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Summer Fruit Cobbler with Sweetpotato Cake Topping

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Summer Fruit Cobbler with Sweetpotato Cake Topping

Reprinted from “Sweet Potatoes: Roasted, Loaded, Fried, and Made into Pie,” by Mary-Frances Heck (Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2017)

This sweetpotato cake batter is enriched with almond flour, which offers a nutty flavor and a pleasant texture. Using several types of fruit for a cobbler lends nuance to the wholesome dessert.

Summer Fruit Cobbler with Sweetpotato Cake Topping

Summer Fruit Cobbler with Sweetpotato Cake Topping

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:
2 cups hulled and halved strawberries
2 cups raspberries
2 cups blackberries
2 cups chopped ripe peaches, apricots, or nectarines
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
3/4 cup cooked, pureed orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes (from about 9 ounces raw)
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

Instructions:

  1. Arrange a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat it to 350°F.

  2. Toss the strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and stone fruit in a 13x9x2-inch baking dish. In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup of the sugar and the cornstarch until the mixture is well blended. This simple act will ensure that the cornstarch is distributed evenly and gently thickens the fruit juices. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the fruit, then toss it again to coat the fruit evenly. Let sit while you make the batter.

  3. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, beat the butter and 1/4 cup of the sugar until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and beat to combine it fully; then beat in the sweetpotato puree and lemon zest. Add the dry ingredients, beating just to incorporate and form a stiff batter. Drop 6 to 8 heaping tablespoonfuls of the batter evenly over the fruit. Sprinkle the batter with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Set the cobbler on a rimmed baking sheet.

  4. Bake the cobbler until the center is bubbly and the cake is risen and golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Tip: You can also make small tea cakes with this batter and a couple cups of whatever fresh berries are in season. Divide the batter among 12 greased standard muffin cups and top each with a few berries. Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes.

Copyright © 2017 by Mary-Frances Heck. Photograph by Kristin Teig. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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Sweetpotato “Big Macs”

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Sweetpotato “Big Macs”

Reprinted from “Sweet Potatoes: Roasted, Loaded, Fried, and Made into Pie,” by Mary-Frances Heck (Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2017)

As a kid, I loved the classic Big Mac, and I still occasionally get a taste-memory craving for it. But, as an adult, I really don’t like the low-quality meat that’s part of the original package, so I recreated the sandwich at home, replacing the meat with crispy sweetpotato patties which go remarkably well with the tangy sauce, crunchy pickles, onions, iceberg lettuce, and American cheese, all on a sesame seed bun.

Sweet Potato Big Macs

Sweetpotato “Big Macs”

Makes 4 burgers

Ingredients:
2 large sweetpotatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed
4 sesame seed burger buns, plus 4 additional bottom buns
Burger Sauce (recipe follows)
1/4 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
24 dill pickle chips
4 slices American cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced onion or shallot

Instructions:

  1. Grate the sweetpotatoes on a box grater into a larger bowl. Season with the salt and pepper.

  2. Heat the oil to a depth of 1/4 inch in a large, nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Line a plate with brown paper or paper towels. When the oil shimmers, add 2 or 3 handfuls (about 1/2 cup each) of sweetpotato to the skillet in compact mounds. Let the sweetpotatoes fry into a patty, like a hash brown or latke, for about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until the patties are crispy, 2 more minutes. Drain the patties on the brown paper. Replenish the oil as needed to maintain a depth of 1/4 inch. Repeat with the remaining sweetpotatoes until you have 8 patties.

  3. Toast the buns. Line up the 8 bottom buns on a work surface. Spread 1 tablespoon of burger sauce on each and then top with shredded lettuce and pickle chips. Place a slice of cheese on half (4) of the bottom buns and add a patty on all of them. Top the patties with the onions, stack the burgers, and add the top buns.

Tip: The patties can be made up to 1 hour ahead; reheat them in a 400°F oven until hot and crispy, about 5 minutes.

Burger Sauce

Makes 1/2 cup (enough for 4 burgers)

1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
1 teaspoon pickle juice
1/2 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons chopped dill pickles
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 teaspoon paprika

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, pickle juice, honey, pickles, garlic, and paprika until smooth. The sauce will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Copyright © 2017 by Mary-Frances Heck. Photograph by Kristin Teig. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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Ultimate Sweetpotato and Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

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Ultimate Sweetpotato and Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

Reprinted from “Sweet Potatoes: Roasted, Loaded, Fried, and Made into Pie,” by Mary-Frances Heck (Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2017)

Make a batch of Sweet Potato Milk Bread Dough (see below) on the Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving or any big celebratory weekend. Shape half of the dough into the Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls for a dinner centerpiece, and use the other half to prep these cinnamon rolls to serve for breakfast the next morning. No hangover can resist the power of cream cheese frosting, I promise.

Ultimate Sweetpotato and Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls - for web site.jpg

Ultimate Sweetpotato and Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls

Makes 9 rolls

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) very soft unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
1/2 recipe Sweet Potato Milk Bread Dough (recipe follows), room temperature
Neutral oil or butter, for the work surface
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

For the icing

6 tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Butter a 9-inch square cake pan. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Put the dough on a lightly oiled work surface and pat it into a rectangle with a long side near you. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle that is about 18 × 12 inches and 1/4 inch thick; it is more important that the dough be 1/4 inch thick than an exact-size rectangle.

  3. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon, spread the soft butter in a thin, even layer over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle the brown sugar– cinnamon mixture over the butter.

  4. Beginning with the long side nearest you, lift up the edge of the dough and roll it away from you into a tight coil. Pinch the edge to seal, and then place the roll on the prepared baking sheet. Pop it into the freezer for 10 minutes.

  5. Using a long serrated knife, cut the chilled log of dough into 2-inch-thick rounds. Arrange the rounds, cut-side up, in the prepared cake pan, snuggling them together as needed. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap. Proof the dough at room temperature until puffy, 45 minutes to 1 hour. (Alternatively, let it proof slowly in the refrigerator overnight. Let the dough come to room temperature before baking.)

  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  7. Make the icing: In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, and beat again until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute. Icing can be kept at room temperature for up to 1 hour; cover and chill for up to 3 days.

  8. Bake the rolls until golden and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately spread the rolls with the icing. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before eating. Serve warm or at room temperature.

  9. Note: Make extra and freeze them: Shape the cinnamon rolls and arrange them 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze until frozen solid, then transfer to a gallon-size plastic zip-top bag. The day before baking, arrange them in a buttered 9-inch square cake pan, cover with plastic wrap, and defrost in the fridge. Let stand at room temperature until puffy, about 2 hours, before baking as instructed.

Sweetpotato Milk Bread Dough

This versatile dough is endlessly adaptable. Use it in the many variations in the following pages.

Makes 3 1/2 pounds dough, enough for two loaves, 32 rolls, or 24 hot dog buns

1 cup whole milk, warmed, plus more for brushing
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1/4-ounce envelope)
1 1/2 cups sweetpotato puree (from 1 pound orange-fleshed sweet potatoes)
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the bowl and the pans
1 tablespoon kosher salt
6 cups (27 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, gently stir together the 1 cup warm milk, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and the yeast. Let stand until the mixture becomes foamy, about 5 minutes.

  2. Add the sweet potato puree, the remaining 4 tablespoons sugar, the eggs, butter, and salt to the yeast mixture. Fit the machine with the hook attachment and mix the ingredients on low speed until smooth, about 1 minute. With the machine running, add the flour, 1 cup at a time. When all of the flour has been added, increase the speed to medium and knead the dough until it is silky smooth, about 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth, soft, and a little sticky. (Alternatively, to make the dough by hand, whisk the sweet potato, the remaining 4 tablespoons sugar, the eggs, butter, and salt into the yeast mixture until smooth. Place the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour the sweet potato mixture into the well and begin incorporating the flour with a wooden spoon. Continue stirring until the dough is too stiff to mix with the spoon. Lightly butter your hands and knead the dough in the bowl until it is smooth, about 10 minutes.)

  3. Brush a large, clean bowl with some melted butter. Shape the dough into a ball and set it in the bowl, seam-side down. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until almost doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Punch the dough down and use immediately or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Note: You’ll notice that the flour amounts are given in both volume and weight. Measuring either way is fine, but I find that, when baking, knowing the weight of flour is helpful, since it is a more accurate measurement.

Copyright © 2017 by Mary-Frances Heck. Photograph by Kristin Teig. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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Sweetpotato Toast Bites with Figs, Blue Cheese, Flaked Salt, and Honey

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Sweetpotato Toast Bites with Figs, Blue Cheese, Flaked Salt, and Honey

As you might imagine, we love sweetpotato toasts. But we also love taking that idea and turning it into bite-sized snacks and apps! Just like full-sized toasts, sweetpotato toast bites can be topped with pretty much anything you like—try a dollop of dip and a sprinkle of nuts, a slice of ham and a chunk of cheese, or a spoon of peanut butter and your favorite fruit.

This particular version, dressed up with dried figs, blue cheese, and a sprinkle of flaked salt, is easy yet impressive. Serve it for company, holidays, or any time you’re in the mood for something special.

Sweetpotato Toast Bites with Figs, Blue Cheese, Flaked Salt, and Honey - for web use.JPG

Sweetpotato Toast Bites with Figs, Blue Cheese, Flaked Salt, and Honey

Makes 12

Ingredients:
12 crosswise slices sweetpotato (about 1/4-inch thick) (see note)
2 ounces good-quality blue cheese (about 1/4 cup packed)
3 Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs, stemmed and quartered
12 small rosemary sprigs
About 1 teaspoon flaked sea salt
About 1/2 teaspoon pepper
About 1 tablespoon honey

Instructions:

  1. Cook the sweetpotato slices in your toaster oven as you would small slices of bread, using the most well-done setting, until tender (you might have to do this in batches, and each batch might have to cook two times). Set aside to cool to room temperature.

  2. Top each sweetpotato slice with 1 teaspoon of blue cheese, 1 fig quarter, and a rosemary sprig, arranging them on plates or a platter. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper, then drizzle with the honey and serve.

  3. Note: If you don’t have a toaster oven, use 3 or 4 lengthwise slices of sweetpotato and cook them in your toaster using the most well-done setting (you might have to do this two times). Then cut each toasted slice into 3 or 4 pieces to make 12 smaller toasts.

Recipe developed in partnership with Valley Fig Growers

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Sweetpotato Crostini with Red Wine California Figs

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Sweetpotato Crostini with Red Wine California Figs

Start your holiday party with this easy appetizer, pairing sweet-savory California sweetpotatoes and wine-plumped California figs. The combination is irresistible!

Sweetpotato Crostini with Red Wine California Figs - any usage must include -photo by Annelies Zijderveld- - for web use.JPG

Sweetpotato Crostini with Red Wine California Figs

Makes 30 crostini

Ingredients:
1 large baguette, sliced into thirty 1/4-inch rounds

For the sweetpotato spread

1 pound orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 3 cups)
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

For the red wine California figs

1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (from 1 orange)
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 cup sliced Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs (4 ounces)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Toast the baguette slices until stiff, about 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.

  3. Meanwhile, make the sweetpotato spread: In a medium saucepan, boil or steam the sweetpotatoes until fork tender, about 20 minutes.

  4. In a medium microwaveable bowl, combine the honey, olive oil, and rosemary and microwave until warm, about 25 seconds. Add the sweetpotatoes and mash the mixture to a paste. Add the salt and pepper and set aside to cool.

  5. Meanwhile, make the red wine figs: In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the wine, orange juice, and brown sugar and heat until just boiling. Add the figs, cover, and set aside for 5 minutes.

  6. To assemble the crostini: Drain the figs. Spread the crostini with the sweetpotato mixture, top with one or two sliced figs, and serve.

Recipe and photo by Annelies Zijderveld

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Grilled Sweetpotato Tacos with Queso Fresco and Cucumber-Tomato Salsa

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Grilled Sweetpotato Tacos with Queso Fresco and Cucumber-Tomato Salsa

Grilled sweetpotato wedges are delicious alongside burgers, hot dogs, or anything else off the grate, but they’re also great as a featured ingredient in tacos, salads, and sandwiches. Here, they’re dusted with Mexican spices, then tucked into tortillas and topped with creamy cheese, crunchy lettuce, and fresh salsa. Add a watermelon wedge or a side of grilled peppers, and you’ve got a near-perfect summer meal!

Grilled Sweetpotato Tacos with Queso Fresco and Cucumber-Tomato Salsa

Grilled Sweetpotato Tacos with Queso Fresco and Cucumber-Tomato Salsa

Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 to 3 limes, divided
1 cup 1/4-inch diced tomatoes
1/2 cup 1/4-inch diced cucumber
1/4 cup 1/4-inch diced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound yellow- or orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes, cut lengthwise into 3/4-inch wedges
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Eight 6- or 8-inch corn or flour tortillas
3/4 cup crumbled queso fresco (see notes)
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce or green cabbage
Hot sauce, for serving (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Squeeze one or two of the limes to yield 2 tablespoons of juice. In a medium bowl, combine the lime juice, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, and garlic. Add salt to taste and set aside. Cut the remaining lime into wedges and set aside.

  2. Heat a grill to medium-high.

  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the sweetpotatoes, oil, salt, coriander, chili powder, and cumin. Wrap the tortillas in foil.

  4. Arrange the sweetpotatoes on the grill and cook until lightly charred and tender, 6 to 8 minutes, turning halfway through. Place the tortillas on a cooler part of the grill and cook until warm, 5 to 8 minutes.

  5. Arrange the tortillas on plates or a platter and top with the sweetpotatoes, queso fresco, lettuce or cabbage, and salsa. Serve with the lime wedges and hot sauce, if using, on the side.

Notes: Look for queso fresco in the Mexican cheese section of your supermarket. If you can’t find it, substitute crumbled feta or goat cheese.

To make this simple recipe even more so, omit the first seven ingredients and the first step of the instructions, and substitute one lime, cut into wedges for serving, and two cups of store bought salsa.

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Grilled Sweetpotato Wedges

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Grilled Sweetpotato Wedges

Grilled sweetpotatoes are easy to make and easy to love, and they’re perfect alongside burgers, hot dogs, or anything else off the grate. Start with this basic recipe, then experiment with adding your favorite herbs and spices—for example, chopped fresh rosemary, cinnamon, or smoked paprika would all be awesome. (Want more ways to enjoy sweetpotato wedges? Try our recipe for Grilled Sweetpotato Tacos with Queso Fresco and Cucumber-Tomato Salsa.)

Grilled Sweetpotato Wedges

Grilled Sweetpotato Wedges

Serves 3 or 4

Ingredients:
1 pound yellow- or orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes, cut lengthwise into 3/4-inch wedges
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling

Instructions:

  1. Heat a grill to medium-high.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the sweetpotatoes, oil, and salt.

  3. Arrange the sweetpotatoes on the grill and cook until lightly charred and tender, 6 to 8 minutes, turning halfway through. Sprinkle with more salt and serve.

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Ash-Roasted Sweetpotatoes with Chipotle-Orange Sauce

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Ash-Roasted Sweetpotatoes with Chipotle-Orange Sauce

Inspired by the signature sweetpotato dish at the acclaimed Cala restaurant in San Francisco, this simple, sublime recipe--created by Carolyn Jung of TheFoodGal.com--will make you look at sweetpotatoes in a whole different light. It features whole sweetpotatoes buried in ash, and roasted until blackened on the outside, and sweet, smoky, and luscious within. The flesh gets spread on warm tortillas with a dollop of creamy chipotle sauce. Sounds amazing, right? Visit Carolyn's site for the recipe.

Ash-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle-Orange Sauce

Photo by Carolyn Jung/FoodGal.com

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