Browsing articles tagged with " sweet potato"

Sweet Potato, Smoked Mozzarella + Kale Grilled Pizza

Things have been kind of wacky around here lately. Wacky as in it’s March 20th and the temperature is supposed to reach 80 degrees today…and tomorrow…and the next day! We’ve been experiencing out of the ordinary weather all winter, but in the last week things suddenly changed from slightly warmer and dryer than average to weather that here in Vermont doesn’t usually happen until June- if we’re lucky. This past Sunday a record was broken in Burlington for the highest temperature ever recorded- 79 degrees. The previous record was 66 degrees. That’s 13 degrees warmer! (yes, I know you can do math but I just had to point out the enormous jump in temps) Chances are that these beautiful summer days in the middle of March won’t last much longer. Next week the temperatures will probably drop back down to normal, and in all likelihood it will snow at least one more time before winter is truly over. For now though, there’s nothing to do but enjoy the gift that we’ve been given. Spending time sitting on the porch, raking the yard, walking the dog in a t-shirt, sleeping with the window open, breaking out my flip flops and of course, one of my favorite summer activities…grilling!TAW97608
I like to grill everything, and I do. Meats, vegetables, shish kabobs, sandwiches, pizzas…you name it and I will grill it. I know, I know, a women (gasp) who like to grill. For some strange reason grilling is often considered a man’s job. Does anyone else think this is weird, and kind of wrong? There are men who couldn’t make a pot of pasta to save their lives yet give them a slab of meat and a hot grill and they will  cook it up like they’re the head chef at a 5 star restaurant. And there are women who can whip up anything in the kitchen but wouldn’t dream of firing up the grill. What’s up with that? If I’m being honest it’s the latter that annoys me the most. What are you too lady-like for the grill? Is it too dirty for you? Are you scared of the fire? I just don’t get it. I’m proud to admit that in this household my husband it secure enough in his manliness to leave the grilling to me. And I in turn am confident enough in my feminine side to know I can use the grill, and use it well. So come on ladies, it’s time to get grilling!

On to the recipe. The key to a successful grilled pizza is having all the ingredients ready to go before you even turn the grill on. This of course includes the dough if you are making it yourself, but also any toppings that may need to be cooked.
Grilled pizza happens very fast and the topping are really only on the grill long enough to melt the cheese so anything you don’t want to eat raw needs a quick cook before hand. For this pizza I went with a kind of wintery mix of sweet potatoes, onions, kale and a smoky fresh mozzarella. This is my nod to the fact that it still is only March and things like fresh tomatoes and basil are still very far away from being in season. The sweet potatoes and onions are tossed with a little olive oil, salt and fresh pepper before they are briefly roasted in the oven. If you have a good grill basket you can do this step on the grill. I chose not to because I wanted the potatoes sliced thin and I have a bad habit of burning them on the grill when they are cut this thin. TAW97565
Another tip for grilled pizza is to keep it small. Don’t try to make a huge pizza that takes up the entire grill because when it comes time to flip it things will get tricky real fast. Also, you want one side of the grill searing hot so you can achieve a crispy grilled crust and the other side low heat for melting the cheese. If your pizza is too big you won’t be able to slide the cooked crust over to the cool side for cheese melting. The result will be a burnt crust and cold cheese. If you can’t tell, this has happened to me more than once. Now I always make two small pizzas and cook the second crust while the first one is on the cheese melting side. Oh, one last tip- grilled pizza doesn’t have to be round. The best shape is the one that fits your grill best. For me that is a kind of rectangular oval with wavy edges. Here is small pizza number one. Se how the crust is starting to bubble in the middle- yummm!TAW97605
And here it is flipped over and cooking on the second side. Look at those beautiful grill marks.TAW97607
Now I slide it over to the cool side and load up the toppings, close the lid to let the cheese melt.TAW97609
The finished product. Crisp crust, melted smoky cheese, roasted sweets and onions, and crunchy kale with just a sprinkle of fresh rosemary. Now this is how a real woman uses a grill.TAW97631

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Sweet Potato and Almond Croquettes

Sweet Potato and Almond Croquettes
I could eat sweet potatoes everyday. I could eat them baked, mashed, boiled, or fried. I could eat them drizzled with honey, topped with sausage, or baked into bread. As far as I am concerned sweet potatoes are the perfect food. They’re healthy, they’re tasty, and they can be prepared in an infinite number of ways. My default sweet potato recipe is to cube them, toss with some olive oil, salt, cayenne, a pinch of rosemary and roast until soft in the middle and crisp on the outside. These sweet potato croquettes are kind of like a more sophisticated, more refined, version of this dish. Soft, pillowy mashed spuds are mixed with goodies like scallions and ground almonds then rolled into balls and dipped in crunchy panko crumbs. The best part? There’s cheese!Sweet Potato and Almond Croquettes Traditionally potato croquettes are fried. I considered taking this route, I really did. I figured if there was was ever a time to eat fried foods, the week of the Super Bowl was it.  In the end though, I couldn’t do it. Partly because I felt guilty about the prospect of vilifying these healthy little potato balls by subjecting them to a hot oil bath, but mostly because it just seemed like too much work. And too much mess, and too much potential for failure, and burning myself. So I baked them instead…and they were wonderful!

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Mini Maple Sweet Potato Pies

Mini Maple Sweet Potato Pies
Did you know that sweet potatoes are considered one of nature’s most superior forms of vitamin A, that there also exists a purple-flesh version, and that in Benton, Kentucky this lucky spud is celebrated annually during an event called the Tater Day festival? Yeah, I didn’t know any of this either (thank you Wikipedia for feeding my love of random food facts). What I do know is that sweet potatoes are DELICIOUS – especially when combined with maple syrup, sausage, and pie crust! I found this recipe about a month ago on a really cool blog called The Tomato Tart. As soon as I saw the name of the recipe I knew I had to make it.
I love maple, I love sweet potato, and I love anything in mini form. There’s something so wonderful about a little mini morsel that you can just pop in your mouth, no silverware, no plate, no guilt. Well, a little guilt if you’re like me and allow the mini status to justify eating as many as a you want- I mean they are mini, so its okay…right? Luckily, I’ve developed a defense mechanism against my mini addiction. It’s called a party! Or more specifically in this case, a brunch. I mentioned last week that we were having a group of friends over for a holiday brunch and that I was trying to narrow down my recipe selections. While a bunch of the contenders were passed over for various reasons- not kid-friendly, takes too long to make, would have to make 3 batches to feed everyone – this recipe seemed to be the prefect fit. And it was a hit! Everyone loved them, even including some of the kids. The best part was that since I made this magnificent mini dish for a crowd, I only ate just one!
I had the best intentions to take photos of all the wonderful dishes from our brunch so that I could share them with you here. Unfortunately, I was so busy visiting with friends and making pomegranate mimosas that I completely forgot to take a single picture! Oh well. I will tell you that we had an amazing and tasty array of dishes. From the fruit and yogurt parfait to the garlic and cheese filled fingerling potatoes, it was a wonderful spread of good food and even better company.

Having this brunch so early in December was the perfect motivation for me to get all of my holiday decorating done. Over the past few years I have really pared down my decorations and now I am left with only my most favorite. Since I got lost in pomegranate mimosa land and forgot to take food pictures, I thought it might be fun to share some of my Christmas decorations  with you instead.TAW52716TAW52745










Hope you enjoyed- now on to the recipe!

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