Tag Archives: sweet potato

Thai-Syle Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup

Thai-Style Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup

I came home from work one evening in a little bit of a funk.  I was tired from a long day, it was cold outside, and it was one of those days where I drove both to and from work in the dark.  However, all of my crankiness evaporated when I walked into the kitchen.  There was a big pot of soup bubbling on the stove and the whole house smelled like a Thai restaurant tinged with lime and coconut.

Onions and garlic and ginger, oh my

Marc is a real soup nut… he would eat it everyday if I agreed to it.  On this cold night he was craving something a little different, something that was a little Asian and a little Caribbean.  This soup was the culmination of those cravings and as good as it smelled, it tasted even better.

Sweet potatoes and mushrooms into the pool

There was a nice meatiness from chicken and mushrooms, sweetness from sweet potato and coconut, a little nuttiness from peanut butter, and some tang from a lime.  It was a perfect balance of the different flavors and just the thing to return my mood to its normally cheerful state.  So if you find yourself in need of a little cheering up, just whip a pot of this soup, inhale the savory-sweet smell, and dig in.  I guarantee you will feel better immediately.

Stirring the soup

Thai-Style Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup

From the mind of Marc

Ingredients:

2 tlbs ginger oil (if you don’t have any, substitute peanut or other neutral oil and add an additional tbls of minced fresh ginger)

1 tlbs fresh ginger, minced

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 small yellow onion, sliced

16 oz chicken stock (homemade preferred, if you don’t have any on hand make sure to use low sodium broth)

1 medium sweet potato, peeled, chopped in 1″ cubes

6 oz white button mushrooms, stemmed, sliced

2 tbls fish sauce

1 – 14 oz can light coconut milk

2 chicken breasts (about 1.5 lbs), cooked* and chopped

Juice and zest of 1 lime

1/4 cup chunky peanut butter

1/4 cup shredded coconut

Toasted shredded coconut**, chopped peanuts, and cilantro for garnish (optional)

To Make:

Heat large soup pot with the ginger oil over medium heat.  Once hot, add in the ginger, garlic, and onion and cook until softened, stirring often, about 5 minutes.  Add the sweet potato, mushrooms, and fish sauce.  Pour in the chicken stock and add water (if needed) to barely cover the vegetables.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 1 hour.

Add in the chopped chicken, lime zest, lime juice, peanut butter, shredded coconut, and coconut milk.  Continue to simmer for another hour, stirring occasionally.

To Serve:

Serve hot garnished with toasted coconut, chopped peanuts, and fresh cilantro.  Serves 4-6 as a main course.

* We brined our chicken overnight prior to oven roasting.  While this isn’t absolutely necessary, it does add a lot of nice flavor to the chicken.

** To toast shredded coconut, place coconut on a foil lined baking sheet.  Place in a 325 degree oven until browned and toasty, 8-10 minutes.  A toaster oven works well for this.

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Filed under Dinner, Meat, Recipes, Soup

Marsala Roasted Root Vegetables

Marsala Roasted Root Vegetables

We are up to our eyeballs in root vegetables.  We picked up the third and final installment of our Shared Harvest CSA yesterday and our fridges are full of parsnips, carrots, turnips, and celeriac while our basement closet is stocked with white and sweet potatoes.  Admittedly, we tend to get a little complacent about preparing our roots.  Our standard approach is to wash/peel/chop whichever vegetables we have handy, toss them with olive oil and salt, and roast them on a cookie sheet until they are tender enough to eat.  While this is certainly a tasty and easy approach, it can get monotonous when you use the same preparation technique over and over.

Locally grown root vegetables

However, there is a real appeal to cooking these vegetables this way.  The high heat of the oven caramelizes the sugars that most root vegetables are full of and softens the bite of strong vegetables like parsnips.  Plus, it is easy to clean and chop the vegetables while the kids are napping, then simply toss them into the oven about an hour before dinner.  Vegetables are on the table and there was no complicated or labor intensive prep.

Marsala wine

In the name of maintaining the delicious simplicity of roasting, we decided to try this recipe for Marsala wine roasted root vegetables.  The addition of butter, thyme, sage, and Marsala wine adds a welcome complexity to the flavor of the roots.  The mix of sweet carrots and potatoes, sharp parsnips, and earthy turnips creates a nice balance to the dish.  Serve it alongside roasted pork or chicken for a lovely winter meal.

Herbed vegetables ready to roast

Marsala Roasted Root Vegetables

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Favorites

Ingredients:

1/2 lb carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks

1/2 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks

1/2 lb turnips, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks

1/2 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks

1 tbls butter

1 tlbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried sage

1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup Marsala wine

2 tbls chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

To Make:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil.  Add the carrots, parsnips, and turnips and simmer until the vegetables give slightly when pierced with a fork, about 4 minutes.  Drain well.

Place all the vegetables in a large roasting pan that has been lined with aluminum foil (for the sake of easy clean up).  In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter.  Add the olive oil, thyme, sage, and nutmeg and stir to mix well.  Drizzle butter mixture over the vegetables and toss to coat evenly.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Pour the Marsala wine into the bottom of the pan.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil.

Roast for 40 minutes.  Remove the foil, toss the vegetables, and continue to roast, uncovered, until the Marsala evaporates and the vegetables can be easily pierced with a knife, 10-20 minutes more.  Remove vegetables to a platter and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

To Serve:

Serve immediately.  Serves 4 as a side dish.

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Filed under CSA Talk, Dinner, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Sweet Potato Muffins

Sweet Potato Muffins

Do you know the Muffin Man?  No, I don’t either.  Personally I am somewhat ambivalent about muffins.  I think that many times, they try to be too much – cake, breakfast pastry, quick bread – but end up not being particularly good at any of it.  The monstrous muffins that are routinely served at coffee shops are too often dry or crumbly or dense without much flavor.  When I eat a muffin, I like it to be moist and tender with a light sweetness that doesn’t overpower my tea.  

Mashed sweet potato

Muffin batter

 

 

 

 

 

When I came across this recipe for sweet potato muffins, I knew that I needed to try them.  In addition to being really simple to make, the sweet potato adds moistness and flavor while the mix of white and wheat flours and flax seed meal adds a nice nuttiness.  Plus, since we are heading out on a (long) road trip for Thanksgiving, I wanted to have some easy and delicious road food to keep us all full and happy.  These muffins fit the bill nicely.

Ready for the oven

The texture of these is great.  They are light and springy, not dense and dry.  They are sweet enough that Thing 1 loves them, especially the mini ones which she refers to as “baby muffins”, but not too sweet for me or Marc.  So if you are boiling up some sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving, boil one extra and make these muffins for the morning after. 

Mmm, freshly baked

Sweet Potato Muffins

Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients:

1 large sweet potato (about 1 1/3 cups mashed)

1 stick of butter (salted or unsalted), softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup flax seed meal

1 tbls wheat bran

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated is preferable)

1 tsp salt (use only if you are using unsalted butter, otherwise omit)

cooking spray or muffin papers

4 tsp sugar mixed with 1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon for topping (optional)

To Make:

Peel and cube the sweet potato.  Place in boiling water to cover and simmer until tender when poked with a knife, about 15 minutes.  Drain and mash.  You should have about 1 and 1/3 cups of mashed potato.  Set aside.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, flax seed meal, wheat bran, baking soda, spices, and salt (if using).

In the bowl of your mixer, beat the butter until light in color.  Add the sugars and cream until light and fluffy.  Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated.  Next add the milk, vanilla, and sweet potato and mix until well combined.  The batter will look slightly curdled.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined.

Fill prepared muffin tins about three-quarters full.  Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar if desired.  Bake in the 350 degree oven until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean, about 14 minutes for mini muffins and 18 minutes for regular ones.  Let the muffins cool in the tin for 5 minutes then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

To Serve:

These muffins are great as breakfast or as a snack.  They are particularly nice for kids because they taste yummy but at least hint at healthiness.  The original recipe says it makes 12 muffins but they must be the huge ones you get in coffee shops because I made 12 regular muffins and 12 mini muffins from the same amount of batter.

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Filed under Baked goods, Breakfast, Recipes, Vegetarian