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Posts Tagged ‘sweet potato’

Excelsior! As promised, I’ve finally got around to finishing up the first piece in a new series of cook-the-book style posts! First at-bat is Stan Lee Presents the Mighty Marvel Superheroes Cookbook. 

The book begins with a brief introduction and some basic tips on safety and kitchen cleanliness. Then, as any good morning would, delves into some breakfast.

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A wise man once said “There has never been a sadness that can’t be cured by breakfast food” and a trip to your local diner will prove that every time. While studies have more or less debunked the conventional wisdom that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, starting your morning with good food is a great way to set the tone for the rest of the day.

With Captain America’s Day Starters, we get a few different options for easy, healthy and delicious kick start.

‘Fresh fruit or fruit juice. Lots of vitamins C and A’

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I’ve wrote on here a few times about how great smoothies can be for breakfast. Blend up your favorite mix of fruits and veggies with some juice or milk (I also like to throw some type of sea vegetable in the mix) and you’re ready to go. Once you blend your mix, you can freeze it in an ice cube tray to make things even easier while you’re still groggy. This particular blend I threw together features banana, pineapple, orange, mango and sweet potato.

‘Milk is the best source of calcium. It’s need for strong bones and teeth. It also supplies protein – essential building blocks for our bodies’img_4825

Milk is certainly nutritious, if not a little bit weird as a concept, but yogurt has even more calcium and is loaded with beneficial bacteria. Mixed with granola and some fresh fruit, it makes for a hearty, protein-packed breakfast.

‘Bread or cereal, lots of variations in this department’

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For simplicity, flavor and customization, look no further than Avocado Toast, loaded with Omega 3 fats and complex carbohydrates. The only two things you need are in the name itself. Apart from avocado and toasted bread, the possibilities are near endless. The folks over that The Kitchn have a great piece to get your creative juices going; Here, I’ve got 12 grain bread with butter and sesame seeds, mashed avocado, and thinly sliced cucumber tossed with salt, pepper, chili flake and lime juice.

Now, for those looking for a more traditional American-style breakfast, look no further than Hulk’s Fried Potatoes with Bacon and Eggs

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This dish needs little explanation, if any at all. Bacon, eggs, toast, breakfast potatoes; Maybe some coffee, if you’re so inclined. I will give one little trick I recently picked  up while working mainly breakfast shifts: par-boil your potatoes with onions and garlic. This cooks them through, so when you fry ’em up they’ll be soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. It’s the same principle to making great French Fries.

In Our Next Exciting Issue…

The Thing’s Clobbered Omelet

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Root vegetables are a staple in countless cuisines across the world. As the underground portion of any plant, they provide a great source of nutrients, and store really well over the cold winter months. Now that we’re out of summer and getting into the fall season, it’s a great time to start utilizing root vegetables! Root vegetables are incredibly versatile, able to be used both as a starch and as a vegetable in a wide variety of dishes. I feel like there isn’t much to say about root vegetables in general, so lets get right into the food itself!

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite roots. You can mash them, fry them, make them into chips and pretty much anything else that you could do with a regular potato. However, unlike their paler cousins, sweet potatoes have a great orange color and a nice sweetness to them. To me, that makes them perfectly suited for another standard potato application: gnocchi. I’m going to through this out there right now: it’s pronounced NYoh-kee. Not nOCKY, not No-kee, not Guh-no-chee. I can’t tell you how many people, cooks included, fail to learn how to pronounce this word properly. Maybe it’s just me that it bothers, who knows. Where was I again? Oh right, gnocchi. While normally associated as such, gnocchi are more akin to a dumpling than a pasta.  Potatoes are cooked until tender, mashed, and mixed with eggs and flour to form a dough. The dough is then formed into small chunks and blanched in boiling water. Traditionally, gnocchi are rolled on a specially made board or fork to groove the dumpling so that it holds sauce better. After a quick blanch, the gnocchi can be satueed until they begin to crisp, or tossed in sauce immediately. Either way, they’re a tasty, versatile alternative in nearly any pasta dish.

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For my gnocchi, I baked the sweet potatoes until tender, then removed the flesh. After mashing and allowing them to cool, I mixed in an egg, some salt, and some cinnamon. At this step in the process, things got a little tricky. The recipe I was working off of said only to add about a cup and a half of flour to form a dough. After adding the cup and a half, I was still left with a goopy orange mass in the bowl. I continued to add flour until it came together  like a dough and pulled away from the sides of the bowl. After everything was said and done, it was about three cups of flour total. After removing from the bowl to a floured work surface, I began to kneed the dough and realized that I still needed more flour. Once workable, the dough was divided into four pieces and then divided into individual gnocchi. As I worked with the dough more, it got stickier and stickier. Each gnocchi had to be rolled in flour to keep from sticking to each other on the table. I don’t  know if this was something I had done wrong, but it seemed like and excessive amount of flour.  But with that process over with, I blanched the gnocchi and held them off to be cooked again. The sauce gave me much fewer problems . Shallots, sauteed in butter and sage, deglazed with white wine, and finished with cream. Simple and delicious. Since the gnocchi came out a little doughier that I had intended, I crisped up some fresh bacon lardons to put on top and add a little bit of fattiness.  Once the sauce and bacon were ready, I sauteed the gnocchi in butter until they got browned and crispy on a few sides. The sauce complimented the sweetness of the gnocchi perfectly, and the bacon provided a nice contrast. I think I could have gone a little heavier on the spices in the dough itself, but the little bit I added definitely came through the way I expected it to. The best part about this recipe? It makes enough for two people, with an extra three servings of gnocchi leftover to freeze for another time. Woo!

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

makes about 5 portions

  • Sweet Potato, 2 pounds or about 3 medium potatoes
  • Egg, 1 each
  • Kosher Salt, 1 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon
  • All-Purpose Flour, 3 cups, plus more for dusting

Preheat oven to 400F. Bake sweet potatoes for 1 hour, or until tender. Remove from oven, wrap in a dish towel and allow to cool. From sweet potato flesh from skin and place in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Mash potatoes, then add egg, salt and cinnamon, mixing to combine. Add flour gradually, mixing to incorporate. Once dough comes together and pulls from bowl, transfer to a floured work surface. Kneed dough about 5 minutes, adding flour as needed. Divide dough into four. Working in batched, form dough into small balls, about 1 teaspoon each, rolling to coat in flour. Blanch gnocchi in salted boiling water. Gnocchi will begin to float when cooked. Transfer to baking sheet and allow to cool*. To serve, saute gnocchi in butter until crisp and browned. Serve with your choice of sauce.

Sage Cream Sauce

makes about 1 1/2 cups

  • Butter, 2 tablespoons
  • Shallot, minced, 1 each
  • Sage, minced, 1/2 cup, separated
  • White Wine, 1/2 cup
  • Heavy Cream, 2 cups

Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat. Saute shallot and 1/4 cup sage in butter until shallot is tender. Deglaze pan with white wine, cooking wine until almost dry. Add cream and bring to a simmer. Simmer until cream is reduced and thickened. Finish sauce with fresh sage.

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