I realize by looking at this picture you could be staring at any old baked sweet potato. Perhaps an additional dollop of sour cream, some chopped cilantro and chilies would give a proper indication of what’s in store? I’ve never been particularly concerned about this part of food blogging. I document dishes I’ve made that should not be forgotten. That’s sufficient to me. This should not be forgotten.
So what we’re looking at here, even if it’s not indicative of much, is an intense amount of flavor. These sweet potatoes are tangy, spicy, creamy and sweet. Sweet potato is just such a natural pairing for cumin and lime! It’s a really great dish in its own right, and we’ve dined on these alone for dinner on several occasions now. Alternatively, you could cut the sweet potatoes into wedges, roast them and toss with the cumin, paprika, brown sugar, salt and pepper, then make a dip of sour cream, lime and cilantro. That would be lovely as well.
- 4 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut a slit in the top of the sweet potatoes to allow steam to escape and make future scraping easier, then bake them on a sheet pan until very tender, about an hour.
- Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and allow them to cool slightly. Meanwhile, heat cumin seeds in a dry skillet until fragrant. Set aside.
- Raise the oven temperature to 500 degrees. Carefully remove the flesh from the sweet potatoes into a bowl, and combine with the cumin seeds, hot paprika, brown sugar, sour cream and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then fill the emptied skins with the prepared mixture.
- Return these to the sheet pan and bake until lightly golden. Serve immediately topped with crumbled queso fresco, chopped cilantro and/or chilies, if desired.
I’ve been making pizzas quite regularly lately, so I figured I would try something a bit different with my dough preparation this week. The Gazette did a feature on piadina, so I decided to give it a go. Unfortunately, I recycled the newspaper, so I have no idea what that recipe entailed. I compiled what seemed like an average of ingredients from the Internet and, since I have never had this particular flatbread, wasn’t really sure what to expect.
My results were kind of like a biscuity chappati. On its own this isn’t particularly appealing, but it makes a wonderful, if heavy, sandwich. Cold cuts, cheese and greens seems to be the standard here, but I went with porchetta, mozzarella and hot sauce because my first experiment with the flatbread reminded me of this pork sandwich at Maison du Nord I wanted to have an Italian take on.
The bread is heavy, but it was a nice change from the usual pizza. I prepared it with lard, but I think I’ll give it a go in the future with olive oil. It seems like it would be more tender and flavorful while still retaining a certain crunch on the outside.
- 4 cups (500g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 100g lard (or extra virgin olive oil)
- 200ml room temperature water
- Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the lard with a fork or your fingers, then incorporate the water to make a cohesive dough.
- Knead the dough until smooth, then divide into four equal portions (about 6 ounces or 175g each). Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rest for an hour.
- To cook, heat a large (12″ or bigger) cast iron skillet over medium heat for several minutes. Roll out one of the dough balls to 1/8″ thickness, then cook in the dry skillet until brown and blistered, about 2 minutes per side.
- To make a sandwich, simply fold the warm dough over your chosen fillings and heat another minute per side to melt the cheese or what have you.