Apricot Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

It was a hot day and I knew, I was going to be in the kitchen for several  hours, preparing for the Sabbath.  It meant making fish, chicken, side dishes and salads.  Dessert was going to be cold or from the freezer.  I did not plan on baking.  I got around using the oven except for one item.  Cholent is made in a crock pot.  The chicken was cooked on the barbecue.  Most foods were made in the microwave or did not cooking.  I did pull out the frying pan and a sauce pan for short periods of time.  The bottom line was that I did not heat up the kitchen very much.

I was stymied with what to do with a sweet potato.  Of course, the beauty of the sweet potato, is you can bake it, put on a pat of butter and enjoy it. Simple and delicious is the way to go.  Of course, it can be candied but I find, it is usually sweet enough by itself.  I do love mashed sweet potato and started off on that path.

It was over 90 degrees in the sun and my kitchen didn’t feel much cooler and I didn’t want to use my oven.  I microwaved the sweet potatoes whole, for 8 minutes.  I would have baked them after I finished shaping them but again, it was not worth using the oven so I fried them in a smidge of margarine.   What is a smidge?  Just a little bit…..

Apricot Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

4 sweet potatoes

1 pat or margarine

1 tablespoon honey

8 dried apricots

1 tablespoon olive oil

____

Microwave whole sweet potatoes for about 8 minutes until completely cooked.  Since each microwave is different, the timing may be different.  Stick a fork in the potato at about 5 minutes and see how it is.  I would check it every minute, after that, until the fork goes in easily.

Peel the sweet potatoes and mash them with the margarine and honey. Mash well.

Make a two-inch ball out of some of the sweet potato and while you are rolling it, push a dried apricot inside.  Place in a frying pan with hot olive oil.  Do the same with the remaining sweet potato.  Brown lightly on each side.  If you are not dealing with hot weather, I suggest baking this in the oven.

Serve plain or with a little maple syrup.  I was thinking of adding chopped scallions and I will try that, next time, I make these.

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The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet po...

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet potato, commonly referred to as a yam in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sweet Potato & Turkey Combo


I still have a lot of food, left over from Passover and we are attempting to eat it before, it is no longer safe to do so.  It makes for an interesting dinner, a little bit of this and a lot of that.  When we eat leftovers, I usually make something new, to give new meaning to the meal.  Leftovers may be delicious but they are still reheated food.

With a few slices of corned beef, mashed potatoes and zucchini, I made a combo dish of Sweet Potatoes and Turkey with Shallots and Onions.  I should have added some sliced apple or maybe cranberries.  It needed a little sweetness and I prefer to go the natural way, so a fruit hopefully will fill the recipe need.

I haven’t been using my cast iron pans, recently which is a big mistake.  They cook evenly and can go from stove to oven.  Their only drawback is that the larger ones are heavy.

Sweet Potato & Turkey Combo
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cooked turkey chunks
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup organic low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  •  ground black pepper, to taste

                                                                                                                                                            DIRECTIONS

In a large cast iron pan or a skillet, add one tablespoon of olive oil. Cook onions and shallots until translucent.  Remove from pan.


Microwave the sweet potato for 4 minutes or whatever your microwave needs to bake the potato.  Of course, you can do this in the oven.  
In the skillet cook the chunks to lightly brown. Add to onion mixture.

Add the sweet potato,  vegetable broth, thyme, black pepper,  sage to onion mixture and return to pan.  Cook for a few minutes until heated.

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Sweet Potatoes and Dried Pears – Side

This turned out to be an incredible experiment.  It was one of my last-minute deals when I had to use up some produce, pronto.  I had a few sweet potatoes and no immediate plans for them.  We had come to the point that they were talking to me.

SP (sweet potato):  Why did you buy us?

Me: To eat, of course.

SP: So, why are we sitting in the corner of the hydrator with celery, of all things.  Don’t you know, we generally are not friends with celery unless you are making a savory salad and then their crunch makes them endearing.

Me:  Hmmmm, savory salad sounds good but I was thinking hot, a nice hot dish and sweet, not savory.

SP:  That is fine with us.  Just do it.  If you leave us any longer, we are going to get ugly and then you might throw us in the garbage.

Me:  Garbage?  Of course not.  You are the diamonds of the hydrator.  No garbage for you.

SP: Then, it is time to warm us up.  Do you have any idea how cold it is, in here?

Me; Refrigerators are supposed to be cold.

SP:  Then you live in one.  We want out. We want a nice warm oven or stove burner to live in or on.

Me:  I have had enough of your complaining.  You are off to become part of a dish with yummy honey and you had better like it.

SPs:  Cheering.

I knew, I wanted something really easy to do with these “fresh” sweet potatoes.  I did my thing and opened up the cabinet and saw honey and there was my recipe.  I also had taken out some dried apricots and pears, a short while before, so I removed the dried pears.  Here, you try it.

Sweet Potatoes and Dried Pears

Ingredients

2 – 3 medium large sweet potatoes, cut into slices about 1/2 inch thick

6 dried pear slices

1 tablespoon

2 tablespoons honey

Method

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a casserole with about 1/2 inch water, layer sweet potatoes and dried pears.

Drizzle honey over them.  I did it by layer.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and mix so that the top layer is now in the water.

Bake for another 10 – 20 minutes until sweet potatoes are cooked through but not falling apart.

The dried pear goes beautifully with the sweet potatoes but my guess is that almost any dried fruit or fresh fruit would also be delicious.

This is linked to Everyday Mom’s Meals      Savory Sundays    Cast Party Wednesday     Pennywise Platter

Have Leftovers – Make Soup

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet po...

I had my meal plan in place, for tonight, until I looked into the refrigerator to find quite a few vegetables and fruit which would survive for a short time, if I didn’t use them, very soon.  The sweet potatoes, in particular were ready to get up and walk away.  Usually, I keep four sweet potatoes, in the house, and have plans for them.  This morning, there were six potatoes and I had no idea what to do with them.

I also found lots of leftovers sharing space with the sweet potatoes.  I decided quickly, leftovers would become the fare for, this evening and I would make a soup to go with the meal.

Emptying the refrigerator –  4 sweet potatoes, 1 apple,  container with some apple sauce, leftover vegetable soup.  Can you picture and taste my soup?

Apple Cinnamon-Sweet Potato Soup  (made in a crockpot)

4 medium sweet potatoes

1 cups water

2 cups vegetable broth

1 cup applesauce

1 apple, peeled and sliced

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon black pepper or to taste

Procedure

Put liquids in slow cooker.  Add sweet potatoes and applesauce.  Cover and cook on low for three hours.

Add apple, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg plus black pepper.  Cook on high for another hour.

Using an immersion blender, blend until the consistency you want.  Mine was smooth and creamy.

If I had cranberry pecan goat cheese, I would have crumbled it on top of the soup.

This soup had a distinct apple flavor to it and it was delicious.

Green Goddess Restaurant, New Orleans. Sweet p...
This is not my photo.

Savory Sweet Potato Salad

I love turning wonderful sweet potatoes into a savory dish and this salad manages to do just that.  Like any potato salad, this is a salad that can fill you up, if you eat enough of it.  OK, I sat down and made a meal of it.  For me, that means a small bowl.

Savory Sweet Potato Salad

2 large sweet potatoes 
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 teaspoons rice vinegar (I use seasoned)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup olive oil
4 scallions, thinly sliced

Method:

Peel sweet potatoes.  Cut into about one quarter inch cubes.

Microwave in water for 8 – 10 minutes or until fork tender.

While potatoes cook, whisk together mustard, vinegar, and salt in a large bowl, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified.

Add hot potatoes to dressing and gently toss to combine well. Cool salad to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Add scallions and salt to taste and gently toss.

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Twice Baked Creamy Sweet Potatoes

Bake With Bizzy

Sometimes, I go forwards with meal planning and other times, I go backwards.  This week, my weekly planning is down the drain.  I have not had time to even look and see what I had planned to make.  I do know there is a corn dish with goat cheese, I want badly to have and maybe, I can make it tomorrow.  In the morning, I made a zucchini dish and then I blankly looked at it and thought, it needs something with it.  The problem with a meatless meal….which is the main food.  In the end, I remembered, I had 5 sweet potatoes that had better be used and used soon.

The result was this interesting dish from allrecipes.com.  As soon as I read the ingredients, I was racing to the kitchen to take out the sweet potatoes, cream cheese and brown sugar.  I have never made a sweet potato dish with cream cheese but could imagine it, especially with the brown sugar.

A few years ago, I discovered savory sweet potatoes.  I am from that generation that made mashed sweet potatoes with a marshmallow topping.  I loved it then but now, it appears to be much too sweet and gooey.  I hopped over to the savory side with a salad and my sweet potato dishes changed.  The mild sweetness of the potato plays well against savory flavors.

Now, I have “normalized” and eat sweet potatoes both ways and I like them either sweet or savory.  Give me a sweet potato any day.

Twice Baked Creamy Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients

2 sweet potatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened (whipped)

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

I left out the walnuts because I had a quick bread, in the oven baking with nuts.  I didn’t want another nutty dish.

Directions

1.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F .

2.

Rub sweet potato skins with  oil. Wrap potatoes in aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until soft. (Now, I admit, I took shortcuts.  I microwaved the potatoes which meant they were softer than if baked.  I also microwaved them for the second baking.  Time was short.)

3.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and pepper.

4.

Cut potatoes in half and scoop flesh into the bowl with the other ingredients.  Spoon mixture into potato skins.

5.

Bake for 5 minutes, or until heated through.

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Maple-Glazed Sweet Potatoes —- Bon Appetit

Usually, I have a few sweet potatoes in the refrigerator and add them to various dishes as called for.  In my opinion, sweet potatoes add to almost any dish.  They balance the savory and tart flavors nicely.  I was making a chicken dish for dinner and was about to make rice as my side dish and out of the corner of my eye, I saw those favorite sweet potatoes.  The rice will wait for another dinner.  Rice does not go to waste, in this house, nor does quinoa.

Needless to say, these easy to make potatoes are delicious.

Maple-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

adapted from Bon Appétit | November 2005

Ingredients

Ipomoea batatas, Convolvulaceae, Sweet Potato,...

Image via Wikipedia

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch chunks

seasoning of choice  (I keep seasoning blends such as Shwarma seasoning or Indian seasoning on hand)

1/8 cup pure maple syrup

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Spray 1 baking sheet with cooking oil.

 Place sweet potatoes chunks on baking sheet, spreading evenly. Spray with cooking oil.  Sprinkle with Curry seasoning Roast until almost tender, turning occasionally with metal spatula, about 35 minutes.

Drizzle maple syrup over sweet potatoes and toss to coat. Roast until sweet potatoes are tender and syrup is reduced to glaze and coats sweet potatoes, about 20 minutes.

This is so simple, it does not need to be written up but it is equally as good and is worth sharing.  This goes with almost any other food, fish, poultry, meat, salads, vegetarian and dairy.