Posts Tagged ‘sweet-potato’

Sweet Potatoes… hold the marshmallows

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

According to the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commision, sales of sweet potatoes a.k.a. yams peak during the month of November. No doubt many a Thanksgiving table will feature a casserole of butter and brown sugar coated sweet potatoes hidden under a blanket of (no doubt another hot November seller) mini marshmallows.

I have to admit my family would have my hide if I didn’t make the candied yams. My family loves their traditional Thanksgiving dishes and don’t dare mess with tradition! I heard a mighty ear full during my early cheffing career while trying to ‘explore new tastes.’ Then when I decided to be more health conscious and cut back on the sugar and butter – whoa! Mom’s favorite dish was messed with! I went home with my head hung low and the dish barely touched. So I have learned not to mess with tradition when it comes to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner! …though I have managed to accidentally forget the mini marshmallows the last few years…

If I could re-write the traditional menu, I would make this sweet potato dish that our good friend R shared with us a few years ago. For a more colorful salad, use a mix of yellow, orange and purple sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potato Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

Amount Measure   Ingredient — Preparation Method
——–  ————      ——————————–
Dijon Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons Bragg’s apple cider vinegar or White wine vinegar or White Balsamic Vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

1 1/2 pounds Sweet potato or Yams — steamed and diced
2 each scallion – thinly sliced

Whisk together dijon vinaigrette ingredients.

Cook sweet potato by putting halved unpeeled sweet potato in a single layer in a steamer. Steam til tender – about 1/2 hour. Remove from heat and cool. Peel and dice into 1/2 – 3/4″ dice.dice.

Toss sweet potatoes with scallions and vinaigrette. Serve at room temp or slightly warm.



In touch with the season

Saturday, November 18th, 2006

We have gone over a number of Thanksgiving staples over the last few days – all wonderful seasonal foods. This year more than ever I am determined to keep the foods on our table seasonal – fresh and local. Why? Fresh foods are more nutritious – nutrients degrade rapidly after harvest so local seasonal foods spend less time in transit to my table.

So what’s in season?

All the cruciferous veggies:

Broccoli Romanesque
Cauliflower – check out the orange and purple varieties!
Chinese Broccoli aka Gai Lan
Brussels Sprouts

How about leafy Greens?

Bok Choys of all varieties
Swiss Chard

Bulbs and Roots and Tubers?

Celery Root
Radishes – try the colorful watermelon radish
Sweet Potatoes – ever try the purple Okinawan variety?

And we have Squashes…

Pumpkins of all shapes and sizes

We have the last of the figs but every season brings plenty of sweet fruits to enjoy

Apples – for fun try the ‘new’ heirloom varieties like Arkansas Blacks
Asian Pears
Pineapple Guavas – maybe your friendly neighbor will have a tree – quite common in the East Bay Area.
And look – the start of citrus season…grapefruits, tangerines, mandarin oranges, meyer lemons, navel oranges, pommelos

With all this local bounty – pass on the south of the border Asparagus and pass the roasted Brussels Sprouts.