twice-baked sweet potatoes

24 July, 2012 § Leave a comment

Image from The Year in Food

Ah, the baked potato. The eponymous side dish that I would always forego in favor of greens when eating out…until now. These sweet potatoes are just like the fully-loaded ones you’d get at a steakhouse–if that steakhouse were a vegetarian restaurant and that steak were, say, a quinoa burger. Get the picture?

Essentially, these are the fully-loaded baked potatoes’ more colorful, more nutritious (and in my opinion more appetizing) cousins. They’re stuffed with kale, parmesan and greek yogurt before baking the second time, making for a fluffy, distinctive filling that’ll have you pining for another. And here’s the best part–another really wouldn’t be so bad.

As Judy Aldridge over at Atlantis Home, where I found this recipe (originally from The Year in Food) mentioned in her notes, the hardest part is really to scrape out the sweet potatoes without piercing or tearing the delicate skin too much. That being said, you 1) get the hang of it pretty quickly and 2) it is so worth it. Also, they keep well in the fridge. What’s not to love? Finally, a potato that truly is sweet…

No adaptations were made here…or needed, for that matter. All I have added is bits of commentary on the recipe.

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes Makes 6 hearty halves
from The Year in Food

3 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
1 cup minced kale
1/4 cup strained Greek yogurt
2/3 cup shredded Parmesan, divided
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
salt + pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rinse sweet potatoes and prick the surface all over with a fork.

Roast in the oven on a cookie sheet until soft, just about an hour. Do not be alarmed if caramelized juices have seeped onto the sheet, and/or if the potatoes look a little shriveled. Remove from heat and allow to cool enough to handle.

In a medium skillet over a medium low flame, saute the onions in a little oil until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add the minced kale and sauté until the kale is soft, 2-3 minutes more.

Slice sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, carefully remove most of the sweet potato, being mindful to not tear the delicate skin.

Combine the sweet potatoes with the yogurt, onions, kale, thyme and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Marvel at how fluffy the filling becomes after the addition of the yogurt.

Spoon the filling back into the sweet potato skins. Top with the remaining Parmesan cheese.

Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

Notes
I used fat-free Greek yogurt, and it worked beautifully, so feel free to do the same. Also, if you’re feeling lazy (like I was), throw the kale into a food processor to mince it. Finally, there’s no need to follow the guideline on Parm. The people I was cooking for were cheese lovers, so I was generous in my topping, and it formed a sort of ultra-cheesy crust. Yum.

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three cheese tomato tart + pizza

12 July, 2012 § Leave a comment

Image from The Kitchn

When someone asks you to make something again, it’s a good sign. When someone straight up begs you to satiate their craving for something–ladies and gentlemen, you’ve got a winner.

That’s what happened with this cheesy tomato tart. Originally, I made the tart above exactly according to The Kitchn’s recipe, minus the basil. The other night, however, when my boyfriend was hankering for said tart and I wanted a salad (which I will also get to posting), I decided to make a personal pizza version and it came out–dare I say it–even better.

The tweaks I made were mainly minor measurement adjustments; still, the original recipe for the tart can be found here.

Behold, the reason why I prefer not to use my own photographs

A few minutes after this shot was taken, I barely needed to wash the plate before I returned it to the cupboard where it came from. This is also a good sign.

Three Cheese Tomato Pizza Serves one
Adapted from The Kitchn

2 ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/8-inch slices
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
1-2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
Scant 1/2 cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese
Scant 1/2 cup shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese
Shredded parmesan cheese, to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°.

Lay out the tomato slices on a large sheet of paper towels. If you plan on using the design above, you’ll need seven. Cover with more paper towels and allow to drain for approximately 30 minutes (this is crucial to not getting a watery tart). Meanwhile, remove the sheet of puff pastry from the freezer and allow to thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes. Knead the pastry dough a little as it thaws.

Transfer the puff pastry onto a floured surface. Roll the pastry dough until it is about 1/8-inch thick all over, working it into a circle as you go. Transfer the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet . If you like a slightly puffy, chewy crust, move on to the next step. For a thinner, crispier crust, poke holes in the dough all over with a fork.

Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise over the puff pastry, leaving room to hold the crust. Sprinkle evenly with shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Arrange the tomato slices over the cheese. Season generously with kosher salt and pepper. Sprinkle generously (or to your preference) with shredded parmesan  and garnish with whatever you like (I chose a little more freshly ground pepper.)

Bake for 24-28 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and the cheese is melted and starting to brown on top. Slice with a pizza slicer or a sharp knife and serve immediately.

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