Sweet Potato Stuffed BBQ Chicken

sweet-potato-bbq-chickenI am always a little leery about fusion recipes (mixing flavors of one style of cooking with another.) I’ve had a few of those that just didn’t mesh well. This recipe isn’t one of them!

Yes, you’re mixing some very Southern flavors with Mexican flavors, but in this case they are amazing. After one bite, I couldn’t stop smiling. This recipe is based on one from MelsKitchenCafe.com. Mel is an amazing cook and her food is always delicious.

The Lime Cilantro dressing in this recipe seems (even to me) to have a million ingredients, but it is totally worth it!

(The photo shows mostly the corn and  black bean salad, with the Lime Cilantro dressing, but you’ll have to trust me, underneath it all are sweet potatoes, chicken and BBQ sauce!)

INGREDIENTS

4-6 sweet potatoes, washed and halved
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I used meat from a Costco roast chicken)
1 to 2 cups BBQ sauce (I used Ray’s original)

CORN AND BLACK BEAN SALAD

1 can (15-ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup corn kernels, frozen
1/2 cup rough chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

TOPPINGS:

Shredded cheese (I used mozzarella)
Tortilla chips (optional – I didn’t use)
Chopped tomatoes (optional – I didn’t use)
Cilantro Lime Dressing – recipe follows

Poke sweet potatoes with a fork several times. Then put cut side down on a baking sheet, and bake for 35-40 minutes at 425 degrees, or until super soft when poked with a fork. The sugars in the sweet potato will start to caramelize. Check and bake a little longer if they aren’t completely soft.

Warm up the chicken and BBQ sauce in a sauce pan until warmed through.

Mix the corn and bean salad ingredients in a bowl, and let sit for several minutes, to let the corn thaw.

Make Cilantro Lime Dressing. (recipe below)

Eat several spoonsful of the Cilantro Lime dressing until you remind yourself that you need some for supper.

To serve, scoop out sweet potato flesh, and place in a bowl. Top with BBQ chicken, corn and black bean salad. Drizzle generously with the Cilantro Lime Dressing and top with a little cheese and the other optional ingredients. (I didn’t use the chips or tomatoes and didn’t miss them at all.)

Delicious!! For a vegetarian version, skip the chicken and just use a little BBQ sauce on the sweet potato.

Cilantro Lime Dressing Ingredients

1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup salsa verde (I used a mild green chili sauce that was great, too.)
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice (from about 1 medium lime)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp onion powder
Pinch of dried dill weed (about 1/8 teaspoon)
Pinch of kosher salt
Pinch of black pepper
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1 green onion, white and green parts coarsely chopped

Combine all ingredients in a medium pitcher (One that will hold 4-5 cups) and buzz well with an immersion blender. Or you can use a blender. Will keep for several days and is soooo good!

Potato Poblano Bundles

There is something about a potato that’s been baked in a buttery, spicy sauce that is incredibly warming and satisfying.  This dish is easy and cooked in little foil bundles that are super fun to open at the table.

The recipe is from The Pioneer Woman magazine with slight variations.

2 lbs. thin skinned potatoes cut into 1″ chunks
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 large poblano peppers, seeded and cut into 1″ pieces
1 stick of butter (or 1/2 cup Olive Oil for a vegan version)
1/2 cup half and half (or veggie broth for vegan version)
2 Tbsp paprika
2 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley or 2 Tbsp dried parsley
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, mix butter, half ‘n half and all seasonings. Mix well, and add the potatoes, onions and peppers.

Take aluminum foil and cut off 8 18″ pieces. Place 1/8 of the mix in the middle of each foil square and fold up the edges to create a pouch.

At this point, you can grill them for 25 minutes (you’ll have to turn them so make sure they are tightly sealed.) If you prefer you can also bake them at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Check one for doneness – the potatoes should be super soft.

Serve right in the foil packets.

 

Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce over Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Rice

Our friend Sharon recently served us this incredibly delicious Vegeterian/Vegan dish and was kind enough to share the original recipe with me, from CookieandKate.com. I made it almost exactly as shown, and then a couple nights later used the leftover peanut sauce as a dipping sauce for oven-roasted sweet potatoes. It is so delicious and uses ingredients you probably have in your pantry already.

INGREDIENTS

Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce

½ cup creamy peanut butter
¼ cup soy sauce (Can use Tamari to be gluten-free)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 and 1/2  Tbsp honey (or agave nectar, to taste)
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp water

Roasted vegetables

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1 inch long, ½ inch wide chunks
1 red bell pepper, cored, deseeded, and sliced into bite-sized strips
about 2 Tbsp olive oil (or coconut oil)
1/2 tsp cumin powder (I used more than original recipe.)
1 tsp Sea salt (to taste)

Rice and garnishes

1 1/2 cup jasmine rice (could use any rice, really)
3 green onions sliced into thin rounds (green and white parts)
Handful cilantro, chopped
Handful peanuts, crushed

Sriracha sauce on the side (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix 2 Tbsp of olive oil, salt and cumin. Put the sweet potatoes in a roasting pan and drizzle with about 2/3 of the oil. Drop the peppers in the remaining oil and toss them. You’ll add them to the pan a bit later.

Spread the sweet potatoes out, but leave about 1/4 of the pan empty. Bake for 15 minutes and toss. Then add the peppers in the empty space and continue roasting for another 20 minutes.  Check to be sure the potatoes are cooked and the peppers are soft and starting to caramelize.

In the meantime, cook the rice. Add 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice and 1 tsp kosher salt to a pot. Add a bit less than three cups of water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cover and cook for 25 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Make the sauce: in a bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients. If the sauce is too thick whisk in a little more water.

To serve: Spoon rice onto a large serving dish, and top with sweet potatoes, then peppers, a nice heavy drizzle of sauce, and sprinkle chopped green onions, cilantro and peanuts. Serve any extra sauce in a little pitcher.

To serve it as a dipping sauce for sweet potato fries, just gently stir in the onions, cilantro and peanuts. So good!

Brown Butter Roasted Potatoes

Another recipe from the Wall Street Journal – I have made this dish so many times and it’s always amazing. It’s great for supper or brunch.

2 lbs. small potatoes, scrubbed well, but not peeled
3 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
4 eggs, rinsed well before adding to pot
6 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp lemon juice
4 green onions, thinly sliced

Heat oven to 450.

Boil potatoes and eggs in salted water for 15 minutes. Remove and halve potatoes. Lay on a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, flip the potatoes and bake another 10 minutes.

Peel eggs and quarter them.

Heat butter for 5 minutes over medium heat in a pan large enough to hold everything, until it just starts to brown. Add lemon juice and stir. Then add potatoes, eggs and green onions and toss everything together.

Check seasoning and serve.

Kumy’s Hindu Aloo (Potatoes)

This is a wonderful, tangy, spicy golden potato dish with fresh cilantro and jalapenos. Really quick and amazingly good – one of Kumy’s specialties.

Kumy’s auntie, Shirin Auntie was an especially good cook, and such a lovely person. So was her husband, Chotu Uncle, and I miss them. (Story about them below.)  She taught Kumy how to make this dish.

When I asked him about the name, he said Shirin Auntie grew up in Bombay and learned this vegan dish from  a Hindu neighbor.  Aloo means potato, and anyone who has had these potatoes says they are “Kamal!”  (Amazing!)

4 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cubed in 1″ cubes (we like Yukon Gold)
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
fresh ginger, peeled with a spoon and sliced very thinly (about 1.5 tsp)
3/4 tsp mustard seed
1/2 tsp cumin seed
1 jalapeno, sliced in half, seeds removed
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
2 lemons, juiced
4 jalapenos, held by stem, and cut twice from bottom
1 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Boil potatoes in salted water until they are soft. Drain and squeeze lemon juice over them. Heat oil in a frying pan, and add garlic, ginger and mustard seed, frying for 2 minutes. Add cumin seed, 1 sliced jalapeno, turmeric and salt and saute for just a few moments. Add the boiled potatoes and lemon juice and stir gently. You want to blend everything nicely without crushing the potatoes. Take the 4 jalapenos which have been partially cut and gently push them into the potatoes. Garnish with the cilantro. Serve with extra lemon juice.

Chotu Uncle and Shirin Auntie lived in a house with a beautiful garden – filled with beautiful plants in enormous sizes, and they loved cats and kept one as a pet, which was quite unusual. I always loved visiting them and seeing their garden.  

Later, they moved into a very nice apartment in the Royal Apartments.  One of my favorite memories was when they’d left the laundry room window open one day, and a mother bird began to build her nest just inside the window.  

They were so enchanted that they let her build the nest and raise her babies there – watching the progress with bated breathed, and tip-toeing in and out so as not to disturb them.  How could you not love someone like that?

Brown Butter Roasted Potato Hash

We get the Wall Street Journal, and Jessica Koslow’s recipe from their amazing “slow food fast” section has become one of our favorites. It’s easy, quick and uses things you probably have right in your pantry.

2 lbs. small potatoes, scrubbed well and cut in half
(Red are fine and so are Yukon gold. I try to buy potatoes that don’t need to be peeled, since I hate peeling!)
1/4 cup olive oil
salt & pepper
4 eggs, hardboiled, peeled and quartered  (use more if you love eggs)
6 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp lemon juice
4 Scallions,thinly sliced

Set Oven to 450. Add potatoes to a large pan, and boil for 15 minutes in salted water. Drain potatoes and rinse pan well.

Mix oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Layer potatoes face up on a baking pan and drizzle with oil mix. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, flipping over halfway through. I sometimes have to cook it a little longer to get them really nicely browned.)

If you haven’t boiled the eggs, now is a good time to do so.

Add butter to the pan, and heat for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. The butter should become well browned, but not burned. Remove from heat. Dump potatoes and lemon juice in and stir gently. Add scallions and eggs and stir gently once more. Serve.