Monday, February 2, 2009

A Sweet Potato Meal

Every once in a while Jeff and I will buy a "fancy" vegetable that we normally wouldn't, just for variety. Our latest was sweet potatoes. I know, that's not really very fancy, but when you usually only buy potatoes, onions, carrots, and celery, sweet potatoes do seem pretty special. They sat around in the fridge for a while as I thought of how best to use this vegetable treat. This evening I decided to just serve them as baked potatoes - I've never had baked sweet potatoes before.

Actually, since they were prepared in the microwave, I guess I still haven't technically had baked sweet potatoes. I've had microwaved sweet potatoes.

Microwave Baked Sweet Potatoes
Scrub however many sweet potatoes you'll need to feed your family. We used three - one each for Jeff and I, and the kids split the third. Make somewhat large slits in each potato with a knife - the sweet potatoes have a tougher skin than regular potatoes, so fork pricks aren't quite enough. Then microwave them, one at a time. The cooking times are highly variable, depending on your microwave and the size of the sweet potatoes. Our microwave is old and cooks slowly, and the potatoes were medium-sized. I cooked each one on high for 8 minutes, turning halfway through. If your microwave is fast, only cook them for about 6 minutes. If the potatoes are really large, you can cook them for as much as 10 minutes.

As each potato finishes, cover with foil to keep hot while the others are cooking. You can top them with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, or if you are adventurous enough to depart from this conventional topping, you can make some Seasoned Butter.

Seasoned Butter
1/4 cup butter (or, of course, you can use margarine)
Garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, and ginger

I didn't really measure the seasonings, just sprinkled them liberally onto the butter. Then mush it up until well combined. This seasoning combination is one I got from a special-occasion Cornish hen recipe I've made a couple times. It's a unique and delicious flavor combo.

As a side dish, I made some delicious coleslaw. I didn't really use a recipe, just sort of threw stuff together. Measurements are approximate.

Half a head of cabbage, finely chopped
About 1/2 cup carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, also finely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 to 2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
1/4 cup milk

Combine cabbage, carrot, and celery in a large bowl. Combine mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, and milk in a jar with a lid. Shake vigorously until well combined, and pour over vegetables. Stir well, and refrigerate until ready to serve.


joannabug said...

Yum, that spice butter looks fabulous!

Just for future reference, right before Thanksgiving, all the stores in our area start selling sweet potatoes for $.25/lb. and up. I usually stock up, and mash a bunch for baby food, topping shepherd's pie, etc., and freeze whatever we don't use right away

Meg said...

I microwave sweet potatoes several times a week. I actually put them in the ziploc steaming bags and heat them for 5-7 minutes depending on the size.

Shelby said...

That is a great photo Stephanie! Both the potato and coleslaw look delish!

American Homemaker said...

We do sweet potatoes all the time! I love, love, love them!

Unknown said...

To save on the cost of steaming bags and foil I place, baked or microwaved, potatoes, sweet or otherwise, in a stoneware or casserole dish to encourage the potatoes to be more tender when I serve them.