2016 February 12     Food  Vegetables


Background


Have you ever had one of those way over-sweetened "sweet potato" dishes?   You know, the kind that's loaded with marshmallows and sugar?

Some people adore that.   I never could get through a plate of it.  Same thing with canned yams. 

Then, for some reason or another, I decided to give sweet potatoes another try.   Done right, the sweet potato is actually delicious.

Here's a super-easy recipe that I threw together one night.

I'm confident you can make this dish, even if you feel like you're "kitchen useless".   The biggest challenge is safely cutting the sweet potatoes; we'll get to that soon enough.

Now let's do this.




A Quick Note

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In This Article

Gearing Up

Word of Caution

Ingredients

Preparation

Serving

Optional Spices

Conclusion






Gearing Up

You might want to use a steel cookie sheet or bake tray.

Stainless steel
is even better.

I like those really gnarly, blackened steel bake trays that people tend to throw away.  These old trays warp drastically when you bake them, but as long as they don't actually throw the contents around inside the oven, they're somewhat OK.

(Hear that loud crash?  It's the trays warping suddenly.)

You'll need something to grease the pans. 

Vegetable shortening
is a biochemical train wreck.  It's made with hydrogenated oils.  (I also found, by the way, that shortening was ruining my cornbread muffins, via rancid flavors.  Catalytic reaction with the iron in the muffin pan.)

Instead of shortening, I use coconut oil to grease the pan. It's solid but melts quickly on a warm pan.

You'll also need:

     Cutting board

     Spatula or Turner

     Large, sharp knife


Special notes on the knife
:  don't use a junk stainless knife for this.  You'll find it takes a good, sharp chef's knife to cut the raw sweet potatoes into wheels.  A dull knife will actually make the task more dangerous.

That one from Henckels should serve well.  Or, consider this whole set from Case, made in USA.  

If you want quality for less than 20 bucks, just get this one immediately.  Also made in USA.  That one's carbon steel, not stainless.  

Whatever you use, you may need to hone the edge as you go;  raw sweet potatoes are somewhat fibrous and tough. 




Word of Caution


Please make sure you're not distracted while cutting sweet potatoes, rutabagas, pumpkins, cabbage, or any other tough veggies.

Don't be talking to someone else, or listening to them, while you're trying to do this task.  You'll need to pay undivided attention to what you're doing.




Ingredients

If you leave out the butter, you'll have a vegan recipe.  If not, I think it still qualifies as vegetarian.  Butter tastes good. 

Here's what you'll need:

2 or 3 Sweet Potatoes
Coconut Oil
Sweet Marjoram, dried
Butter
Paprika
Salt & Pepper

That's all!

If you're curious, I like coconut oil because it doesn't oxidize much when cooked.  Other oils have more double bonds (unsaturation), meaning they oxidize very easily.  

Saturated fats may present health issues in a couple of specific ways, but when you have unsaturated fats that get oxidized, the possibilities are endless.  They become reactive and can mess up all kinds of things that we might not even be able to predict.   Inflammation, aging, cancer, arterial damage... the list goes on and on.

This is just a quick article, so we won't get into that right now;  so yeah, coconut oil.

Now let's go onward to...




Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 or 375 Fahrenheit.

Put your cutting board on a non-slip surface.  Cut the raw sweet potatoes into wheels about three-quarters of an inch thick. 

Set them on the greased cookie sheet. 

Smear the tops with coconut oil.  (Keeps them from drying out in the oven.)  Sprinkle on some marjoram.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until you can easily stick a fork into the sweet potatoes. 

I never seem to pay attention to the exact cooking time for this dish, but I know it's 20 minutes or less.  (Will try to update this with a more precise time.)

When it's out of the oven, butter each of the sweet potato wheels.  Sprinkle with paprika. 

Notice we're putting the butter on after the cooking is done.   It's that oxidation thing, again.




Serving

Eat the sweet potato wheels like cookies... or use a knife and fork if you want to look proper. 

They seem to go well with a lot of different meals.

The marjoram has one of those flavor profiles that works with any number of different ingredients.  Hot sauce, cheese, salsa, whatever.    




Other Spices


The paprika is my favorite, because it adds flavor without overpowering the natural taste of the sweet potato.

If you prefer the dish to be even more savory, try this or this.   Either one equals pure win.  




 

Conclusion

There we have it:  a super-easy sweet potato recipe.   

Maybe it's not groundbreaking to cut sweet potatoes into wheels, but who cares?  I thought of it one night in the kitchen,  we had a good meal, and now it's a favorite dish to make with almost anything.

And the wheels bake much faster than a whole sweet potato.

Have fun with it, make some tasty meals;  enjoy.

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