Archive | December, 2010
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Buffalo Sweet Potato Pizza

14 Dec

Buffalo Sweet Potato Pizza

We found this recipe and liked the idea of it, but weren’t crazy about all of the ingredients and changed it to appeal to us. Try the original recipe if you want, but here’s how we did it, to make 2 pizzas:

Ingredients

– 3 cups all-purpose flour

– 8 oz warm water

– 1 teaspoon of sugar

– 1 packet of fast-acting yeast

– 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

– About a teaspoon of celery seeds

– 1 teaspoon salt

– 2 large sweet potatoes

-1 1/2 cups Buffalo sauce

– 200g feta

-1/2 yellow bell pepper

-1/2 a medium onion
Method

1. Mix the sugar and water, then sprinkle the yeast on top and put it aside until it’s foamy

2. Mix the flour, salt, and celery seeds, then add the yeast mixture and the oil. Mix it with your hands until it all sticks together, adding more oil if needed.

3. Set it in a warm space (I set it inside the oven after turning it on low for a few minutes, then turning it back off before setting the bowl in) for half an hour or until it has about doubled in size.

4. While the dough is rising, peel, chop, and boil the sweet potatoes until they’re just soft enough to mash.

5. Drain the potatoes, mash them (but not too well. Leave them kind of chunky.) and let them cool to room-temperature.

6. While the potatoes cool, take the dough out. Punch it down, divide it into 2 balls, then knead each for a few minutes, or until they’re smooth and uniform in appearance. Put the dough balls back in the mixing bowl and let it rise again.

7. Preheat the oven to 400 F/200 C.

8. Flatten each dough ball onto a pan that has been sprayed with a little cooking spray, or on to a pre-heated pizza stone. Spread the dough out as thin as you can without tearing it.

9. Spread a thin coating of Buffalo sauce on to each.

10. Spread a layer of sweet potato, then another layer of Buffalo sauce. Use the back of a spoon to spread it around.

11. Top each with some grated feta, but don’t go overboard with it.

12. We topped one pie with sliced bell pepper and onion, but left the other as it was.

13. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted.

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The Best of 100 Ways to Cook a Sweet Potato

10 Dec

Sweet potatoes have been a great comfort to me, in the land of no pumpkin, and if anything, now I actually prefer them!

I made sweet potato pie yesterday, and we have been having them more often than not on top of our favorite shepherd’s pie, instead of regular potatoes.

Today, I came across this list of 100 Ways to Cook a Sweet Potato, and am bookmarking the ones I like and want to make. The first item on the list was almost a recipe for sweet potato pancakes, but since it just tells you add store-bought sweet potato puree to premade pancake mix, I turned my nose up at it and decided I could find a better one if I want to make them.

I thought I’d share my picks here, and since some friends can’t have gluten, I’ll make a note of which are already gluten-free, without having to modify the recipe. Most of these are vegetarian-friendly as-is.

1. Sweet Potato Flan (gluten free!)

2. Sweet Potato Doughnuts

3. Sweet Potato Pizza Dough

4. Sweet Potato Whoopie Pies with Maple Marshmallow Creme

5. Sweet Potato Stuffed Apples (gluten free!)

6. Beni Imo Dorayaki (Japanese pancakes stuffed with sweet potato. Calls for purple sweet potato, which I love, but is hard to find, so I may try it with the more common variety.)

7. Sweet Potato Pierogies (Vegan)

8. Sweet Potato Fritters (but probably without the beans, since we’re not crazy about them)

9. Sweet Potato Muffins with Cinnamon-Sugar Coating

10. Sweet Potato and Chipotle Goat Cheese Ravioli

11. Sweet Potato Biscuits

12. Roasted Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Maple Cream

13. Sweet Potato Cream Cheese Wheat Bread

14. New Mexican Sweet Potato Latkes

15. Purple Sweet Potato Cheesecake

16. Sweet Potato-Coconut Pudding with Toasted Coconut

17. Ranga Alur Puli (Bengali sweet potato dessert)

18. Buffalo Sweet Potato Pizza (but with some other kind of cheese than bleu, because neither of us likes it)

19. Autumnal Sweet Potato Soup

Honorable mention:

Sweet Potato Gnocci – I do not want to make it, but I have bookmarked it to remember that when we eventually go to visit friends in Seattle, I want to go and try it at the restaurant which pioneered the recipe.

There were a bunch that involved using mashed sweet potato instead of refried beans in enchiladas, quesadillas, and burritos. I like the idea, but wouldn’t necessarily use any of the specific recipes mentioned.

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Fraser’s First Sweet Potato Pie

9 Dec

He approves! The pie was based on a recipe from Epicurious, but which I adjusted and substituted as I felt like it. The consistency is similar to a pumpkin pie, but fluffier, and tastes nothing like a pumpkin pie. It puffed up quite a bit as it baked, but then it deflated and was even with the rim of the crust.

Ingredients:

5 small sweet potatoes

1/4 cup of butter

1 can of sweetened condensed milk (used instead of the milk & sugar in the original recipe)

3 eggs

Several dashes of pumpkin pie spice (I like it fairly spicy)

Dash of salt

Splash of milk (I didn’t measure – just enough to thin it out some)

1 premade shortcrust pie shell

Method:

Bake the sweet potatoes at 350 F/180 C for about an hour, or until they’re soft but not too mushy. Prick the potatoes with a fork a bunch of times before placing them on a baking sheet.

Let the potatoes cool until they’re safe to handle, then peel off the skins and mash the potatoes.

Raise the oven temperature to 400 F/200 C.

Melt the butter, then mix it and the rest of the ingredients together.

Press the pie crust into a deep pie or flan dish.

Pour the filling into the dish, then sprinkle some cinnamon on top.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean when inserted in the middle. (40 minutes put mine just a trifle too dark on top.)

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Thanksgiving in Scotland

3 Dec

A week ago, 9 Scots and 1 American gathered for Thanksgiving dinner. 8 of the Scots discovered that pumpkin pie is tasty!

The menu reflected the culturally-blended assembly. There were:

  • Turkey
  • Turducken
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Stuffing balls, a lá Heather’s Gram (see recipe below)
  • Candied yams, with Golden Syrup instead of maple
  • Haggis
  • Peas
  • Sausage rolls
  • Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer
  • Various red and white wines
  • Belhaven (Scottish cream ale)
  • Various other beers, which I can’t remember brands of
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Profiteroles
  • Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Spice Coffee

There were surprisingly few leftovers, and a few especially great comments. In general, the Scots all seemed to enjoy their first Thanksgiving, and the American was overjoyed to be surrounded by such good friends since she couldn’t be home for the holiday.

Interestingly, one guest said that she had expected the pumpkin pie to be more like an apple pie, with slices of pumpkin, but was really happy that she was wrong. Another guest was shocked and horrified that he’d gone the first 30-odd years of his life without having it, and would be spending the next 30 making up for it.

Another guest, who is a chef by trade, said upon arrival that another American friend of his had described candied yams to him, and he thought it was the most ridiculous thing he’d ever heard. After having a couple of helpings, he texted an apology to his friend, very glad to have been proven wrong. He wanted the recipe, and the one for the pumpkin pie.

The stuffing recipe was also requested by yet another guest.

With all the smiling faces and full tummies, the verdict on this social experiment must be: Success!

Recipe for candied yams:

You need:

  • 1/2 as many sweet potatoes as you want servings
  • Boiling water
  • Butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Syrup (Heather’s mom uses maple or King Syup. The yams served at our party used Lyle’s Golden Syrup. Use whatever kind you like. Alternatively, use miniature marshmallows.)

Steps:

  1. Slice the sweet potatoes in half, lengthwise. This is a pain in the hoo-hah, but that’s how it’s done. They won’t cut willingly, so put some muscle in it.
  2. Par-boil them until they’re fairly soft, but not quite soft enough to mash.
  3. Place them cut-side up in a baking dish.
  4. Drop pats of butter, sprinkle brown sugar, and drizzle syrup. There’s no exact science to this. It just depends on how sweet you want them.
  5. Bake at 350 F/175 C for 30-45 minutes, until they’re tender and bubbly. Place them high up in the oven to keep the bottoms from scorching.

Recipe for Stuffing Balls:

We always had these instead of bread rolls. They’re shaped into balls partly because they make great grab & go leftovers, but mostly because that’s how Gram always did it. This recipe is designed to make a lot, so there will be leftovers. A lot of the ingredients can’t have precise measurements, because they’re either to taste or as-needed.

You Need:

  • 2 loaves of bread (get day-old or short-dated. It’s cheaper & will do just fine since you’re using it immediately), shredded and left out overnight to get stale
  • A stick or 2 of butter
  • Vegetable or poultry stock
  • 1-2 onions
  • Celery seed
  • Poultry seasoning (optional)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2-3 eggs

Steps:

  1. Chop the onion and sauté it in some of the butter until soft.
  2. Melt the rest of the butter in the microwave.
  3. Mix the onion, celery seed & spices (to taste) in with the bread.
  4. Add enough melted butter, stock, and eggs to let the mixture keep its shape when you form it into a ball, a little smaller than your fist (actually, make them as big or small as you want to suit your needs).
  5. Place the balls in a baking dish (or dishes) and bake at 350 F/175 C for 30-45 minutes, or until they’re firm and golden. Check them periodically and baste with more broth if they seem dried-out.