March 29, 2009

Sweet Potato Explosion!

This past Sunday, I woke up. Puttered around the house a bit.

When my stomach rumbled like a convoy of semis, I realized that, maybe, just maybe, it was time for breakfast.

Following the
waste not rule, I used my overripe bananas to make banana nut muffins using my family’s recipe from our Bed & Breakfast days. Yummy and easy, even if it doesn't count toward the cooking challenge.

tified, I decided to peruse the cookbook collection for new recipes that do meet the cooking challenge requirements. In particular, I was looking for recipes to use some of my sweet potatoes that are sitting around gathering dust.

Quite frankly,
if you haven’t noticed yourself, there are not a lot of recipes for sweet potatoes. At least not in my collection. I found that odd all things considered, but still found a couple of new recipes in two cookbooks.

First up was dessert. A Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pie from “The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook.” This cookbook is chock-full of recipes I want to try. So get used to seeing it.

The challenge with this recipe was the number of steps in it and my unfamiliarity
with it.

First off was steaming the diced sweet potatoes. Then mashing 'em. Easy enough. Then getting the ingredients mixed in the right order. Fine. Separating eggs that didn’t want to be separating. Beating egg whites to soft peaks when they didn’t nothing to do with it. Sort of annoying.

And then there was the stupid pie crust.

I don’t have cabinet space nor patience enough to make my own pie crust. I admit it. Instead, I used the handy dandy pre-made Pillsbury pie crust dough.

Note: When pre-baking a pie crust before
filling it, do not spray the pie plate with PAM. The pie crust won’t stick to the pie plate. So I had to make up the second pie crust. Okay. Fine.

The work was worth it though. The pie came out tasting just fine.

Once the pie was done, I moved on to sweet potato recipe #2. Chicken Nuggets from “Deceptively Delicious.”

I expected this recipe to be a nuisance to fix and questionable in the taste department.
In actuality, this was easier to assemble than I expected.

Essentially, you make a sweet potato puree, mix it with an egg. Dip the chicken nugget size
bits of chicken in it, then dredge ‘em in a bread crumb mixture.

The nuisance came in to play with the pan frying on my stupid
electric coil stove top. Too hot. Not hot enough. I finally said enough was enough and threw the rest in the oven to bake after the pie was done.

Yeah… That didn’t work.
The slightly burnt, pan-fried nuggets tasted better than the baked ones that I overbaked, which gave them an over-done, dry, sawdust texture through and through.

Bleh. A half pound of chicken – ruined.

However, I have to say. Had I fried them up the right way, they would have been really good. The sweet potato puree gave them a great flavor and just the right balance of juicy chicken and crunchy outer layer.

The lesson learned through this process and last week’s horrid Natchitoches Incident is that I really, really, really need to get an electric skillet so that I have better control over my frying temps. I’d rather have a gas stove, but that ain’t an option.

Luckily, my birthday is coming up very soon, so I can give my mom the birthday gift hint she’s been asking me for.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I must go console myself with some Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pie.


caitlynrose said...

Okay, the burnt nuggets actually look pretty tasty... will my son figure out I'm slipping him sweet potatoes?

cat said...

be entertained