Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sweet Potato Latkes with Black Bean Caviar

Quite a fancy name for a truly simple dish. I modified a basic latke recipe substituting sweet potatoes for regular and made a simple "caviar" salad to top them off. Everything came together in less than 30 minutes, and if served with a good-sized salad, could be a main dish, but they work great as appetizers as well!

For the latkes:

  • 1 large sweet potato, shredded
  • 2-3 scallions, minced
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika or chipotle powder

Using a standard cheese grater or food processor with a shredder attachment, grate the potatoes (not too finely!). Stir together with remaining ingredients (note: there is no need to squeeze the excess water out of the sweet potatoes as some latke recipes suggest as there really isn't much excess water--in fact, I had to add a Tbs. of water.) Spoon batter onto heated griddle with several Tablespoons oil and fry on both sides until golden and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.

For the caviar:

  • 1 cup black beans, cooked
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 3 Tbs. scallion greens
  • 1/4 cup diced tomato
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 minced jalapeno, seeds removed
  • 2 Tbs. minced cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 Tbs. lime or orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients and toss well. Adjust seasonings to your taste. Spoon mixture on top of latkes and serve with plain yogurt, sour cream or queso seco.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Five-Spice Sweet Potato Ice Cream with Pineapple

This is one of my entries into the Sweet Potato Recipe Contest; it didn't take long at all to throw together since I used leftover sweet potatoes and pineapple, but if you were making it from scratch, you can used canned crushed pineapple for a shortcut!

Makes 1 pint of ice cream

  • 1/2 large sweet potato (or 1/2 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes)
  • 1 cup coconut cream (if you use coconut milk, the texture will be icier and less creamy)
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 3 Tbs dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Chinese Five-Spice powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground red chile powder (pure chile powder! or flakes)
  • 1 Tbs. fresh grated ginger, finely minced candied ginger, or 1/2 tsp dried ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground caradmom
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped or crushed pineapple (does not need to be drained, but should be mostly fruit)
  • 1 Tbs. dark rum (optional but helps keep it from freezing too solid)
For the sweet potatoes, you can either boil or steam and mash them, or roast them first and then mash them. I think roasting them first yields a better (smoother) texture, but they do have to be fully cooked. Also, if you're using fresh pineapple, roast the chunks first for deeper, sweeter flavor! (Roast sweet potatoes chunks tossed with a tiny bit of olive or sesame oil at 450 degrees for 20-30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the edges start to brown--time needed will depend on the size of your chunks; roast pineapple chunks at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes, turning once, until they start to caramelize/brown slightly).

Puree all ingredients (except pineapple) together in a blender until smooth. Stir in pineapple and prepare in an ice cream maker per directions. Alternately, you can pour the mixture into a shallow dish and freeze, stirring with a fork every 20-30 minutes until completely frozen.