Well hello, fall, so glad you're back.
The acorns may not yet thwack onto the roof but food-wise, I'm ready to put aside the spare bites of summer tomato and sweet corn and even this year's much-beloved okra. I'm ready to gird my table for the hibernation that is winter.
And isn't this the wonder of seasonal eating, loving each and every bite of the season's best, then moving onto the next season, ready to love each and every morsel in its own time? When I was a girl, I listened to Judy Collins sing "Turn, Turn, Turn: To Everything There Is a Season" until the 45rpm wore thin. As I listen now on YouTube, I realize how much the words guide my soul, food and otherwise.
And if this recipe for savory sweet potatoes -- published just yesterday! in the New York Times -- is any indication of repasts to come, hello fall, indeed. Chances are, all the ingredients are on hand, if not, no special trips to Trader Joe's or some specialty place are needed. Yet at least for me, this was an entirely new take on sweet potatoes, dark and toasty, sporting a little heat from a chili, something that will definitely cure sweet potatoes of the anathema of marshmallow sweetness.
I cooked the sweet potatoes an hour or so before supper, then reheated to serve with short ribs, some wonderful couscous (recipe to come, I promise!) and Me & Joe Went Hunting table conversation with two lifetime hunters. All were memorable but especially, yes, fall's first sweet potatoes.
"It was fantastic!! ... Best part - my husband ate it ALL and said it was definitely something we needed to make again!! SO good!!" ~ Cher
"TWO THUMBS UP!!" ~ Molly
RECIPE for SAVORY STIR-FRIED SWEET POTATOES
Time to table: 35 minutes
4 green onions, trimmed and cut into one-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic (see TIPS)
1" piece of fresh ginger, peeled (see TIPS)
1 small fresh hot chili (I used a Thai chili), stem, seeds and membrane removed
1-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (see TIPS), peeled
1-1/2 tablespoons peanut oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Green onion tops, cut into rings, for garnish (oops, mine were wilted so I used fresh parsley)
Sesame seeds, for garnish
More soy sauce for the table? (see TIPS)
FOOD PROCESSOR In a food processor with the blade attachment, chop the green onions, garlic, ginger and chili until finely chopped. (No food processor? Just chop finely.) Remove from the food processor.
GRATE If using a food processor, cut the sweet potatoes into pieces that will fit into the chute. Attach the grating blade, then grate the sweet potatoes. (No food processor? Leave the sweet potatoes whole, then use a hand grater.)
STIR-FRY Heat a large skillet on medium high, add the oil and heat until shimmery. When hot, add the grated onion-garlic-ginger-chili mixture, stir to coat with fat and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the sweet potatoes and stir to coat with fat. Cook, stirring occasionally and adding water if the sweet potatoes begin to stick, until they are fully cooked, about 25 minutes.
SEASON, GARNISH & SERVE Season with salt and pepper and stir in the soy sauce. To serve immediately, transfer to a serving dish, garnish with green onion and sesame seeds. Otherwise, turn off the heat, let rest until ready to serve, gently rewarm, transfer to a serving dish, garnish and serve.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES - Such a simple recipe, so many tips!
GARLIC & ONION Two of my most-used pantry items for weeknight cooking are jars of garlic and jars of ginger from a nearby Asian market, picture here. Fresh garlic and ginger? Of course but tonight I went the easy route.
GARNET SWEET POTATOES Look for red-skinned Garnet sweet potatoes. They are harder to find than brown-skinned sweet potatoes, also more perishable and thus more expensive -- but they have excellent flavor and are less prone to a mealy texture. That said, tonight I used regular brown-skinned sweet potatoes.
MORE SOY SAUCE? The inspiring recipe suggested that more soy sauce might be used on the final dish at the table, we found no need for it.
MODIFICATIONS 1) I cooked all the green onion-garlic-ginger-chili mixture, where the original recipe saved half the green onion for garnishing the cooked dish. 2) I used only 1-1/2 tablespoons oil (plus water to prevent sticking) versus the 3 tablespoons specified.
~ My Favorite Sweet Potato Recipes ~
~ Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes with Cranberry & Orange ~
~ Savory Stir-Fried Sweet Potatoes ~
~ Frozen Sweet Potato Fries: Are They Worth the Money? the Calories? ~
~ more sweet potato recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Chicken Cider Stew ~
~ Rustic Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Carrots ~
~ Sweet Potato Salad with Roasted Poblano, Roasted Corn & Chipotle ~
~ more sweet potato recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column