Back on the wagon

6 Mar

So, I fell off a bit on this whole blog thing and for that I apologize.  Interestingly (or not), I have kept up my end of the one-new-recipe-a-week end of the resolution, I’ve just lagged behind in writing about them.  My plan is to hit you with a few new recipes here all fast and furious.  Or to at least get me back up to speed.

Part of my lapse in posting was because last week we visited Seattle and the rest the Mister’s family, extended and regular, which was busy and fun.  I got to enjoy (re: stuff my face) at my favorite sushi restaurant, Mashiko, Seattle’s first fully sustainable sushi bar.  I highly recommend it (if you go, eat a bowler roller, if not for yourself, for me).  We also got to introduce little Emmett to his PacNW roots.  Verdict: he’s a fan.

When we were there, I flipped through a current issue of Bon Appetit (March 2012) and came across a recipe that seemed too good to be true:  twice baked sweet potatoes with bacon sesame brittle.  I was so excited that I had to make a reminder on my phone’s calendar to remind me to make these upon our return.

I would probably have to add these to my own “Meh” list.  They weren’t bad, but they weren’t as outstanding as I had hoped.  They were . . . meh.  I do think I could probably punch them up a bit, maybe with some horseradish, or instead of bacon brittle a bit of pancetta.  My issue was that I had hoped there would be more of a salty or spicy flavor to counteract the sweetness of the potatoes.  I think that’s why I love this sausage / sweet potato hash dish I’ve been eating for a while so much (I can post that recipe as an amazing comparison if you’re interested). . . and this recipe was sorely lacking in that department.  Below is the original recipe–I’ll try a second attempt in a little while to see if I can make some improvements.

**This recipe serves 8; I cut roughly everything in half since my household consists of only 2 real consumers.**

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Bacon Sesame Brittle (Bon Appetit, March 2012)

  • 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch-wide pieces
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 6 medium sweet potatoes (6–8 ounces each)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons white miso* (I just used regular miso, with a little brown sugar, as a substitute)
  • 1 2/3-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely grated (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 1-inch pieces scallion (dark-green parts only), thinly sliced lengthwise

Preparation

  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  • Cook bacon in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat until most of the fat is rendered and bacon is starting to crisp. Transfer bacon to a sieve set over a small bowl; reserve drippings.
  • Return bacon, 1 Tbsp. drippings, sugar, and sesame seeds to same skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar turns the color of milk chocolate, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to prepared baking sheet and use a spatula to spread out evenly; let cool. Break brittle into shards. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 400°. Place sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast until tender, 45–55 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle.
  • Slice potatoes in half lengthwise. Working over a large bowl, scoop out flesh from 8 halves, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick layer inside skins. Place potato halves on same foil-lined baking sheet. Scoop flesh from remaining 4 halves; discard skins. Mash flesh with a whisk; add eggs, butter, miso, and ginger and stir until mixture is smooth. Spoon or pipe filling into reserved skins. DO AHEAD: Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill.
  • Bake potatoes until the tops are lightly puffed and golden brown, 30–35 minutes (potatoes will take longer if they’ve been chilled). Top potatoes with bacon-sesame brittle and scallions.
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