Spicy Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato

If I have to eat one more baked sweet potato with my salad, I may just cave in and only eat cake!

Jason and I are trying to cut down on the amount of pasta dishes we eat. The hot and humid summer heat makes this task a lot easier.   We’ve taken to eating sweet potatoes a few times a week along with a healthy salad, but this presents a two-fold problem.  The first, the oven temperature and the second, BORING.  I’m getting bored with the taste of my sweet potato.  I am just about ready to dive my face into a sheet of cake with butter cream frosting.

After doing a little research, I came up with a new twist on sweet potatoes. Rather than cook my potatoes in a 450 degree oven for 45 minutes, I turned to modern technology and nooked them a bit (7 minutes) and then pan-fried them with a touch of oil.

The spices went great and woke up the savory side of the potato, which I thought balanced out all that sweetness.

Here is the recipe:
Ingredients:
2 large sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoons hot oriental mustard powder
1 inch ginger, peeled and shredded
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon
 salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne or chili pepper

Directions:

Pierce the sweet potato with a knife or fork several times and microwave on high for 7 minutes. Leave the skin on or peel all or part of it.  Whichever you prefer will work, but leaving it on will give it a really great crispy texture.

Cut or smash the sweet potatoes and set aside.

Bring the oil up medium-high heat in a medium-sized pan and add the oriental mustard, mix it throughout the oil, then add the sweet potatoes, ginger, garlic, salt and cayenne pepper.

Allow it to cook thoroughly and mix it every 2 minutes.

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato

 

I have to give thanks and credit for this recipe to the beautiful HARINI PRASAD, http://thisemptyplatedotcom.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/spicy-ginger-sweet-potato-mash/

Posted on May 22, 2014

I substituted her 2 tbsp. whole black mustard seeds with the hot oriental mustard powder.

We love this dish!

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Center Cut Chops in Lemon-Garlic Infused Olive Oil

Center Cut Pork Chop with Roasted Butternut Squash and Arugula

Center Cut Pork Chop with Roasted Butternut Squash and Arugula, Photo by Jason Homa

One of my favorite meals as a kid was “Pork Chops and Apple Sauce.”  Not only did the crispy edges of fat taste delicious but my brothers and I had a swell time imitating the Brady Bunch episode where Bobby sought to adopt the personality of Humphrey Bogart.

When I prepare them, I first get the pan nice and hot.   I cook them in about 3 tablespoons of olive oil that has been infused with fresh herbs and garlic, making sure to sear those edges of fat, cooking on medium-high heat for about 7 minutes.  Tonight’s meal was prepared wtih a lemon, garlic and bay leaf infused oil (I found this recipe idea on Williams-Sonoma).  I love the citrus zing of the lemon, however, my boyfriend prefers a more rustic flavor, so for him, at his suggestion,  infused olive oil with  garlic, rosemary, thyme and bayleaf -sans the lemon.

Ingredients:

3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
4 fresh bay leaves, or 6 dried bay leaves
2 Meyer lemons, 1 thinly sliced and 1 halved
1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary (or dried)
1 teaspoon thyme
4 bone-in, center-cut pork chops, 6-8 oz. (185-250 g.) each
Portuguese sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large cast-iron or other heavy-bottomed frying (or grill) pan, heat the olive oil, garlic and bay leaves over medium heat.  Substitue for herbs of your choice.    Saute until the garlic is lightly golden and the oil is infused with the aroma of garlic and bay leaf, about 5 minutes. Transfer the garlic and bay leaves to a plate and set aside.

Bay Leaf and Garlic Infusing

Bay Leaf and Garlic Infusing

 

Return the pan to the heat and add the lemon slices. Cook, turning once, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to the plate with the garlic and bay leaves.

Infusing the Olive Oil wtih Lemon

Infusing the Olive Oil wtih Lemon, Instagram photo taken by Dena Ferreira

 

Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Heat the pan to medium-high and arrange the chops in the pan. Sear until nicely browned on the bottom, 7 minutes each side.  Squeeze the lemon halves over the chops and turn to coat them with the juice. Return the garlic, bay leaves and lemon slices to the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until the chops are cooked through, 1-2 minutes longer. The pork chop should spring back but still feel tender if gently pressed with a finger, and the center should be very slightly pink.

 

Transfer the pork chops to a serving platter and spoon the pan juices, along with the lemon slices, over the top. Serve right away. Serves 4.

Pork Chops in Pan

Photo by Jason Homa

The butternut squash was a last-minute add-on.  I simply pre-heated my oven to 400.  Drizzle olive oil over cut pieces of squash, added 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, a dash of ginger and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.  Cooked in square pan in oven for 30-35 minutes.  Served over a bed of arugula and topped dish with juices from chops.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Walnuts and Dried Cranberries

Photo by Jason Homa