Today is a super special day! Wanna know why? Well, not only am I featuring one of my favorite foods (sweet potatoes) but I have an awesome guest post for you today - from my DAD! :) My dad has been a major influence in my love of food and cooking. When I was younger, he took over making dinner from my mom (who had a new job and didn't have the time to do it) and we all realized that he was good at it! My dad is the sort of cook that glances at a recipe, maybe, then pulls out a bunch of ingredients from the pantry, adds a pinch of this, a tad of that, and makes something wonderful that can never, ever be reproduced. He is the one who taught me to smell and taste as I was cooking, to not be so stuck on the numbers given, and that it is ok to go with the flow and be creative while you cook. So I am very excited to present to you My Dad! :) *(Also, you all need to give him super props, because he photographed and wrote this entire post using his iPhone. Yeah, my Dad is cool.)
Sometimes we simply prepare food, and sometimes simple things become so much more. Let me tell you the story of this recipe and how it came to be and why I, Jenni's father, am today's guest blogger.
It was to be a simple potluck of friends, 6 couples and a few kids on Saturday night. And then the idea of having a taco bar appeared in an e-mail and almost simultaneously it was followed by 5 reply-to-alls staking out all the normal contributions one could make to a taco dinner. Suddenly realizing I was the odd man out with nothing unique to bring, I almost started to panic, then realized that there was a secret weapon available for times like these--my daughter Jenni! She lives and breathes food! She can save me!
Within moments of sending off a text message my inbox started to ping with incoming recipes to save the day! While I was happily choosing between some great food ideas my phone pinged with a text message from Jenni, although it might as well have been from the Godfather: "Now you owe me a favor", is what my sweet, loving daughter said! I couldn't believe it, paybacks! So that is why I am posting today's blog.
The first recipe I chose was a fruit salsa. Great idea, several people were happy to see it on the table. Maybe that can be another blog someday. The better adventure came with Chipotle Sweet Potatoes.
Because the recipe was simple enough I, of course, put off going to the store until the last minute. Our closest store has been redone into a "destination market", which is newspeak for humungous and you can't ever find what you are looking for. But they have a produce section that is twice the size of the entire grocery store that I used to shop at when I was a kid. In spite of all the selections, the sweet potato bin was full of old wrinkly stuff that had to have been left over from the holidays. Tearing through the bin and dropping several on the floor I managed to salvage 3 small potatoes. Not nearly enough because my plan had been to make extra for potluck at church on Sunday. Looking around in that desperate state of "what now?" I spied a little thing called a White Sweet Potato, and next to that was a big Purple Sweet Potato. Have you ever seen them? I had not. Could they be substituted? I didn't know, so I went against all my male instincts and did what my wife has always advised: go ask someone! I did, and after consulting with the produce manager, the assistant produce manger and someone from the bakery, and with no results, I asked google and found that they are even sweeter than a regular sweet potato. Who knew? Now we all know.
The dish turned out great with good balanced flavor with just a bit of after-burn from the chipotle ( I did use less than the recipe called for for my tastes ). And the color mix was festive, however, I was so disappointed to learn that the Purple Japanese Sweet Potato is only purple on the outside!
The next morning I made another batch for church potluck but in my haste forgot to use the chipotles. This too was great, the balsamic vinaigrette ( I used a prepared salad dressing with added herbs ) and honey made a nice flavorful balance. We will certainly have both of these again in the future.
Chipotle Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: roast side sweet potatoes
Ingredients (6 servings)
- 3 large sweet potatoes
- 1 cup balsamic vinaigrette, divided (this will probably be found with the salad dressings)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
- 3 TBSP honey
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1/2" cubes.
Place the cubes on two greased baking pans, drizzle with 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Toss to coat.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until tender, stirring once.
Cool slightly on the pan, then transfer to a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining vinaigrette, cilantro, honey, and peppers.
Pour over the potatoes and gently stir to coat.