Saturday, March 31, 2012

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Yuuuuuuuuuum. Okay people, first off, get the normal idea of 'french fries' out of your head right now. These are not white potatoes, to begin with, and they are not fried, secondly. There is no crispy exterior and fluffy interior. Instead, what we have are tender, sweet, almost maple-y slices of sweet potato, complimented beautifully by a little salt and savory paprika. Stick form, so you can eat it with your fingers, but you won't be dunking these in ketchup. Oh no. We do one better here. Raspberry sauce. Late last summer I made these with sweet potatoes and raspberries straight from the garden. It doesn't get much better than that!

  • Olive oil, for tossing
  • 5 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch long slices, then 1/4-wide inch strips.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder, more or less
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Line a sheet tray with parchment. In a large bowl toss sweet potatoes with just enough oil to coat. Sprinkle with your seasonings and toss again. Spread sweet potatoes in single layer on prepared baking sheet, being sure not to overcrowd. Bake until sweet potatoes are tender and golden brown, about 20 minutes, turning once. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

For the raspberry sauce, I kind of wing it. For your sakes though, I will try to be more specific and hope I'm right.

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch mixed with enough water to look the consistency of cream.

Mash the raspberries and cook in a small saucepan until it begins to bubble. Strain through cheesecloth or a sieve to remove all the seeds. Return to saucepan and add sugar and corn starch. Bring to a simmer and let thicken slightly; this should only take a minute. Remove from heat. It will continue to thicken as it cools. This doesn't make a large amount, as I am the only member of my family who wanted to try this! Next time I think I'll add a splash of orange juice or some zest perhaps. That sounds marvelous.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Giant Meringues

I know, I know, right after a post on low-carb intentions, I go and show you all a sugar-laden treat. My apologies. I was going through my picture files and found that I had never posted this recipe, having meant to simply months ago! I made these for a girls' night and they were a big hit. Light and delicate, fun swirls of color, easy to flavor according to your preferences, and they look impressive!

Giant Meringues
based on a recipe from BBC Good Food

4 egg whites
1 C sugar
1 tsp corn starch
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp citrus zest
(I used lemon and orange and colored accordingly)

  1. Heat oven to 275 F. Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment.
  2. Beat the egg whites until stiff . Add roughly half the sugar and the vanilla, corn starch and vinegar and beat until mixture becomes very thick, firm and shiny. Add the remaining sugar and whisk again until thick, firm and shiny.
  3. Gently fold in 1/4 tsp yellow or orange food coloring (or your own choice), careful not to over-mix and lose the beautiful swirls of color. Use a large spoon to swirl the airy rainbow-clouds of meringue onto the parchment paper, about 1 1/2 dozen. They spread slightly as they cook, so leave space between them.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes at 275, then reduce the heat to 225 for another 30. (Optionally, you can make about 8 HUGE meringues and bake for two intervals of 45 minutes each. Warning: When I say huge, I mean it.)
  5. Remove from the oven - they should peel easily away from the parchment - and cool on a wire rack. Can be made up to a week ahead and kept in an airtight container, or frozen for up to 3 months, between layers of parchment, in an airtight container.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Foodie Update

It's been a while since I've had much to post about, a result of being on the HCG diet for over a month. Hey, I'm down 20 lbs, but lean meat, one vegetable and one fruit per meal doesn't leave a whole lot of room for creativity. I'm excited to say that I have one week left before I can start eating almost normally again! Still low-carb... but I like that challenge. I am looking forward to sharing healthier recipes and meals with you. I still love my scones and bread of all types, but the reality of obesity and diabetes in my family is forcing me to take a step back from indulgence and find ways of making delicious, health-conscious meals, and creative ways to get myself to eat - dun dun DUUUUUUUUUUHN - vegetables. I am learning to eat more vegetables than before, but it's not an easy of terribly fun transition.

I also have some new and exciting cook-books to try out as soon as I'm released from the bonds of a strict diet. Look for reviews in the future!