Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving (or anytime) Yummy Fall Fare


Fresh ginger and yellow mustard seeds make these sweet potatoes much more worldly than their candied incarnations. The cilantro takes them in an unexpected but very welcome direction.

3 1/2 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick sticks
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro Special equipment: a large (11-inch) collapsible steamer basket

Steam potatoes in steamer basket set over boiling water in a 12-inch-wide pot, covered, until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer carefully to a platter with a wide spatula to avoid breaking sticks. While potatoes steam, cook garlic and ginger in oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring, until oil begins to sizzle, about 1 minute, then add mustard seeds, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until garlic is pale golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Spoon hot oil mixture over potatoes and sprinkle with cilantro.

Makes 8 servings.

Thyme roasted sweet potatoes
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch-thick rounds
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup fresh thyme leaves, plus 6 thyme sprigs for garnish
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 450°F. In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and toss. Arrange potato slices in single layer on heavyweight rimmed baking sheet or in 13x9-inch baking dish. Place on top rack of oven and roast until tender and slightly browned, about 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with thyme sprigs.

AND: (another side-yummy)
12 small yellow onions
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup Pine Nuts
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
4 Tbsp. Organic Butter

1. Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F. While the oven is heating, peel the outer skin of the onion and discard. Scoop out some of the meat from the top half of each onion to form a pocket.
2. Combine the dried cranberries, currants, pine nuts, and sugar. Evenly divide this mixture between the onions and place into each onion pocket.
3. Place the onions into a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray, standing upright. Evenly sprinkle with the vinegar and top with a small piece of butter. Place into the oven and allow to bake for 30-40 minutes or until soft. Baste the onions with the juice from the pan.
4. Serve warm.

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