Showing posts with label sweet potato. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sweet potato. Show all posts

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Lancegiving - an Australian Thanksgiving (of sorts) with Smoked Turkey with Mexican Chorizo Stuffing


Lancegiving - an Australian Thanksgiving (of sorts) with Smoked Turkey with Mexican Chorizo Stuffing

Lance and I both enjoy watching the tv show Bob’s Burgers. And one of Lance’s favourite episodes is the first Thanksgiving episode. In it, Bob gets excited picking out the turkey ready for the feast and he names the turkey “Lance”. So for his birthday this year, Lance was bought a Bob’s Burgers’ themed present – complete with a Lance. Yep. A whole frozen turkey. You may also recall that Lance loves smoking meats, so we knew it was going to be part of his turkey’s future. Lance named his turkey Boblance and he was popped into the freezer until such time as we could spend a whole day smoking a turkey. Lancegiving, as it came to be known, was last weekend. And it was So. Much. Fun.

We invited a few friends and family around to hang out for the day. There was a tv set up outside playing thanksgiving episodes of some of our favourite shows, Brooklyn Nine Nine, How I Met Your Mother, and, of course, Bob’s Burgers. We played beer pong (minus the beer!), we hung out in the spa, we played board games, and we watched the turkey rotisserate in the smoking shed Lance had set up. It smoked for 6 hours, then we moved it into the oven for a further hour and a half of roasting before carving it up and serving it with roast veges and the stuffing.

Lancegiving - an Australian Thanksgiving (of sorts) with Smoked Turkey with Mexican Chorizo Stuffing
Lancegiving - an Australian Thanksgiving (of sorts) with Smoked Turkey with Mexican Chorizo Stuffing


Given that neither of us had ever cooked a turkey before, we weren’t optimistic about how it was going to turn out. There was lots of gravy on hand, just in case it was tough as old boots. But, it wasn’t really required. The turkey was incredibly succulent, with a fabulous smokey flavour. The only issue with smoking it the way Lance does is that the skin doesn’t crisp up, even with the finishing time in the oven. It tends to stay a slightly unappetising chewiness. But that is a small price to pay for such delicious meat. And as good as the meat was…it was the stuffing that really stole the show. Neither of us are the biggest fan of bread based stuffings, so I did a bit of a google for other recommended fillings. Chestnuts sounded right up my alley, but too much effort to prepare. And tinned chestnuts are hard (not to mention expensive) to come by. There were various sausage ones and mince meat ones, and rice ones. Lance had the idea of throwing some sweet potato into the mix and although he claims it was his idea, we both independently came upon the same answer to easily flavouring the stuffing – Mexican Chorizo. In the absence of some lurking in your freezer (seriously though, you should make it and have some lurking in your freezer), use a few of your favourite spicy sausages, skin removed.You will need to add a diced brown onion to the vegetables you sweat off with the sausage.
Lancegiving - an Australian Thanksgiving (of sorts) with Smoked Turkey with Mexican Chorizo Stuffing
Lancegiving - an Australian Thanksgiving (of sorts) with Smoked Turkey with Mexican Chorizo Stuffing
Lancegiving - an Australian Thanksgiving (of sorts) with Smoked Turkey with Mexican Chorizo Stuffing
Lancegiving - an Australian Thanksgiving (of sorts) with Smoked Turkey with Mexican Chorizo Stuffing

Lancegiving Smoked Turkey and Stuffing

1 cup black rice
2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 sweet red paprika, diced
100g cold butter, diced
1/4 cup porcini mushrooms
1/3 cup dried cranberries
4kg turkey

Cook the rice to al dente and set aside to cool. It needs to be cooked, but retain some bite as it will be cooked more in the turkey. Cook the sweet potatoes until just barely tender using your favourite method. As I was short on time, I steamed them. Set aside to cool. The rice and sweet potatoes can be cooked ahead of time if needs be.

Place the porcini and cranberries into a mug and just cover with recently boiled water. Cover loosely and set aside to cool.

Heat a frypan to medium high-heat. Add the Mexican chorizo and break up with a wooden spoon. As it starts to brown, add the celery and paprika. Cook until softened, around 5-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Once everything is cool, mix together in a bowl. Mix in about half of the diced butter.

Spoon as much of the stuffing into the turkey cavity as possible, then sew shut the cavity. Spoon the rest into a casserole container, cover with foil and set aside. Smoosh the remaining butter cubes between the skin and the breast meat of the turkey.

Set up your smoker (or get Lance to) on your barbecue to reach 160C, and insert the rotisserie rod. Alternatively, just set your oven to 160C. Smoke/roast the turkey for around 4 hours, or until the breast meat reaches 130F on a meat thermometer. Preheat the oven to 180C, transfer the turkey from the rotisserie to a baking tray and cook for a further hour, or until the breast meat reaches 165F.  You can keep it going on the smoker outside if time permits, but we were getting hungry! As turkey sizes and oven/BBQ temperatures can vary, keep an eye on the meat and check for doneness from around 3 hours. The times I've given here are what our turkey took.

About an hour before the turkey is ready, slide the casserole dish with the stuffing into the oven to cook the remainder of the stuffing, for the last 15 minutes take the foil off. Any additional veges can be roasted now too.

Let the turkey rest for around 15 minutes, then carve. Remove the stuffing from the turkey and mix it with the casserole stuffing. Serve.

Lancegiving - an Australian Thanksgiving (of sorts) with Smoked Turkey with Mexican Chorizo Stuffing
Lancegiving - an Australian Thanksgiving (of sorts) with Smoked Turkey with Mexican Chorizo Stuffing
Lancegiving - an Australian Thanksgiving (of sorts) with Smoked Turkey with Mexican Chorizo Stuffing
Lancegiving - an Australian Thanksgiving (of sorts) with Smoked Turkey with Mexican Chorizo Stuffing
Lancegiving - an Australian Thanksgiving (of sorts) with Smoked Turkey with Mexican Chorizo Stuffing
Lancegiving - an Australian Thanksgiving (of sorts) with Smoked Turkey with Mexican Chorizo StuffingLancegiving - an Australian Thanksgiving (of sorts) with Smoked Turkey with Mexican Chorizo Stuffing
Lancegiving - an Australian Thanksgiving (of sorts) with Smoked Turkey with Mexican Chorizo Stuffing
Lancegiving - an Australian Thanksgiving (of sorts) with Smoked Turkey with Mexican Chorizo Stuffing


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck

Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck
Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck


I have mentioned before that Lance has been experimenting a lot with smoking. Meat. He gets some funny looks when he tells people he’s really into smoking. He built a tray holder and bought a rotisserie and turned one of our garden sheds into a smoker. Last time he did a great big smoke, we had around 50 sausages, half a kilo of bacon, 6 chorizo links, a roast pork and a whole chicken. We now have a few piles of various woods drying out, ready for him to experiment with, things like macadamia and plum. As well as the traditional hickory blocks that we buy from the store. As an offshoot from that, he’s started experimenting more with roasting meats on the rotisserie in the BBQ. Or “rotisserating” them, as he likes to say.


This style of cooking is most suited to things with an outer layer of fat, so when it rotates, that layer of fat gets crunchy and delicious, whilst the interior meat is protected and stays gloriously moist. Even if you slightly overcook a roast, it stays moist inside. Lamb and pork legs and whole chickens have all had the rotisserated treatment to great effect. He’ll often throw some hickory and mesquite chips in to add an extra flavour boost. He did a whole baby pig for my sister-in-law's 30th!


This passion and experimentation has led him to the idea of rotisserating a whole beef fillet which is almost entirely devoid of fat, so he wants to encase it in a layer of duck fat and see how that changes the flavour profile and generate moistness in a roast that is notorious for drying out. He figures if duck fat roasted potatoes are the holy grail or roast potatoes, then surely the same will be true for duck fat roasted beef. Which led to a Sunday afternoon of kitchen prep side-by-side. Me making baked bean casserole and banana bread for the week ahead. Him skinning a duck. Yep. He skinned a whole duck. Which meant I needed to find a way to cook a skinless, fatless duck.


Obviously that rules out roasting it. The general consensus of all my cookbooks is that you can cook duck breasts quickly and to medium, and that duck legs you slow cook into confit style dishes and the rest of the duck is pretty useless for anything but stock. There isn’t a great deal of meat on ducks beyond the breasts and legs. My Peruvian cookbook had largely tomato based dishes, which didn’t really jump out at me. A Mexican cookbook had some slightly more inspired spice-based dishes. My Treme cookbook had slow roasted duck with bourbon molasses sauce and sweet potato fries. Bingo! I used the same base flavours, but changed the dish to suit my skinless duck. Opting to section it, brown it, then braise it.


To make life easier, you can get an already segmented duck and either pull the skin off yourself which will be a lot easier than skinning it whole. Or, you can still brown each piece leaving the skin and fat on, but you’ll need to brown it for longer on the skin side, and removed the majority of the fat from the pan before adding the liquids.


This resulting dish is rich and sweet and sticky and moreish just all kinds of perfect. I deep-fried some sage leaves in duck fat for garnish, and instead of making fries, I made a sweet potato mash with orange and cinnamon that complimented the sweetness just so. Although that as a dish by itself makes a fantastic side. I lazily made it in the microwave and it takes less than 10 minutes. Couldn’t be simpler!


And as a side note, molasses can be hard to find, but I really suggest you seek it out. The flavour profile is so much richer than any other sweetener you would try using as a substitute and it really makes the dish. In the end, I found it in a Woolworths, but I had gone to the Nanna Shop, a Coles and an IGA before I found some.


Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck
Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck
Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck
Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck
Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck
Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck


Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck

(adapted from the Treme Cookbook)
1 duck, approx. 2.2 kg, sectioned into about 8 pieces and skinned
2 tbsp reserved duck fat (from skinning the duck)
1 brown onion, sliced into half moons
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, diced
8 large sage leaves, plus 1 tbsp chopped sage leaves
1 tbsp thyme leaves
2 tsp black pepper
1 cup chicken stock
½ cup molasses, divided in two
½ cup bourbon, divided in two
¾ cup apple cider vinegar (plus a splash)
330mL bottle apple cider
Salt and pepper


Place the duck fat in a large lidded pan (I used my tagine) and bring up to a medium high heat. When the majority of the fat has rendered out, remove the little bits that remain and discard. Carefully drop the whole sage leaves into the hot oil, they will sizzle and crisp up in about 30 seconds. Remove to paper towel and set aside.


Season the duck pieces with salt and pepper and in batches, brown on each side in the duck fat. Around 3-5 minutes per side should do it. Set aside on a plate.


Add the onion to the pan and cook until golden, stirring here and there so it doesn’t catch too much. Around 10 minutes. Add a splash of apple cider vinegar to deglaze the pan if necessary, then add the shallots and garlic cloves. Cook until translucent, around 3 minutes.


Add the sage, thyme, pepper, chicken stock, ¼ cup of molasses, ¼ cup of bourbon, apple cider vinegar and apple cider to the pan. Stir well to combine, then add the duck pieces back into braising liquid. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, turn the duck over, re-cover and cook for a further 20-30 minutes or until the meat is falling off the bone.


When cooked, remove the duck from the pan and add the remaining ¼ cup of molasses and ¼ cup bourbon and leave simmering with the lid off to reduce.


Shred the duck meat from off the bone, discarding the bones.


When the sauce is a thick, syrupy consistency, check for seasoning, then stir the duck back through the sauce.

Serve with Orange Cinnamon Sweet Potato Smash and crispy fried sage leaves



Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck
Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck
Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck
Starting the Year off Right - Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck

Simplest of Sides - Orange Cinnamon Sweet Potato Smash

Simplest of Sides - Orange Cinnamon Sweet Potato Smash


This is the easiest side in the whole world. Ok, maybe not. But it is brilliant for those nights that you just want something quick to go with a grilled meat. Especially now the weather is warming up (41C/106F the other day) and you don’t want to put the oven on and heat up the whole house. All you need is a glass/pyrex bowl, a microwave, a fork and 6 minutes. The result is crazy flavoursome. I served this for the first time with Bourbon Molasses Braised Duck and it couldn’t have been a more perfect match. I will post that recipe very soon. But it’ll pretty much go with any meat except maybe seafood.

Because it is so easy, and not really something I've considered worth posting...I haven't been great at taking photos of said side. Sorry.

To make this vegan, substitute the butter with olive oil. Also, adding a few tablespoons of Greek Yoghurt instead of the butter makes a delightfully creamier version!


Simplest of Sides - Orange Cinnamon Sweet Potato Smash



Orange Cinnamon Sweet Potato Smash

3 small sweet potatoes
3 tbsp orange juice
Salt and pepper
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp butter


Scrub the sweet potatoes and cut into 3-4cm chunks. Place in a large glass bowl and add the orange juice and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover the bowl with a piece of paper towel and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Check with a fork, if not quite tender, zap for another minute.

When done, add the butter and cinnamon and smash it all together with a fork to make a mash. Rough is fine, but you want to make sure the orange juice, butter and cinnamon are mixed through. Check for seasoning and serve.


Simplest of Sides - Orange Cinnamon Sweet Potato Smash


Friday, October 10, 2014

Using Leftovers - Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Fetta Croquettes with Smokey Rotkohl


Using Leftovers - Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Fetta Croquettes with Smokey Rotkohl
Using Leftovers - Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Fetta Croquettes with Smokey Rotkohl

I’ve never made croquettes before, but when someone suggested on Skamp’s facebook page that it was a good way for using leftover roast sweet potato and pumpkin, I thought it was time to give it a go. I had almost exactly 200g of roast sweet potato and pumpkin leftover from a roast the night before and this made the perfect amount of croquettes for the two of us for dinner. These would be great served as a hot snack at a dinner party with maybe some sweet chilli sauce or creamy sriracha dipping sauce.


I had a fairly salty style Danish fetta in these croquettes, so if your fetta is less salty, you may need to season. I used coconut as well as bread crumbs for the coating, because I love that combination and it just tends to work for frying anything. Seriously.

To make it a complete meal, I served it with a chipotle rotkohl – a sauerkraut made with red cabbage. This is in no way a traditional recipe, but it tastes pretty amazing! A nice briny sauerkraut with a smokey kick of heat. This with the naturally sweet flavour of the roast veges in the croquettes was a match made in heaven. And then to round it out, some rye bread toast and some chorizo fried in muscat. The rotkohl makes way more than you’ll need for a meal for two, but it keeps well, just reheating it as you need it for a few days


Using Leftovers - Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Fetta Croquettes with Smokey Rotkohl
Using Leftovers - Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Fetta Croquettes with Smokey RotkohlUsing Leftovers - Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Fetta Croquettes with Smokey Rotkohl


Roast Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Croquettes

200g roast pumpkin and sweet potato, mashed
85g fetta
1 tsp dried basil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup panko
1/2 cup dried coconut
1 tsp coriander powder

In a large bowl, mash the sweet potato and pumpkin together, then mix through the dried basil to distribute evenly. Gently fold through the fetta. You want it to be evenly mixed through, but not necessarily smooth. A few small lumps of fetta are fine.

Set up a crumbing station. Have two shallow bowls, one with a lightly beaten egg. In the other, mix together the panko, coconut and coriander powder.

Form the croquettes by rolling 2-3tbsp of pumpkin mixture into logs. Roll in the egg, then in the panko mixture. Place on a tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes to set.

Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a pan, and fry each side of the croquettes until golden and crispy on the outside, and warm and gooey inside. About 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towel for 5 minutes to cool to eating temperature and eat straight away!

Using Leftovers - Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Fetta Croquettes with Smokey Rotkohl
Using Leftovers - Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Fetta Croquettes with Smokey Rotkohl
Using Leftovers - Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Fetta Croquettes with Smokey Rotkohl
Using Leftovers - Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Fetta Croquettes with Smokey Rotkohl
Using Leftovers - Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Fetta Croquettes with Smokey Rotkohl


Smokey Rotkohl (Red Cabbage Sauerkraut)

1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 chipotle chili
1 cup hot water
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp honey

Pour the hot water over the chipotle chili and set aside to soften.

In a large pot, heat the olive oil to medium heat. Add the red onion and salt, and sautee until translucent. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic.

Add the cabbage, tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, cumin seeds and honey. Remove the chipotle from the hot water, and add the water to the pot as well. Bring the liquid to the boil, pushing the cabbage into the liquid as well as you can. Then turn down to a simmer.

Core the chipotle, then finely slice and add to the rotkohl. Simmer for 30 minutes or so, until the cabbage is soft. Serve!


Using Leftovers - Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Fetta Croquettes with Smokey Rotkohl
Using Leftovers - Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Fetta Croquettes with Smokey Rotkohl
Using Leftovers - Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Fetta Croquettes with Smokey Rotkohl
Using Leftovers - Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Fetta Croquettes with Smokey Rotkohl
Using Leftovers - Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Fetta Croquettes with Smokey Rotkohl



Sunday, May 11, 2014

Work Lunches - Smokey Mango Barley Salad


Not working in the CBD means my food options are extremely limited unless I take a drive to buy something. This is both a blessing and a curse. I see some Instagram feeds of the amazing food options in the city and it makes me sad that I have to really put in the effort to go into the city for them. But it means I have a better control over the food I do eat, making me eat healthier and more cheaply. So it has it’s plusses too.

To help me be prepared for the next day’s lunch, whenever I have the oven on for dinner, I’ll roast a few extra veges. Likewise, whenever I cook some grains, I will cook extra to use in lunches. This is one of my favourite take-to-work lunches. The best part of it is the combination of textures. Silky roast eggplant, soft sweet potato, chewy barley and crunchy bean sprouts all smoky and sweet and savoury and delicious. It is best served at room temperature, rather than cold. I made this batch and it lasted in the fridge for 3 days of work lunches.

Smokey Mango, Sweet Potato and Eggplant Barley Salad
1 small sweet potato
1 small eggplant
Generous splash of olive oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp chipotle Tabasco
1 cup cooked pearl barley
Handful basil leaves, torn
1/2 cup mixed bean sprouts (mung bean, adzuki bean, blue pea and lentil is the mix I use)
1/2 mango
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper to season

Dice the sweet potato and eggplant make the sweet potato dice a bit smaller than the eggplant dice so it cooks evenly. Put in a bowl and pour over the olive oil, maple syrup and Chipotle Tabasco sauce. Stir well to coat each piece. Roast for 30-45 minutes until soft. Set aside to cool.

Roughly chop the mango, add a tablespoon of butter and season. Put in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until the mango has broken down. Stir well with a fork to help break it down, or puree if you can be bothered.

Combine barley, sweet potato, eggplant and stir through the mango sauce. Gently fold through the bean sprouts and basil leaves. Eat! Or take to work and eat!



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Restaurant Inspired - Sweet Potato and Coconut Gnocchi with Cashew Basil Crema



I recently had a lunch date with my husband at Solomon’s CafĂ© in Highgate. It was on the to-visit list for a while and the menu item that most put it there was the famed sweet potato and coconut gnocchi. When we got there, we ordered out meals with a side of sweet potato and coconut gnocchi. And we were told…it’s actually beetroot gnocchi now. They haven’t been able to source any organic sweet potatoes for a while, so they’ve had to amend it. The whole restaurant is organic (and gluten and dairy free), so obviously this is an issue for them. And the gnocchi was soooo good. Everything was delicious, but the gnocchi was definitely the stand-out.

The next morning I was trying to work out what to make for breakfast. The idea of toast wasn’t thrilling me, so in spite of telling Lance that I was going to make some form of ratatouille with the almost-too-ripe tomatoes in the fridge…I wasn’t really in the mood. So I still made the ratatouille (which we had for lunch), and I thought I’d give the sweet potato gnocchi a go.

This isn’t gnocchi in the traditional boiled pasta route, I just fried the pieces until crispy. And I already had some cashews soaking, so I made a kale, basil and cashew crema to go with it. To make it more breakfast-y, I served it with an egg and a few zucchini chips as more of a garnish. To keep the dish quick, I microwaved the sweet potato instead of roasting it.

All in all, not a bad breakfast – and it all came together before 8:30am! Unfortunately, it was too early for me to bother with many photos, so there’s only a couple of the finished product.

Sweet Potato and Coconut Gnocchi with Cashew Basil Crema.
(serves 2)
1 medium sweet potato
3 tbsp coconut flour (depending on how big your sweet potato is)
Pinch sea salt
Pinch black pepper
pinch cinnamon
¼ tsp sweet paprika
Coconut oil for frying.

2 handfuls cashews, soaked overnight
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 kale leaves, stripped off the rib
Big handful basil
Big handful parsley
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ cup olive oil
Water for thinning

Prick the sweet potato a few times, put in a glass bowl, cover with a piece of paper towel and microwave for around 6 minutes until soft. Set aside to cool.

In a food processor, blend the all the ingredients except the olive oil and water. Pulse at first, scrape down the sides, then run on low, adding the oil and water to reach your desired consistency. Check for seasoning and adjust as necessary.

When the sweet potato is cool enough to handle, peel and discard the skin. Mash well with a fork. Add the salt, pepper, cinnamon and sweet paprika, and mix through with the fork. Add coconut flour 1 tbsp at a time until it makes a dough. I only needed 3 tbsp for my sweet potato.

Scoop teaspoonsful of dough and roll into gnocchi shapes, flatten slightly with the tines of the fork to shape.

Heat a nob of coconut oil in a fry pan to medium high heat. Fry the gnocchi pieces for a few minutes until golden – around 3 minutes, then flip over and cook that side. Don’t crowd the pan. I did mine in 2 loads, moving the first to a plate in the microwave to keep warm.

Drizzle the sauce onto your serving plates, then top with sweet potato gnocchi.

Serve with an egg if you’d like.