Vanilla Bean Whipped Sweet Potatoes

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For those of us hosting big family meals, at just over a month before Thanksgiving, we’ve officially reached the “almost the holidays” panic time.  That time when we revisit what we did last year to determine:

  • What dishes served had the most leftovers
  • What dishes got rave reviews
  • What dishes had no leftovers (for adjusting amount prepared)
  • What dishes were too much effort and underwhelmed

It’s also the time when we take a look at new recipes that we might want to add to this year’s menu, which means we get to make our families Guinea pigs for the next few weeks while we’re trying them out.

I already have one sweet potato recipe that my family loves, but this one (from the December 2005 issue of Food & Wine Magazine) looks pretty good, it’s easy, serves 10 – 12, and can be made the day before which frees up time on the big day, another bonus.

vbwhippedsweetpotatoes

Vanilla Bean Whipped Sweet Potatoes

  • 4 pounds medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 TBLS unsalted butter
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, slit lengthwise, seeds scraped
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Poke the sweet potatoes several times with a fork and bake for about 35 minutes, or until tender.  Let cool slightly, then peel and transfer them to a food processor (I actually use my stand mixer). Puree until fairly smooth.

In a small saucepan, combine the cream with the butter and the vanilla bean and seeds. Bring to a simmer. Remove the vanilla bean.

With the processor (or stand mixer) on, carefully pour the vanilla cream into the sweet potatoes and process until smooth. Season the sweet potato puree with salt and pepper, transfer to a bowl and serve.

I’d definitely consider doubling this recipe to make sure there were plenty of leftovers for piling on a turkey sandwich or frying up as sweet potato pancakes. #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Simple Salmon Croquettes

salmoncroquettesI have a standby recipe I use for salmon patties that stand up to being cooked on the grill, but I got really behind this Easter and couldn’t find that recipe when it came time to prep.  Never one to be timid in the kitchen, and knowing that my husband would tell me if they sucked, I gathered my ingredients and started throwing them into my Vitamix.

Sriracha Cream Sauce

  • 2/3 Cup Sour Cream
  • 2 TBLS Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 2-3 TBLS Fresh Dill Chopped
  • 2-4 TBLS Sriracha Hot Sauce (depending on how spicy you like it)

Combine and refrigerate until you are ready to serve dinner

Simple Salmon Croquettes

Combine these ingredients in your Vitamix (or food processor/blender) in the following order:

  • 1 Medium Zucchini (or Yellow Squash) cut into chunks
  • 2 Shallots (peeled & halved)
  • Juice of 1 Medium Lemon
  • 3 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan/Romano/Asiago Blend Cheese
  • 2 tsp Ground Pepper
  • 4-5 Stems Fresh Dill (remove leaves from stems)

When the ingredients are well combined, add:

  • 2 Pounds Fresh Salmon Fillet (skin removed)
  • 2 Cups Panko Crumbs

Heat 2 TBLS olive oil in a large skillet (I used cast iron, but it doesn’t really matter).

When pan is well heated, scoop golf ball sized (or so) amounts of the mixture into your hands and flatten into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick patties.  The thinner they are the faster they will cook.  I use about 1/2 inch as my guide.  Fill the pan with patties and fry over medium heat for 3-5 minutes per side.  Because the ingredients are minced, they cook fairly quickly.   Once each side is browned, remove patties to a paper towel lined plate and continue in batches until all of the mixture is cooked.

Serve immediately on a mound of  yesterday’s Simple Sweet Potatoes and beside a crisp green salad for a light, yet hearty, mid week meal.

Are you on Facebook?  You might be interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to: recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water. I may not write a blog post every day, but there are daily updates to my This Girl Loves To Eat community at: https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood

Bloody Angry Baby Back Ribs

ribssweetpotatoEnticing name, don’t you think?  I’m not English and spouting a profanity, nor am I intending to butcher and cook ribs while they’re still bloody, I’m too big a wuss for that! 😉

What I did do though, is combine the flavors of the blood oranges ripening on my tree with BBQ sauce & hard cider and put it all into the pressure cooker to see what would happen!

What happened was a tender, tasty rib that absorbed the sweetness of the orange slices, the ginger-apple crispness of the cider before finishing with the smoky-spicy BBQ sauce!  I don’t usually enjoy pork ribs, but these I ate with gusto.  So much so that I only grudgingly encouraged my husband to eat the last slab on the serving plate.  I wanted the ribs to be the star of the show, so I served them beside baked sweet potatoes.

About an hour and 30 minutes before you’re ready to eat dinner:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash and prick the skins of 2 medium sweet potatoes with a fork and place them on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 50 minutes then remove from the oven, place them in a bowl and tent with foil to keep them warm while you’re finishing the ribs.

Bloody Angry Baby Back Ribs

  • 2 Medium Ripe Blood Oranges
  • 1 – 12 oz Bottle Angry Orchard Apple Ginger Hard Cider
  • 2 Lbs Pork Loin Back Ribs
  • BBQ Sauce (whatever brand you prefer)
  1. Slice the oranges and place into the bottom of the pressure cooker pan.
  2. Cut your ribs apart into 3-4 pieces and stand them around the perimeter of the pan.
  3. Pour the bottle of Hard Cider into the middle of the ribs, over the top of the oranges.
  4. Immediately close and lock the lid and set the pressure cooker to Medium for 15 minutes and hit the start button.
  5. When the timer goes off, release the pressure and open the top.
  6. Remove the ribs from the pressure cooker pan and place them (bone side down) on a baking sheet lined with foil.
  7. Brush your favorite BBQ sauce on them as lightly or generously as you desire.
  8. Place the baking sheet back into the 400 degree oven you used for your sweet potatoes and cook the ribs another 15 – 20 minutes to bake the sauce in.

Serve with the baked sweet potatoes (with plenty of butter and brown sugar) and, if you’ve prepared some (or bought it) ahead of time, some crisp cold coleslaw.  If you don’t have a recipe for coleslaw, you might want to give my recipe from September 2015 a try: Lisa’s Kicked Up Memphis Coleslaw. Enjoy!

Are you on Facebook?  You might be interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to: recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water. I may not write a blog post every day, but there are daily updates to my This Girl Loves To Eat community at: https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood