Mom de Cuisine


Sweet Potato Cookies
January 4, 2012, 12:47 pm
Filed under: Dessert, Just for Fun | Tags: , ,

 

Sometimes I swear I need a holiday from the holidays. It’s not that it wasn’t a great holiday season, because it was (this was the first year since my husband and I have been married that we’ve been able to spend every holiday together.) It’s just all the fun trips to restaurants, staying in pj’s all day catching up on Top Chef and exploring the island have made it hard to get back into our weekly routines. But we must.

 

Well, my husband has gone back to work and I feel like I was thrown back into our routine, in that almost right away it was our turn to host our playschool group. A while ago I asked “M” what topic she would like to learn about when it was our turn to host. She promptly told me, “Cooking! I want to learn cooking!” I’m sure it had something to do with the fact that when I asked her we were in the kitchen peeling garlic, but none the less, I had to figure out how to turn cooking into a lesson plan for preschoolers. I started brainstorming about teaching the kids the difference between whisking and folding; how to deglaze a pan; and of course, the wonders of a mandolin. I quickly came to my senses and thought I better keep to the basics: fruits and vegetables.

I think the basics were the way to go. We talked about different kinds of fruits and vegetables, pretended to make vegetable soup, and used poster paint to make fruit/veggie prints. But of course, restraint is not my strong suit. I had to do a little something extra for snacks. A fruit and cheese plate, vegetable crudites with hummus, banana chips, and sweet potato cookies. My mom sent me a recipe for sweet potato cookies not too long ago, so I thought it would be fun to show the kids that veggies don’t always have to be those mushy green things you push to the side of the plate.

 Everything that could go wrong making cookies did. First, I go to gather all the ingredients and realize I have no eggs. Ok, fixable. Then I roast the sweet potatoes and when they cool, I peel them and discover that half are rotten. Frustrating, but workable. Finally when I have the first batch in the oven, I see that they are spreading too much and I realize I forgot to add all of the flour. Forget it, unforgivable.

But hubby reassures me and tells me to just add flour to the remaining batter. I did and they turned out thinner and chewier than I would have like, but still pretty good. I would make these again, but next time, make sure I add the flour and have enough sweet potatoes. But I can’t complain too much as “M” is still running around talking about all of the vegetables she’d put in her soup…including sweet potatoes!

Sweet Potato Cookies

Adapted from my Mom and We Are Not Martha

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 cup oatmeal

 1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. salt

1 cup butter (2 sticks) (softened)

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar (packed)

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

2/3 cup sweet potatoes, mashed

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 cup white chocolate chips

1 cup dried cranberries

Preparation:

Combine the flour, oatmeal, baking soda, cinnamon, salt in a bowl. Cream butter; add sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, mix well. Alternate additions of dry ingredients and sweet potatoes, mixing well after each addition. Stir in morsels. Bake on lightly greased cookie sheet 5-7 minutes at 350°.



Sweet Potato and Eggnog Ice Cream
November 23, 2011, 11:44 am
Filed under: Dessert | Tags: , , ,

 

Turkey Day is tomorrow and I am so exhausted excited.  My husband always does the turkey; I usually do most of the side dishes.  Our menu for Thanksgiving and Christmas is usually the same every year, but we had to do a bit of modifying.  We used to have an oil-less deep fryer that he made a fried turkey with, but we didn’t bring it with, so he will be roasting it this year.  My husband usually makes collard greens, but if you’ve read my blog, greens of any variety are hard to find/very expensive.  We would have splurged on collards for T Day, but alas, they are not to be found on our host island.  I thought maybe we’d do Brussels sprouts instead.  I’ve got a few recipes that I’ve wanted to try.  Nope.  Can’t findBrusselssprouts either.  Oh well.

We usually each bake a dessert.  My husband makes a great lemon and cranberry bunt cake and I love pecan pie.  But all of our yummy delivery food has not been so kind to my waist line.  Well, you can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without dessert, but a slice of cake, pie and ice cream to top it all probably won’t help me fit into my jeans come next week.  So I thought I’d just make an ice cream reminiscent of one of my other favorite pies, sweet potato.  Well, if you could believe it, when I sent my husband to the store initially to pick up all of the Thanksgiving groceries, he couldn’t find heavy cream.  But he did come home with a few cartons of egg nog that I was able to use as a substitution.

I thought the ice cream came out wonderfully.  It tasted just like the filling of sweet potato pie, with a slight hint of the eggnog.  If I made this again, I’d probably cut back on the sweet potato so more of the eggnog would come through, but it was still great!

Sweet Potato and Eggnog Ice Cream

*Slightly adapted from O Magazine’s Candied Sweet Potato Ice Cream

Ingredients:

1 lb sweet potato

1 1/2 cup Eggnog

3 large egg yolks

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

Preparation:

Heat oven to 450 and roast the sweet potato until very tender, about 1 hour.  When the potato has cooled, peel and puree the flesh until smooth in a food processor.

In a medium sauce pan, bring eggnog to a boil.

Meanwhile, whisk yolks, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg until smooth. 

Slowly whisk the eggnog into the yolk mixture.  Return everything to the sauce pan and simmer until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (don’t boil or it will curdle the yolks.)

Remove sauce pan from the heat and cool the mixture to room temperature.  Refrigerate to cool the mixture more at least 2 hours but not overnight. 

Freeze mixture to ice cream maker per manufacturer instructions. 

 

 

Check out this link up party here!



Sweet Potato and Sausage Risotto
October 12, 2011, 5:51 am
Filed under: Main Course, Pasta & Rice, Pasta & Rice | Tags: , ,

Yesterday after I finish snapping a few pictures of dinner, “M” in all of her three years comes up to me and strikes up a conversation that went like this:

M: Mommy, whacha doing?”

Me: “I’m finishing up dinner, what are you doing?”

M: “What’s for dinner?”

Me: “Cheesy rice with sweet potatoes and sausage”

M: “Ohhhh that sounds delicious! Rice is my favorite….but Mommy there is just one problem.”

Me: “Oh yeah, what’s the problem?”

M: “My brother doesn’t like rice, make something else!”

 It’s true, my son is probably the pickiest eater on the planet and he won’t eat rice.  I offer it to him when ever I make it, but his response is always the same, “No Ma, don’t want it!”  Oh well, what’s a Mom to do?  I wish I had some great story about how this risotto was the one that turned him into the carb-lover I know is in there somewhere, but it’s not.  This was one of the few nights my husband picked something up for him from work. 

This risotto was one of those dishes that came together from things I already had on hand.  I had planned to make risotto the old fashioned way, you know ladling hot broth into the rice, stirring until it’s absorbed and repeat until the risotto is cooked.  But as I started prepping dinner, I was going through a to-do list in my head of everything else I had to get done that night.  Then I glanced over and saw my copy of Around My French Table and had, as Oprah would say, an “Ah Ha” moment.  A few weeks back the French Fridays with Dorie recipe was Creamy, Cheesy, Garlicky Rice with Spinach (click here to see my version.)  Her French version of risotto doesn’t require constant stirring and attention, but comes out creamy and cheesy.  This was a great, comforting meal and I’m glad this recipe adapted well to other flavors. 

Sweet Potato and Sausage Risotto

*Adapted from Creamy, Cheesy, Garlicky Rice with Spinach from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan

Ingredients:

1 lb Italian sausage, removed from casings

1 onion, diced

1 1lb sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups Arborio rice

7 cups chicken stock

1/4 cup shredded provolone

1/4 cup milk

Fried sage leaves for garnish, optional

Preparation:

Brown sausage and onions over medium high heat and set aside.  While sausage browns, heat the oil and cook the sweet potatoes with the Italian spice until the potatoes are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, about 15 minutes.  Set aside.

To cook the rice, bring chicken stock to a boil. Stir in the rice and cover.  Reduce the heat to low and allow the rice to cook, undisturbed until most of the liquid is evaporated about 25 minutes.  Turn off the heat and allow the rice to finish absorbing the liquid.  Stir the sausage, milk and cheese into the rice until the cheese melts.  Gently fold in the sweet potatoes and serve with fried sage leaves immediately. 



Mexi-Monday: Tex-Mex Turkey Burgers, Fully Loaded
August 30, 2011, 4:48 am
Filed under: Main Course, Turkey | Tags: , , ,

I am a total realist.  Not a pessimist, I just think I know when to be positive about something, and when to face the facts.  I know what I am good at, and I know where I could use some improvement.  If you have read my blog before, then you’ll know that I am not the best food photographer/stylist.  I am trying to get better, as a matter of fact, I recently finished, Plate to Pixels by Helene DuJardin and I think I have seen some, ever so slight, improvement in my photography.  Next, I plan to read Food Photography “From Snapshots to Great Shots” by Nicole S. Young(just have to make my way over to Amazon to get it. )

So, with all that being said, I was still disappointed in my shots of my Mexi-Monday Loaded Burger.  I started planning the styling, the photographs, the lighting in my head from the moment I decided to make my “famous” burgers for dinner tonight.  Side note:  my burger is only actually “famous” to my husband. 

 Well, when it came time to start shooting,  I just wasn’t getting the shot I set up in my head.  The more I tried to “style” my burger, the worse it looked.  I realized that it was getting worse and worse because, little by little I had picked at, and eaten my burger!!!!!  Oh well, I guess I will decide that it is a testament to how amazing the burger was!  I thought about trying to style another burger, but then decided that I would probably end up eating that one too and since my husband wouldn’t be home for at least another hour…I would throw in the proverbial towel and just succumb myself to finishing up the crumbs left and pretending the whole event never happened.

But onto the burger….My husband loves these burgers.  In fact, when I tell him that’s what I’m making, he always says, “Please, keep to the recipe.  I like the burgers the way they are, so don’t go changing stuff!”  This time, I pretty much kept to my usual recipe.  I haven’t been able to find the cans of chipotle chilis in adobo sauce here, so sadly, I had to omit those.  I usually love the smokey and slightly spicy flavor those give to the burgers.  I found some local dried chilis that  I was hoping I could soak and puree to maybe give some of the same flavor.  It didn’t work. I do tend to change around the toppings depending on what I have on hand and feel like making.  I’ve made chipotle ketchup, carmelized balsamic onions,  and guac before as toppings.  Today, however, I decided to top these bad boys with left over mango BBQ sauce from my pulled pork empanadas (I totally forgot about it until I was cleaning out the fridge the day before, then I was like, JACKPOT!!!) and crispy sweet potato shoestrings. 

I originally made the sweet potato shoe strings as an accompaniment to the burger.  Stephanie at Eat. Drink. Love. made sweet potato chips about a week ago and they looked soooo good!  I, however, have never had much luck making chips.  They either burn or are soggy in the middle.  I have, however, made shoe string sweet potatoes as a garnish to pork chops, and they turned out perfectly crispy.  I loved Stephanie’s combination of seasoning, and I thought it would go well with the burgers.  but as I assembled the burger, I realized that it was missing some crunch, so onto the burger my shoestrings went. 

All in all, even though my pictures were terrible, the burger was outstanding!

Tex-Mex Burgers, Fully Loaded

Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground turkey meat

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1/4 cup diced pickled jalapeno

1 bunch of cilantro, stems removed, diced

2-3 tablespoons cumin, divided

1 tablespoon tomato paste

salt, black pepper to taste

1 medium sweet potato

1 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon paprkia

Sesame seed buns

fresh red and green spinach (optional)

4-8 slices Pepper jack cheese(optional)

Avacado, sliced (optional)

Mango BBQ Sauce (optional)

Preparation:

To make the burgers: combine onion, garlic, cumin, cilantro, tomato paste, jalapeno, salt and pepper.  Mix in the turkey meat until all the ingredients are evenly combined, being careful not to over mix the meat.  Allow mixture to marinade, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, but up to 24 hours. 

Make divide into fourths and make burger patties.  Grill until burgers are cooked through.  Int the last few minutes of cooking, add pepper jack cheese to the burger, close the grill to allow the cheese to melt.

While the burgers grill, Julienne the sweet potato (I used a Julienne vegetable peeler, but the Julienne attachment of a mandolin also works).  Heat oil to 350 and fry sweet potato shoe strings in batches, 3-4 minutes until crisp, but not burnt.  Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Immediately sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic, paprika and  remaining cumin.

To assemble the burgers:  Spread BBQ sauce on both the top and bottom bun.  Add spinach,, avacado, burger, and shoestrings.  Enjoy!!!

P.S. I know it’s not Monday anymore, at least not here, but real life got in the way of me posting this yesterday 🙂



Yam Scones
August 13, 2011, 8:06 am
Filed under: Breakfast | Tags: ,

Sous Chef “C” and my hubby (a.k.a. the one who eats everything) like sweets for breakfast.  I liked theses because they taste like a scone and a sweet potato pie had a love child. 

Sweet Potato  Scones (courtesy of foodandwine.com)

Ingredients

  • One 7-ounce yam or sweet potato
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

 Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 375°. Prick the yam with a fork and bake for about 45 minutes, or until very soft. Alternatively, microwave the yam. Let cool, then peel and mash the yam until smooth; set aside 3/4 cup. Leave the oven on.
  • Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. In a bowl, combine the 3/4 cup yam with the sugar, oil, egg, orange zest and vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the yam mixture just until combined. Divide the dough in half.
  • Working on a lightly floured surface, pat the dough into two 6-inch rounds. Cut each round into 6 wedges and brush the tops with the maple syrup. Arrange the wedges on the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Serve warm.