Recipe: Sweet Potato Gnocchi

I really think I might have a sweet potato addiction. Every Sunday I start thinking about what meal I could make myself to take in to work for lunch the coming week and without fail I will circle back around to something sweet potato related – salads, pastas, stews, curries, chillis; if you can put sweet potato in it, I will put sweet potato on it. Continue reading “Recipe: Sweet Potato Gnocchi”

Recipe: Halloumi salad with sweet potato croutons

Can you really claim a salad is a recipe? When it comes down to it it’s just some ingredients mixed together in a bowl. Although at its basic level isn’t all food is just ingredients mixed together in a bowl? And this has got very deep very quickly. Continue reading “Recipe: Halloumi salad with sweet potato croutons”

Recipe: Sweet Potato Ratatouille

I don’t particularly like ratatouille. And if that’s not the stupidest way to start a recipe for ratatouille then I don’t know what it is.

When I planned this meal in my head it was really more of a vegetarian chilli. But I only own one saucepan and needed that for the rice so this got chucked in the oven instead. It turns out it’s a fine line between chilli and ratatouille and you cross it when you cook it in the oven. And change your mind about putting the kidney beans in. Continue reading “Recipe: Sweet Potato Ratatouille”

Recipe: Sweet potato curry

This recipe is an absolutely godsend for lazy winter evenings. It’s warming, cheap and you can chuck it all in a pot and forget about it for an hour to return to something truly amazing. Sticky and sweet and comforting and filling.

This is an adapted version of a recipe from Sam Stern’s Student Cookbook. One that we ate so much at university that the page in the recipe book is completely destroyed from the amount we had it open, exposed to splashes and burns. You can just about make out the list of ingredients but the method is beyond help. So before I forget it completely I thought I ought to chronicle it here.

I have adapted to recipe to suit the things I can buy in my local Sainsbury’s. A shop which stocks four different kinds of baked beans but no chickpeas. Any manner of fresh herbs but no spinach. And nothing in the way of curry paste, coconut milk or almonds. But all of those things would make delicious additions.

And as with all Indian meals you’ve got the wonderful choice of naan bread, chapattis, rice or poppadoms to enjoy it with or you could add potatoes to the curry itself. I tried to make my own chapattis which wasn’t an unqualified success and I won’t be including the recipe.

Serves two, takes an hour.

Ingredients

1 onion

1 clove of garlic

Cooking oil

Thumb size piece of ginger

1 large sweet potato

1 large carrot

250ml korma curry sauce

1-2 tbsp mango chutney (depending how much sweetness you like)

1 tbsp tomato puree

250ml chicken or vegetable stock

1 large bunch of fresh coriander, chopped.

Method

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Cut the onion into small pieces, finely chop the garlic clove and once hot add to the pan and cook until the onion softens.

Finely chop the ginger and add to the saucepan.

Peel and chop the sweet potato and carrot into even sized chunks and add to the saucepan to lightly fry for five minutes.

Add the curry sauce, mango chutney, tomato puree, 200ml of the stock and half the chopped coriander. Stir to combine and leave to simmer without a lid for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick. If it starts to dry out add the remaining stock.

Serve with the naan, poppadoms, chapattis or rice, sprinkled with the remaining coriander.

Recipe: Sweet potato and butternut squash filo pie

Imagine for a moment that you are the kind of person who on a summer’s day gets up early, cooks a variety of incredibly fancy food, packs it into a traditional wicker hamper and takes your family out for a picnic. It’s probably eaten sat on a checked blanket. Off proper crockery. And fed to children with names like Caspian and Seraphina. And alongside your smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches and homemade scotch eggs this pie would not look out of place.

I say this but I cooked it in my greasy, hasn’t-been-properly-clean-since-we-moved-in, always-has-a-pile-of-dirty-washing­-up-next-to-the-sink kitchen and then ate off my lap in front of the telly. And the day after I ate chicken nuggets, chips and spaghetti hoops for dinner. So it may look, sound and taste fancy but it’s deceptively easy.

A note on feta cheese; do not go all cheap-skate when you’re in the supermarket and buy innocuous ‘Greek salad cheese.’ It is not the same. For one thing it doesn’t melt so you just end up with lumps of it in your mash and secondly I think it might actually have been halloumi. So go crazy and splash out that extra 50p on the good stuff, it is worth it.

Insisting that you use precisely 400g each of sweet potato and butternut squash is a little impractical. They do not come in nice easy sizes like that. So what I suggest you do is buy more than you need, cook and mash it all and then freeze what you don’t want today for another time. It freezes really well and can be defrosted in the microwave in ten minutes (depending on how large a quantity you have of course).

Serves 4, takes just under an hour, makes a medium amount of washing up (my highest priority when I’m cooking is minimising washing up).

 

Ingredients

400g butternut squash

400g sweet potato

1 tbsp cooking oil

1 clove garlic

100g pine nuts

Salt and pepper

2 tsp oregano

150g feta cheese

12 sheets filo pastry

1 tbsp olive oil

 

Method

Peel and chop the sweet potato and peel, chop and core the butternut squash, cutting both into 2cm cubes.

Boil in pan of salted water for 25 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Finely chop the garlic.

Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan and add the garlic and pine nuts. Toast for 5 minutes.

When soft, drain and mash the sweet potato and butternut squash.

Crumble the feta into the mash, mix in the pine nuts and garlic and season with the salt, pepper and 1 tsp of the oregano.

Spread 4 sheets of the filo pastry on the base of an oven proof dish so that they overlap each other. Brush with the olive oil and season with salt, pepper and a light sprinkling of oregano. Repeat with a second and third layer of 4 filo sheets (don’t worry if they tear, it’s almost impossible for them not to).

Dollop the mash into the middle of the filo sheets and then gather up the edges of the pastry and fold them over the top.

Cook in the oven for 20 minutes until the pastry is golden and crispy.

Serve with a green salad.