Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Sweet Potato............My Arch Nemesis.

My battle with the sweet potato has been a long drawn out affair. Both sides have seen their share of wounds - many of those orange potatoes have been thrown away and my throat has suffered a few closures (much to the amusement of my family & the husband). I find it easier to tell people I'm allergic to them, rather than explaining our battle. Honestly, I probably would have never eaten another sweet potato again had it not been for the fourth installment of the Platinum Chef Challenge. Thank you Cara for forcing me to conquer my enemy. I looked for a lot of battle plans and there are a lot of unappetizing recipes out there! I decided to settle for something more on the tamer side - roasted sweet potato fries - I needed to ease back into this vegetable.

Admittedly they weren't bad. There I said it, score one for the potato. Would I eat them again, maybe. Would real potatoes have been better, lord yes. I rounded out the meal with a pre-marinated peppercorn pork tenderloin, which I seared on the grill pan and put in the oven, following the directions.

Drawing obtained from: electricottosfunkfactory.com

Sweet Potato Fries with Cajun Yogurt Sauce
For the fries:
4 lg. Sweet potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
2-3 Tbs. Olive oil
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning

For the sauce:
1 c. Plain yogurt
1/2 c. Light sour cream
3 Tbs. Grated onion
1 Garlic clove, minced
2 Tbs. Spicy bottled cocktail sauce, or to taste
Few dashes hot sauce
1/2 tsp. Salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp. Pepper, or to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Brush 2 large baking sheets with some of the olive oil. Quarter the potatoes lengthwise, then cut each quarter into thirds or fourths to make thick spears. Place the spears flesh side up on the baking sheets. Drizzle with the remaining oil and sprinkle with the Cajun seasoning. Roast the potatoes for 35 to 40 minutes, or until they are cooked through.

2. Combine the yogurt and sour cream in a small bowl. Add the onion, garlic, cocktail sauce, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Stir thoroughly, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Stir again just before serving.

4. Serve immediately with the yogurt sauce.

Yield: I would guess 4-6
Recipe obtained from: Fit Fare

What I did: The only sweet potatoes they had at the grocery store were very large ones, so I only used one for this recipe. One large potato yielded enough fries for two, possibly three people. The potatoes probably ended up roasting for about 50-60 minutes, which is only because the pork wasn't done yet. The yogurt sauce wasn't bad, but I think I'd change up a few things next time. I used dried onions, and think I'd only add maybe one tablespoon next time. I think it would also be good with horseradish and parsley - possibly omitting the garlic. I've been trying out a different sauce every time I make sauerkraut balls, and I think with some tweaking this one might be a winner.

Fresh Green Beans
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add beans and cook just until bright green, roughly three minutes. Drain well. Season with salt & pepper.

Yield: depends on amount of green beans you use.

What I did: I didn't add any additional herbs or butter, but you certainly can. Mint, chives and butter are an excellent addition to the beans - melt butter in a large skillet. Add beans and herbs - toss well.


Kate said...

I dunno, I think cajun yogurt sauce sounds FANTASTIC! And I bet the spice was awesome with the sweet potatoes.

Cara said...

Sorry to make you deal with you dislike so much! But taking on the challenge just proves what a wonderful and adventurous cook you are :) I think the sauce sounds great, and I'm amazed that someone who dislikes them so much could make such perfect looking sweet potato fries!