it was soft enough to smush, well, like a baked potato.)

A little sprinkle of fleur de sel, was all it really needed, but I confess to checking it out with a little unsalted butter, too.  It was not as wet as the usual orange sweet potato though more moist than a russet baking potato.  The flesh was pale yellow, and not as sweet as the orange-fleshed  sweet potatoes, nor was it as dry,  as pale, or quite as sweet as the now-available white sweet potatoes.

I enjoyed it for lunch!  More Cuban sweet potatoes will find their way into my kitchen before too long if they are available.  I really should check things like nutritional information and glycemic index on it too.

Now off to the kitchen to pop some veggies and potato into the Römertopf, and then back to the computer to finish the recovery project!

(Hey, I’m also patting myself on the back that this new veggie came into the house yesterday and I ate it today–did not allow it to loiter in the crisper.)

Thanksgiving foods…some thoughts.

As we approach the feast tomorrow, I thought I’d share this link to some thoughts on Thanksgiving foods:  Mark Bittman’s column from The New York Times on another Thanksgiving tradition that deserves more thought–the sweet potato.

Wishing you all happy Thanksgiving!

Some good eating ahead…

I’m back from the farmers’ market ready to settle in for the afternoon with some hot chocolate, book, and cat.  It was a chilly market this morning with the wind blowing a lot of the time–it was more than just breezy–so it feels so good to be indoors.

brought home from the farmers' market.

treasures from the farmers' market

I came home with lots of “finds” from the market:  strawberries, kohlrabi, both white and blue sweet potatoes, cabbage, garlic scapes, and one of my favorite cheeses (Carolina Moon) from Chapel Hill Creamery.  Now for some meal planning!

The weather is still cool enough that I think that the cabbage is going to be joined by some country-style pork ribs in one of my favorite “comfort foods”–braised pork and cabbage. A fair number of the strawberries have already disappeared while I was at the market–breakfast.  I’m still contemplating the fate of the garlic scapes, the sweet potatoes, and the kohlrabi, though some of the kohlrabi may just be eaten as a salad, just dressed with a vinaigrette.  Perhaps the other will find its way into the sauté pan.

I’m still contemplating the garlic scapes–a quick search has turned up a number of possibilities from blogs that I like to read.

I was so pleased to see white sweet potatoes at the market–they’re not as moist as the yellow/orange ones–that’s likely to end up as a baked potato.  I’ve read about blue ones, but this is my first time to try one, so that will be an experiment.  The grower tells me that the blue keeps it color when cooked and that the texture is similar to the white–but that may call for some research and recipe hunting although I might just roast a mix of the white and the blue so that I can taste them  side by side.

The cheese?  Well, that’s likely to be paired with some good bread and a nice robust red wine as my evening snack!

Sweet potato & chile hash

Basic Sweet Potato & Chile Hash

Adapted from FineCooking, November 2001”Delicious Wayswith Sweet Potatoes” by Karen & BenBarker. (There are more awesome recipes in the article.The Chile Mayonnaise recipe is a keeper, too.)

Here is a recipe that I love–the combination of the sweetness of the sweet potato, with the slight “burn” of the chile pepper is just great.  The hash is excellent on its own–with grilled meats, or fish as well, and a fantastic accompaniment to eggs any way you like them.   It holds well in the fridge so “leftover” is not a bad thing with this.  If you ignore quantities, just pay attention to the flavors, you can use that half sweet potato left from the roasted Brussels sprouts to get a similar side dish in single-serving quantity since the recipe calls for you to precook the sweet potato.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil; more as needed.
  • 1 small onion, diced (to yield 1 cup)
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced (to yield ½ cup)
  • 2 small fresh poblano or Anaheim chiles (or other medium-hot chiles), cored, seeded, and diced (to yield ¾ cup)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1-2 jalapeños, cored, seeded, and minced
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt; more to taste
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  • Cook the diced sweet potatoes in boiling salted water until firm-tender, about 3 minutes.  Drain well and set aside.
  • In a large nonstick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat.
  • Cook the onion, red pepper, and diced chiles, (except the jalapeños) stirring frequently, until all are well softened and the onion is golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic and jalapeños, cook for 1 minute. Transfer to a plate.
  • Increase the heat to medium and heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in the pan.
  • When the oil is not, add the sweet potatoes and cook, tossing frequently, until the edges begin to brown, about 10 minutes.
  • Return t he onion and pepper mixture to the pan.
  • Stir in the salt, cilantro, oregano, and lime juice; season with pepper to taste….