Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sweet Potato Time

There are still a few in the ground but, sadly, my back aches so right now I am going to write about them instead of harvest them.

My husband and I (well, mostly the husband) managed to grow about 100 pounds of sweet potatoes - way up north in the land of 6 month long winters - so right now the world is pretty much about sweet potatoes for me.  After sharing them with the CSA members we still have quite a bounty so I have been putting them in everything. These are two of my favorite highlights.

I cooked some up in olive oil with walnuts, balsamic vinegar, and fresh pepper as a quick snack for the baby.

She has a pretty sophisticated palate for a one year old.

And I also created a simple to make sweet potato curry.

The curry is best served over brown rice that has been cooked with a bit of salt and a large pinch of whole cumin seed.
    Sweet Potato Curry
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon peanut oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped roughly into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 small jalapeno, sliced into very thin rounds
  • 1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled, sliced into thin rounds, rounds quartered
  • 2 teaspoons homemade masala (see below) or store bought masala
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes (to total 1.5 pounds), sliced into rounds just less than 1/4 inch thick, halve any big rounds
  1. In a large skillet, heat the peanut oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, jalapeno, and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion has broken apart and is becoming translucent.
  3. Stir in the masala. Continue to stir until it is very aromatic, 15-30 seconds.
  4. Add the sweet potatoes and stir to coat with spices.
  5. Turn the heat down to low, cover the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are tender but not mushy, 20 - 30 minutes.
To make the masala: 
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole black mustard seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorn
  • 1/8 teaspoon whole cardamom seed
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Combine all of the spices and the salt and grind them with a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder. The final product does not need to be super fine, just broken up into small enough pieces that it will be pleasant to eat. I like a little texture to my spice, but big pieces can be bitter if you bite into them in the final dish. In the end, you should have about two teaspoons of masala.

I was only allowed to take the leftovers to work the next day after I promised my husband that I would make it as often as possible.

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