Showing posts with label sweet potatoes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sweet potatoes. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Harvest Sweet Potato Salsa

Roasted sweet potatoes and corn tossed with beans and avocado in an red and green salsa dressing. One of the ways I put up food to eat local all year long.

Harvest Sweet Potato Salsa | Farm Fresh Feasts

When the garden is barren and there's snow falling down is a strange time to talk about harvest and abundant vegetables, no?

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Harvest Sweet Potato Salsa | Farm Fresh Feasts

I think it's exactly the right time.  You see, the vegetables I used in this salsa--the corn, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and tomatillos that is*--came from my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share.  George, Mark, Josh and Erik of Patchwork Gardens grew and harvested them, and we got a weekly box of locally-grown vegetables during the growing season.  Once in my kitchen, I performed Vegetable Triage--eating what won't keep, freezing or canning what can be put up, and using a cold corner of my breakfast nook as my Strategic Winter Squash Reserve (link to a photo on my FB page) for the long storage crops.  Even though the fields are brown, we're still eating the fruits of our farmers' labors.

Harvest Sweet Potato Salsa | Farm Fresh Feasts

If you'd like to know more about where your food is grown, now is the time to research local eating in your area.  Up on the left sidebar is a Local Harvest gadget.  If you're in the US, type in your zip code and see what's available near you.  Signing up with a CSA farm share before the season starts means your farmers will have the funds to purchase or repair equipment like the potato harvester shown here, which harvested the sweet potatoes I used in this salsa.

Roasted sweet potatoes and corn tossed with beans and avocado in an red and green salsa dressing. One of the ways I put up food to eat local all year long.
Photo credit Marguerite Mertz/Patchwork Gardens
*See the avocados in the second photo? Yeah, they sure are not local to Ohio and one of the reasons (along with bananas and salmon, vanilla and chocolate, tea and olive oil) that I will never be a completely local eater.  To me, local food just tastes better (think garden tomato vs store-bought) so I put my efforts into eating local food where I can.  I am fortunate to have a choice where I spend my dollars on food, and I choose to keep my money in my local community when possible.  It's why I started this blog and organized my Visual Recipe Index by produce type--to help other folks eat locally as well.

Harvest Sweet Potato Salsa | Farm Fresh Feasts

Visit all the other Appetizer Week Peeps for more Munchie Causing Goodness:

Friday, October 4, 2013

White Chicken Leek Pizza on Sweet Potato Crust

Chicken, leeks, and herbed cream cheese on a tender sweet potato pizza crust.

White Chicken Leek Pizza on Sweet Potato Crust | Farm Fresh Feasts

Changing it up again--recipe first, words later, because I'd like to share below how I store some crops from the garden and the CSA farm share.  One long term storage crop is sweet potatoes.  I've made pizza crusts from (links to my other recipes) shredded butternut squash, roasted or shredded beets, steamed spinach and steamed kale.  Why not sweet potato?  Just like the addition of sweet potato to biscuits results in a tender crumb, adding it to pizza crust results in a tender, flavorful crust.  I made a triple batch of dough and will share have shared my creations throughout this fall--including 2 delicious FFF-a-boli rolled pizzas, one for vegetarians and one for omnivores--created using ingredients that will be leftover after Thanksgiving. Everything is up on the Visual Pizza Recipe Index.
First up, a white chicken leek pizza (with a fresh tomato pesto & fontina option for vegetarians, photo below), since I got both sweet potatoes and leeks in last week's CSA farm share.

Fresh Tomato Pesto  on Sweet Potato Pizza Crust | Farm Fresh Feasts

Monday, September 30, 2013

Chicken Cider Stew (from Kitchen Parade): My Personal Fall In A Bowl!

Kristy of Gastronomical Sovereignty is on vacation in Merrye Olde Englande, so I'm sharing with her readers how I get two 'storage amounts' of my favorite cook's crops--garlic and basil--out of one garden plot over the course of a year.  The time to start this endeavor is now, and if you like to cook with garlic and pesto, you need to check it out!  You can read all about it here.
I'm doing this whole "I've got a guest post up, go see" thing completely wrong. Instead of just directing you to Kristy's blog today and calling it good, in fact I'm sharing the second installment (but first post) of my Food Bloggers Change My Life series.  Confusing?  Yes, sorry--I shared Rebecca at Foodie With Family's Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala previously, but I started the series because of Alanna of Kitchen Parade and A Veggie Venture.  She is my friend and Food Blogging Mentor (and I'm so grateful last year that she didn't laugh at my email of 'I'm thinking of starting a food blog').

Chicken Cider Stew is a savory stovetop dish that comes together quickly and uses the great stuff I'm getting from my CSA and my garden right now:  sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, onions and apples.

We like this served with a hunk of sharp cheddar cheese.

Every time I read a food blog, I get inspired to try all sorts of new flavor combinations, and sometimes I actually follow through with my ideas.  Rarely, though, does a recipe--exactly as written--become part of my regular menu rotation.
I'll digress at this point and say by 'menu rotation' that would imply that I actually have a menu plan.  Ha!  During the CSA farm share season (mid-May to Thanksgiving-ish for me) I never know what I'm going to get in the farm share crate.  And other than the cow in the freezer I never know what protein I'll have on hand.  So I just kind of wing it on a daily/weekly basis.  However, there are some meals that, when the right elements collide, I already know what I'm making for supper.
This recipe is one of those.  I read it when Alanna put it up on Kitchen Parade in 2007, had almost all the ingredients--still don't have savory--and made it.  Loved it.  The following Fall when it cooled off and my thoughts turned to stew, my farm share box had sweet potatoes, apple cider appeared in the farmer's market and the stores, I craved it again.  The next year, again.

And so it goes.  Reading that recipe six years ago made a permanent change in my Fall menu rotation. See, food bloggers are making a difference!

Friday, March 29, 2013

(Leftover) Ham and Sweet Potatoes on a Butternut Squash Crust (Pizza Night!)

I was really torn as to when to put this pizza post up.  Yes, on a Friday, of course, because around here we eat pizza on Fridays.

But when?  Easter ham leftovers?  Fall sweet potato season?  I looked at my calendars . . .
Is it weird that I print out a calendar, a month per 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper, and jot down all the recipes that I'm planning on putting up here?  It helps me see what I'm doing easier  than the long list on Blogger, and helps me see if I'm getting a good balance of vegetable-centric vs more meat-oriented pizzas, entrees, etc.  Perhaps living with my spouse the Planner for so long has rubbed off on me.
and decided to just make this entire week Leftover Ham Week on Farm Fresh Feasts.  There are other uses for leftover ham that I recommend (like fried rice or yakisoba).  If you do not have ham in your fridge, check back next week for Taco Farro, My Favorite Grilled Cheese Sandwich, and something else that's also good--maybe a Sunset Mango pizza.

Since I made 2 crusts worth of this shredded butternut squash crust, I figured I'd play around with the second pie.  My mother-in-law serves ham paired with sweet potatoes (when she's not being treated to someone else cooking her dinner in her own home).  The combination is so pretty--and tasty--on my plate that I thought it would transfer well to a pizza.  I was right.  It did.
Thanks, yet again, to my friend Heather for turning me on to the garlic-oil-as-a-pizza-sauce because that's what I used as the base.
Ok, technically the shredded butternut squash crust is in the base, then the garlic oil on top.  Even though I get a head of garlic nearly each week in my farm share, I'm so glad I roasted my own garlic crop and put it up in the freezer.  A thawed clove just smushed down into warmed oil and makes a simply delicious sauce.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Acorn Squash, Beet, and Sweet Potato Chili: One Beginning, Two Endings (Bean-Free Chili for Vegans or with Beef for Carnivores)
Could be vegan chili on the left, chili for carnivores on the right.
One of the pots of chili you see here was what I set out to make.  The other one was the surprise mid-way through.

You see, it all started when I had a bite of my spouse's chili at Tom+Chee in Newport, KY.  It was smooth, meaty, and topped with a bit of blue cheese.  Yum!  I love that restaurant.

I like my Green Tomato Garlic Chili, and I like all the chunky and bean-y chili I have had.  In fact, I don't think I've met a chili I didn't like.  But I wanted to try my hand at making a smooth, meaty chili.

No chunks (the kids tolerate smooth better than chunky anyway) and no beans (thanks to New Year's day and a vat of Ham and Bean soup I'd had beans 8 out of 9 days of 2013 and frankly I needed a break).  What does that leave?  The Strategic Winter Squash Reserve, of course.

I started by roasting a small 1 pound acorn squash and a small sweet potato.  I was making a small batch, because after the giant vat of soup I really didn't want gallons of chili leftovers.  Then I set those aside and browned a pound of ground beef in my 3 quart saucepan.  I knew I wanted a smooth chili, but I didn't want to attack my beef with the immersion blender, so at this point I drained and set the beef aside.

If I were cooking for vegans as well as carnivores, I would wash the saucepan at this point.
I was just cooking for the family, so I added onions and some of my freezer stash carrots/celery/parsley to the pan (using the remnants of grease instead of oil) and sautéed.  I was thinking about how, when making Indian food, you sauté the spices until they are fragrant before adding the simmering liquids, so I decided to add the spices next.  Annemarie of RealFoodRealDeals made a squash chili and her recipe appeared in my inbox just as I was debating for which spices to use, so I went with her spicing suggestions.  I remembered my cousin Cindy (the cousin Cindy I've friended on FB but never met) telling me she adds beets to her tomato sauce so when I was grabbing a pack of slow-roasted tomatoes from the freezer I picked up a bag of shredded beets, too.  I tossed those in to simmer with the veggies, then I added some stock.  If I were cooking for vegans, I'd use vegetable stock or Penzey's vegetable soup base.  I used chicken stock instead, added a bay leaf, and it simmered away happily for an hour.  Since (did I mention) I wanted a smooth chili, I removed the bay leaf, grabbed my immersion blender and smoothed it all up.

Then I tasted the chili.  Dang, it's pretty good right now!

If you are serving vegans, move some of the chili to a slow cooker or saucepan over low heat to simmer quietly until serving time.  Because it was just us, I added back in most of the beef and simmered the whole lot on low another hour.  Then another hour because my spouse worked late.
The result was a smooth, thick, tomato-ey meaty chili.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Quadruple Roasted Vegetable Mock Florentine Mock Lasagna

I've been tweaking the blog a bit.  If you look over that way ----> you'll see a clickable Recipe Index.  Thanks to Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes for the code to make that work.  Moving the recipe index off the top bar gave me room for some essays (recipe-free ramblings, really) I wrote way back in the fall :) when I started this blog in case you just feel like reading a bit.
Let me know (comments or on my FB page) what you think!  On to the food.

This, probably more than anything else, illustrates how I feed my family from our CSA farm share all year 'round.

This dish contains 4 roasted veggies:  garlic, roasted after I harvested it and frozen in early summer, eggplant and bell peppers, marinated in a vinaigrette and roasted and frozen when I was overwhelmed with veggies in late summer, and sweet potato, roasted for another use and left over in the fridge.

The mock florentine refers to the liberal use of Swiss chard in lieu of spinach.  I used a bunch of fresh chard (stems in the sauce, leaves with the noodles) in addition to incorporating leftover Creamed Swiss Chard.  (If you're keeping track, the Leftover Score is now at 2).

The mock lasagna refers to the fact that, although I have a well-stocked pantry, I didn't have any lasagna noodles.  Yes,  I could go out and buy some, I'd rather use up what I already got.

Hence the crazy convoluted name.

I walked in the door after an afternoon wheelchair basketball exhibition game with the idea that I wanted "something good" for dinner but having no clue what that would be.  Seventy-five minutes later I was putting this dish in the oven.  It's not a 'quick take', but to go from cluelessly scratching my head in the middle of the kitchen to completed, ready-to-bake Quadruple Roasted Mock Palooza impresses me.  Then again, I'm easily impressed.

Having the roasted veggies and the prepared pesto put up, and a freezer full of potential pizza toppings, means that making this truly does illustrate my goal of feeding my family from our farm share--all year long.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mindless Sweet Potato Hash (introducing the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve)

It's been several weeks since my last CSA delivery.  The spinach has been eaten mostly in pizzas, the cabbage went into breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, and the carrots and celery jumped into both hummus and soup (not at the same time, they divided into teams and the cool kids went to the hummus and the rest went for the soup).  The eggs are so long gone that I've had to buy eggs several times!

However, I still have some unprocessed CSA produce to cook with.  On CSA days, once I get home from pick up, I perform "vegetable triage".  What vegetables are most perishable?  They go in the fridge, right in front, so I can cook with them first.  What else is perishable?  In the crisper for a few days.  Something that I know I won't cook in the next week (like the week I got turnips with greens, kale, mustard greens, and cabbage?  We eat greens, but come on!) gets put up in the freezer for later cooking. [I chopped the turnip greens, the kale, and the mustard greens together, then blanched them, spun them dry, and packed them into quart size freezer bags.]  That leaves the longer-storing produce.
Ready to go in the oven!

All Fall, unless I was roasting it for this or that, I have been piling up the pumpkins, balancing the butternuts, stacking the sweet potatoes, and arranging the acorns in the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve.  It's in a cold corner of my breakfast nook (55 degrees Fahrenheit on a sunny January afternoon!) and though it's chilly to sit here and write about it, it's a pretty good spot for semi-long term storage.  Cool, definitely yes.  Dark, not so much, but there's no sunbeams slanting in either.

Once I've used all the more perishable produce from my farm share, I turn to the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve for inspiration.  Another source of inspiration is from the leftovers I am blessed with.  During the holidays we had a nice time with the relatives, and I came home with leftover pork steak.  This is a new cut of meat to me, and since we rarely eat a steak, quite a treat to have some leftover delicious cooked pork steak.  I literally lay awake planning a pizza using the pork (stay tuned!) but I had a lot to work with, so I decided to try my hand at making hash.

I consulted my Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook for advice, and loosely adapted their Corned Beef Hash to what you see here.  The best part was when I read the oven baking directions.  How simple is that?  A bit of cooking on the stove, then chuck the whole mess in the oven (ok, BHG said to transfer to a casserole, but I skipped that bit by starting with an oven safe cast iron skillet).

This tasted great, used up both leftover cooked meat as well as some items from the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve, and was mindless to make.  If you've got leftovers (of the meat or winter squash variety) consider this dish.

Do you perform vegetable triage?
Do you like getting leftovers from relatives?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sweet Potato Pizza--2 ways--Thanksgiving Leftover Remake (Pizza Night!)

Sometimes the veggies you get from the farm share aren't . . . perfect looking.  Sometimes they are knobby, misshapen, tiny, weird (carrot pants!).  And that's ok.  They still taste fine.  I'd had an idea to try sweet potato fries with our meal, but these were the remaining sweet potatoes I'd gotten from the farm share.  Not really idea for cutting into fairly uniform slices so they'd bake evenly.  Instead, I cubed them up, added oil, salt, and pepper, and roasted them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15-20 minutes.  Faster than I was expecting.

Then I went to pick up my farm share and got another batch of sweet potatoes.  These were fat and sassy and perfect for the fries I wanted to make.  So I had leftover roasted sweet potato cubes, and you know what that means:  PIZZA!

This is version 1.

I was inspired by the sweet potato and feta combination I saw here, but also dithering about feta vs goat cheese, what type of sauce, additional vegetables, yada yada.  So I opted to make 2 pizzas, like I did with the fresh pear and goat cheese combo.  But the sweet potato pizzas were similar enough, and not OMG FREAKING AMAZING like the tomato pesto pizza I'd made the week before (yes, the post will come up, but tomatoes are not seasonal to me now so it just feels wrong to titillate you when you may not be able to access fresh delicious tomatoes.  You'll thank me.  Maybe?).

So I've decided to post them both, and to invite you dear readers to try this at home, with your leftover Thanksgiving sweet potatoes, and see if you can come up with something with a little more oomph than my pizzas had.  Because while these pizzas were fine, and the entire family ate them, they needed some sisu.  Some chutzpah.  A certain je ne sais quoi.  Something was missing.  My spouse says bacon.  It's his answer to everything.  Unfortunately I used the last of the bacon in a Chicken Cider Stew and he'll have to wait until I remember to thaw and bake some.

That said, on to the pizzas.  **But please check out the update at the end!  There's hope!**

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sweet Potato (Leftover Halloween) Reese's Pieces Oatmeal Cookies

One of the nice things about seasonal eating is looking forward to the new produce that ripens with each season.  It must have been boring just buying whatever I had on the menu plan at the grocery store (who am I kidding? I think I've always shopped for what's on sale/marked down/cheap).  Lately, I have been busily roasting a bunch of the fall produce that's been popping up in my CSA farm share box.  I know that the greens need to be used up quicker than the winter squash and root veggies, but I've missed the root veggies, so I had to include them in my processing labors.

I am frugal by nature, and always looking for ways to save money.  I don't mind asking my kids for some of their Halloween candy, and they don't mind tolerate giving me some when I use it to make treats for all of us!  Today I was going to make a batch of cookies for the family using that candy, and my eye fell on a cup of baked sweet potato flesh that was left over from another recipe.  I'm happy adding veggies to my oatmeal muffins so why not cookies?  I love to make cookies because I bought into that 'let the dough sit' NYT article.  Since it only takes a few minutes to mix up a batch of dough, I'm happy to do it whenever I've got softened butter (yay, hockey season!). Then the dough can hang out in the fridge for a day until I'm ready to bake.  Win for everyone.
Don't try this at home!  See note below!

One technique I have for keeping our family from eating 3 dozen cookies in a day is to freeze scoops of cookie dough on a metal tray until hard, then transfer to a zip top bag.  That way I can bake as much as I want think we should eat for dessert.  And the side benefit is that I frequently have cookie dough in the freezer for unexpected cookie needs.  Long ago I'd promised dinner, ready to heat, to my son's Thursday after school music tutor when he and his wife became parents.  Except I'd gotten the date wrong!  Lucky for me, I had cookies in the freezer, so while the music lesson was happening in the dining room, I was in the kitchen baking cookies and throwing together a meal for the new parents.  A well-stocked pantry is a huge help to my wallet.