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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Grilled Lamb and Sweetpotato Kabobs with Quinoa, Garlic, Lemon, and Mint

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Grilled Lamb and Sweetpotato Kabobs with Quinoa, Garlic, Lemon, and Mint

Lamb has a natural sweetness that makes it a perfect pairing for sweetpotatoes. For example, we love baked sweetpotatoes with broiled lamb chops and grilled sweetpotato wedges with lamburgers. And we bet you would, too.

Here, we take the combo to new heights, adding lemon, olive oil, tons of garlic, and fresh mint. Great for a weekend barbeque with friends or a weeknight dinner with family, it’s all good.

Grilled Lamb and Sweetpotato Kabobs with Quinoa, Garlic, Lemon, and Mint

Grilled Lamb and Sweetpotato Kabobs with Quinoa, Garlic, Lemon, and Mint

Serves 6

Ingredients:
3 lemons
12 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided, plus more to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, divided, plus more to taste
3/4 cup olive oil
1 boneless leg of lamb (about 3 pounds), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 pounds orange- or yellow-fleshed sweetpotatoes, or a combination, cut into 1-inch dice
1 cup quinoa
3/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

Special equipment: about 18 10-inch metal skewers (see note)

Instructions:

  1. Zest the lemons. Juice the zested lemons to yield 6 tablespoons of juice. In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 3/4 teaspoon of the pepper, whisking to dissolve the salt. Whisk in the oil. Set aside 2/3 cup of the mixture, then transfer the remaining mixture to a large resealable bag and add the lamb and sweetpotatoes. Seal the bag, squeezing out as much air as possible, and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for as long as overnight. (If refrigerated, return to room temperature before proceeding.)
  2. Cook the quinoa according to package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat a grill to medium heat and lightly oil the grate. Thread the lamb and sweetpotatoes onto skewers (discard the marinade). Sprinkle the skewers on all sides with the remaining 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 3/4 teaspoon of pepper. Grill the skewers, turning on all sides, until the lamb is done to your liking and the sweetpotatoes are lightly charred and tender, about 15 minutes for medium-rare.
  4. Stir the tomatoes, scallions, about half of the mint, and about 2/3 of the remaining lemon mixture into the quinoa. Arrange the quinoa on plates or a platter and top with the skewers. Drizzle with the remaining lemon mixture, sprinkle with the remaining mint, and serve.
  5. Note: It’s easiest to thread sweetpotatoes onto metal skewers. If you prefer to use wood or bamboo, try “pre-drilling” the sweetpotatoes with a metal skewer or something similar. (And as always, soak wood or bamboo skewers in water at least 10 minutes before using them on the grill.)

Recipe developed in partnership with the California Sheep Commission

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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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Braised Sausage, Lentils, and White Sweetpotatoes

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Braised Sausage, Lentils, and White Sweetpotatoes

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

This soulful one-pot meal can be pulled together in less than an hour, but it eats like a braise that cooked all day. The sausages plump and become tender as they cook slowly along with the creamy sweetpotatoes and lentils. Pair with a Pinot Gris, and you have a meal fit for company.

Braised Sausage Lentils and White Sweet Potatoes

Braised Sausage, Lentils, and White Sweetpotatoes

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound pork or chicken Italian sausage (4 or 5 links), preferably a mix of spicy and sweet
1 large onion, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons
6 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Pinch of dried red chile flakes (optional)
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup French green lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 large white-fleshed sweetpotato (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch wedges
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
3 cups chicken broth
Kosher or fine sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sausages and cook, turning with tongs to color evenly, until browned all over, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the sausages to a plate and add the onion and garlic to the pot. Stir to coat in the fat and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook the onion and garlic until they are limp and pick up a bit of color, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and chile flakes, if using, working the paste into the onions and garlic until the oil in the pan is terra-cotta colored, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the white wine into the pot and stir, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the lentils, sweetpotato, rosemary, and bay leaf. Snuggle the sausages into the pot. Pour the broth over everything and season lightly with salt. Increase the heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Cover and slide the pot into the oven. Braise until the sausages are tender, the lentils and sweetpotatoes are cooked through, and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 40 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Tip: You can cook this dish a day ahead, let it cool, and store it in the refrigerator overnight. When you’re ready to eat, rewarm it gently on the stove.

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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Chicken and Sweetpotato Stew with Scallion Salsa Verde

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Chicken and Sweetpotato Stew with Scallion Salsa Verde

This stew is a little Latin, a little East Indian, and all yum. The vernal sauce that’s spooned on top—a combo of COOC-certified California extra virgin olive oil, lime juice, scallions, and herbs—provides just the right amount of brightness to complement the hearty stew.

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Chicken and Sweetpotato Stew with Scallion Salsa Verde

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
2 cups chicken broth, or more as desired
1/2 cup uncooked green lentils
6 tablespoons olive oil, ideally COOC-certified California extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 1/4 pounds orange- or yellow-fleshed sweetpotatoes, or a combination, cut into 1-inch dice
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, thighs, or a combination, cut into 1-inch dice
One 14.5- to 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
1 or 2 limes
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
About 1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream, for serving

Instructions:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the broth and lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside (the lentils won’t be fully cooked).
  2. While the lentils are cooking, in a large saucepan or small stockpot over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the sweetpotatoes, chili powder, coriander, cumin, salt, and black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken and sweetpotatoes are lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garbanzos and the broth and lentil mixture, scraping up any browned bits in the saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sweetpotatoes and lentils are tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 12 minutes. (If the mixture seems too thick, add more broth as desired.)
  4. Meanwhile, finely zest one of the limes. Squeeze the zested lime and the additional lime if necessary to yield 2 tablespoons of juice. In a small bowl, combine the zest, juice, scallions, cilantro, parsley, chile, and remaining 1/4 cup of oil. Add salt to taste and set aside.
  5. Taste the stew and add more salt and/or pepper to taste. Serve garnished with the yogurt and salsa verde, with any remaining salsa verde on the side.

Recipe developed in partnership with the California Olive Oil Council

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Harissa Chicken and Sweetpotato Sheet Pan Supper

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Harissa Chicken and Sweetpotato Sheet Pan Supper

It only takes a few ingredients and a single sheet pan to cook up this deeply flavorful dinner, where the earthy spice of harissa—a North African and Middle Eastern red chile paste—is complemented by fresh COOC-certified California extra virgin olive oil, tangy yogurt, and bright herbs.

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Harissa Chicken and Sweetpotato Sheet Pan Supper

Serves 4

Ingredients:
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon harissa paste or sauce, divided (see note)
1/4 cup olive oil, ideally COOC-certified California extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 chicken leg quarters (thigh and drumstick) or 4 legs and 4 bone-in thighs
1 1/2 pounds orange- or yellow-fleshed sweetpotatoes, or a combination, cut into 1-inch dice
1/2 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
Salt to taste
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, parsley leaves, or small dill sprigs, or a combination

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine 2/3 cup of the harissa and 2 tablespoons of the oil. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, sweetpotatoes, and harissa mixture, tossing to evenly coat. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, remaining 1 tablespoon of harissa, and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add salt to taste and set aside.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. (Leave the sweetpotatoes in the bowl.)
  4. Add the sweetpotatoes to the baking sheet with the chicken and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the sweetpotatoes are tender and browned, about 20 minutes, tossing halfway through.
  5. Transfer the chicken and sweetpotatoes to serving plates or a platter if you like. Drizzle the yogurt mixture on top, garnish with the lemon and herbs, and serve. (Alternately, serve the yogurt mixture at the table.)
  6. Note: Harissa is a North African and Middle Eastern red chile paste or sauce. Look for it in the ethnic section of supermarkets and at Middle Eastern markets and specialty food stores. Its spiciness can vary from brand to brand—taste the one you buy and, if it seems particularly hot, consider using a little less the first time you make the recipe.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the California Olive Oil Council

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Sausage, Sweetpotato, Sweet Onion, and Apple Roast

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Sausage, Sweetpotato, Sweet Onion, and Apple Roast

A delightful combination of sweet and savory, with a tiny touch of smoky heat. Perhaps best of all, it all cooks up on a single sheet pan, making cleanup almost as simple and satisfying as dinner itself.

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Sausage, Sweetpotato, Sweet Onion, and Apple Roast

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds orange- or yellow-fleshed sweetpotatoes, or a combination, cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 large apple, cored and cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, or more to taste
2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
6 pre-cooked chicken sausages (one and one-half 12-ounce packages), cut diagonally into 1/2-inch slices
2 red or green bell peppers, or a combination, cut into 3/4-inch dice
1/2 large or 1 medium Vidalia or other sweet onion, halved (if using a whole onion) and cut into 1/4-inch slices
3 cloves garlic, sliced

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the sweetpotatoes, apple, paprika, salt, sugar, and cayenne. Add the oil, tossing to coat evenly. Transfer the mixture to a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, tossing halfway through.
  3. In the same large bowl, combine the sausages, bell peppers, onion, and garlic. Add the mixture to the baking sheet and cook until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned, about 20 minutes, tossing halfway through. Add more salt and cayenne to taste and serve.

Adapted from a recipe courtesy of Seven Ate Nine

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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.

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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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Jamaican Pork and Sweetpotato Stew

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Jamaican Pork and Sweetpotato Stew

From "Easy Soups from Scratch with Quick Breads to Match" by Ivy Manning (Chronicle Books, 2017) The comforting cookbook pairs homemade soups with freshly baked bread in under an hour. Here, Ivy shares a recipe from the book, and the inspiration behind it.

I’ve sampled the dishes from street-food stands all over Jamaica, and my hands down favorite dish is their thick, spicy “brown stew.” The hearty stew is full of whatever local vegetables are around and includes some sort of meat—chicken or goat being the most common. I opt for spice-coated pork tenderloin here. The fruity heat of habanero chile is pronounced, so if your family isn’t fond of spicy food, omit the chile and serve habanero hot sauce on the side.

 

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Jamaican Pork and Sweetpotato Stew

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped habanero chile, or more to taste
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 cups chicken broth
1 1/4 pounds yellow- or orange-fleshed sweetpotatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Soy sauce, for seasoning

Instructions:

  1. Adjust the oven rack so it is 6 inches below the heating element and preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and carrot and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, thyme, and habanero and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the tomato paste and stir to coat the vegetables. Add the chicken broth, sweetpotatoes, and Worcestershire. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sweetpotatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. While the soup is simmering, place the pork on the prepared baking sheet and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle the meat with the flour, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon, pepper, and salt and toss to coat. Arrange the meat in a single layer and broil, without stirring, until the meat is browned on one side, 4 to 5 minutes (the pork will finish cooking in the soup).
  4. Transfer the pork and drippings from the baking sheet to the pot. Simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the flavors have melded and the soup has thickened a bit, about 10 minutes more. If you’d like the soup to be still thicker, use a potato masher to mash some of the sweetpotatoes. Season the soup with the lime juice and soy sauce.
  5. Ladle the stew into bowls and serve immediately.

Note: This recipe doubles easily, tastes better the next day, and freezes well. Go easy on the habanero; just 1/2 of the finely chopped chile will be plenty, as the stew will become spicier the next day. Store in airtight containers or zip-top plastic freezer bags in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or the freezer for up to 3 months.

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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.

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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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