The Problem with Purple Potatoes

Recently, my wife and I were shopping at the local Fresh Market and saw some purple sweet potatoes. We’d never seen them before. My wife loves the color purple and we enjoyed several sweet potato recipes, so we decided to pick one up.

We assumed that it could be cooked the same as a regular sweet potato and that just the color was different. So we decided to make grilled sweet potato fries out of it. We really enjoyed them in the past so it seemed like the perfect way to prepare them.

We’ll we were wrong. We forgot one thing about grilling sweet potatoes. It can be difficult to keep them from burning. That in itself isn’t so bad when you use a regular sweet potato because you can tell what color it is and tell when it is starting to turn black. That doesn’t work with purple sweet potatoes.

Purple Sweet Potato Fries

Purple sweet potatoes are very dark to begin with so it is nearly impossible to tell if the are burning until they are really burnt. Despite cooking a pretty reasonable number of fries, we ended up with only a few that were really edible.

Colonie-20130501-00260

The ones that were edible were just as good as the regular sweet potato fries. However, it was tough to pick them out. Sometimes, you thought you had a good one until you ate it. By then it was too late. If they were burnt, they were not at all appetizing.

In the future, if we cook purple sweet potatoes, I’ll try the baked sweet potato fries instead. I think they are too dark to try making potato chips since they tended to burn a little if you weren’t careful.

So I can recommend purple sweet potatoes if you like regular sweet potatoes, but you need to be a bit cautious in how you cook them so they don’t burn.

 

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When Did Anderson Cooper Come Out…

As a fussy eater?

It seems that Anderson also dislikes fruit and vegetables. I am baffled at why he would attempt to eat spinach on the air. That’s not exactly what I would select as the first vegetable to try – and I certainly wouldn’t want to try it in front of millions of people. He might have been better off trying sweet potato fries, or honey glazed roasted carrots. Then again, I don’t know what kinds of food Anderson does like. I tried those because I have a sweet tooth. I don’t know if he does. What I do know is that you are more likely to enjoy something that has the same qualities as something else you like. That’s why sweet vegetables were a little more palatable to me than celeriac which is firmly planted in the dislike category, just slightly above the “Stroganoff Column“. Work with what you like and you are more likely to find new foods you’ll eat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sM8KWZM0VAY

http://www.andersoncooper.com/2011/09/26/anderson-eats-spinach-for-the-first-time/

http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2011/12/01/anderson-cooper-eat-your-vegetables/

Grilled Sweet Potato Fries Recipe

Last night we decided to grill up a few burgers and enjoy some time by the pool. Usually we would make up the more traditional french fries to go with them. Instead we opted to make some sweet potato fries. We’d done them before in the oven, but since it was rather hot, we figured it would be nice not to have to fire up anything in the kitchen. Based on the results, my wife and I agreed this will probably be the new standard side to our burgers. You’ll notice two piles of fries. Each was done a little differently so I could try some experimenting, which is kind of my thing.

On the left you’ll see the ones made with the basic recipe for the oven fries we made before. Here is the recipe.

  • Cut sweet potatoes into relatively small wedges (they cook quicker)
  • Toss potatoes into a Zip-Lock bag with a small amount of olive oil
  • Add chili powder
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Shake bag around until all potatoes are evenly covered
  • Place them on the grill and turn every few minutes. Cooking time will vary based on how thick they are cut and how hot your grill is

We didn’t leave them on the grill quite long enough for how thick some of the fries were so a few of them weren’t as soft as they should be. Other than that, they were delicious as we expected. They probably could have used a little more chili powder – Now there’s a sentence I never that I’d be using!

The few fries you see on the left were a little more interesting. I was going to cook them in maple syrup as suggested in the comments of my Honey Glazed Roasted Carrots Recipe. When I mentioned that to my wife Linda, she said she had heard they were good with brown sugar and then dipped in maple syrup. I never did dip them, but here’s the recipe for them anyway.

  • Cut sweet potatoes into relatively small wedges (they cook quicker)
  • Toss potatoes into a Zip-Lock bag with a small amount of olive oil
  • Add light brown sugar
  • Shake bag around until all potatoes are evenly covered
  • Place them on the grill and turn every few minutes. Cooking time will vary based on how thick they are cut and how hot your grill is

These fries didn’t quite come out as flavorful as the others. Perhaps I should have gone back in the kitchen for the maple syrup. Maybe they needed some additional seasoning like salt and pepper. I’m not sure. I’ll have to try them again and see.

Root Vegetable Mash

I’ve been looking for a way to prepare the celeriac we picked up at the Farmer’s Market and I finally found a recipe I think I’m willing to try. It’s for a mashed potato dish they refer to as Root Vegetable Mash. I’m including the recipe as stated, but I will be leaving out the garlic.

Serves: 2 Prep:  10min |Cook: 20min |Total: 30min

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1/4 pound celery root, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/3 tablespoons 1% milk, warmed
  • 1/3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, cover the sweet potatoes, celery root, and garlic with water.
  2. Cover pan and bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-high.
  4. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the celery root is very tender when pierced with a fork.
  5. Drain and return to the pan.
  6. With a potato masher, mash into a coarse puree.
  7. Add the milk, oil, and salt. Mash to blend.

via Root Vegetable Mash – Healthy Recipe Finder | Rodale.

Sweet Potato Chips

My wife Linda came home with a recipe for sweet potato chips. Since I liked the sweet potato fries I mentioned the other day, I decided to make them with our burgers tonight.

  • Slice the sweet potato very thin (we used a mandolin)
  • Microwave for 4 minutes and add time as needed.

The actual recipe called for 6 minutes, but that seemed to burn them a little. The unburnt ones were good though. I tried some with chili powder but that seemed to accelerate the cooking and they burnt much worse.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Until just this past year, I was strictly a traditional fry kind of guy. My wife’s friend told her about a sweet potato fries recipe. We decided to give it a try.

  • Cut sweet potatoes into relatively small wedges (they cook quicker)
  • Toss potatoes into a Zip-Lock bag with a small amount of olive oil
  • Add chili powder
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Shake bag around until all potatoes are evenly covered
  • Heat oven to 450 degrees
  • Place potatoes on a baking sheet evenly spaced
  • Cook for around 20 minutes, turning occasionally

To my surprise, they were really pretty good. This also kind of turned me on to using chili powder in other recipes. It’s always good to build on what you like.

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