24 September 2008

Mmm, sweet potatoes...

I just invented these sort of sweet potato chips. They turned out to be so yummy that we ate them all out of the pan while the rest of dinner cooked. So, I guess I'd recommend these as an appetizer. :) I was originally going for a side dish. Either way, it serves 2.

Sweet Potato Chips

1 good-sized sweet potato, sliced into thin rounds
~4 tbs olive oil
~1/8 tsp smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
~1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on how hot you like it)
~1/4 tsp rosemary
1 tbs brown sugar

Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan over medium heat. Add the sweet potato slices and stir to coat with oil. Stir every 2-3 minutes. After about 10 minutes, add the remaining ingredients and stir to coat. Cook another 5-10 minutes, stirring often, until tender. Serve hot (or eat right out of the pan).

Mixed Straw Cakes

The inspiration for this recipe begins with that vegetarian bible, Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, but I took it in a completely different direction. In fact, this recipe is still in evolution, so I may come back and update it later. The idea was to make potato pancakes, but they ended up not sticking together very well, so turned out more like yummy, bizarre hash browns. I only used one egg, so I'm thinking two eggs will give it more cohesiveness.

This serves two.

1 sweet potato - peeled, and grated on the large holes of the grater
1 large potato - same as above; rinse high-starch potatoes in water, then blot dry with a paper towel.
2 eggs
1 tbs fresh dill
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp sage
fresh ground sea salt & black pepper to taste
4 tbs butter

Set a heavy 10-inch skillet over medium heat and melt half the butter. While it's melting, mix the shredded sweet potato and potato together in a medium bowl, then stir in the eggs. Next add all the spices except the salt & pepper, and mix thoroughly.

Take half the mixture and flatten it in the skillet, neatening the edges of the cake. Salt & pepper the top of this layer, then do the same with the other half of the mixture. (If you wish to include a sauteed vegetable filling, spread it on top of the bottom layer and cover with the top layer.) Cook over medium to medium low for 15 to 20 minutes, then slide onto a plate (good luck - this is according to the cookbook, but I've never really managed to accomplish it). Add the rest of the butter to the skillet and flip the cake so it cooks on its other side, another 10 or so minutes. Serve hot. Top with a sauce or just eat straight, with a side of some steamed or sauteed veggies.

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