EXPERIMENTING with a Baked Sweet Potato Dish

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Gluten free, AIP, Vegetarian

10:50am

I just had an idea on using up a very large White Sweet Potato. I wanted to try something that would give a savory taste quality to the Sweet Potato.  I decided to try slow roasting it in the oven. I cut it up and placed it in a hot cast iron skillet. Then I  added in some sliced onion, a medium tart apple, herbs de Provence and salt.  I then poured ghee over the whole dish and placed it in a 300F oven. 

It’s only been in there long enough for everything to start heating up and there is already a delicious aroma coming from the oven. Yum!

12:00pm

The potatoes are cooked through and the onions are starting to turn translucent, even though it’s only been a little over an hour since I put them into the oven.

I decided to add Brussels Sprouts to the mix.  I had already partially thawed some frozen sprouts. I cut each sprout in half, sprayed them with cold water to remove all signs of ice and placed them into the pan. I gently tossed them with the other vegetables and put the dish back into the oven. The timer is set for 15 minutes. 

Here’s what the dish looks like right after adding the Brussels Sprouts.

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12:30pm

This dish is done and ready to be served. It is delicious! The potatoes are silky soft. They contrast beautifully with the firmness of the brussels sprouts. The apple and onion added in a lovely bit of sweet and tart flavors.  The herbs de Provence pull the whole dish together with a fabulous aroma and slight herbal essence in each bite.

It was two hours from start to finish. This is a very easy and elegant dish.  It’s also a great way to heat up the kitchen on a cold,  wintry day. I’m serving this dish with a beef brisket that was started earlier at 450F then finished after a few hours at 300F. This would also be a wonderful Christmas Day side dish.

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Cooking with Love in My NoneSuch Kitchen,

Karen

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SQUASH NOODLES with BRUSSELS SPROUTS and BACON!

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AIP, Gluten Free, Lactose free

This is a very quick and easy dish. It makes use of Spiralized summer squash, Brussels Sprouts and bacon.
I like to make it in the fall when the thought of vegetables like Brussels Sprouts start to sound good on a cool day.

I used a Tromboncino Squash for this recipe . They are easily grown in my garden and very prolific. They can be used as green summer squash or allowed to ripen into winter squash. Mine come up volunteer every year and are always prolific. If you have a garden and space to let the squash roam, then give them a try.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 15 to 20 minutes.

INGREDIENTS:

1lb spiralized summer squash

½ lb sliced bacon

12 ounces fresh or frozen Brussels Sprouts

a splash of organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Bacon grease

PROCESS:

Fresh Brussels Sprouts: Slice into halves and blanch in boiling water for a couple of minutes.
Frozen Brussels Sprouts: Place into a colander and spray with cold water to remove all ice crystals. Cut the partially frozen sprouts into halves. Set aside.

In a cast iron skillet, fry up a ½lb of bacon. More if you really like lots of bacon.

While the bacon is frying spiralize the squash into noodles.

Once the bacon is cooked as much as you like ( I like really crisp), remove it from the skillet.

Add the noodles and Brussels Sprouts to the hot bacon grease in the skillet.

Cook, slightly tossing and turning the vegetable until the squash starts to soften and Brussels Sprouts turn a lovely bright green.

Throw in a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar, stir and serve. It is delicious with roasted pork and stewed apples and figs.

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This dish is also good leftover. Just gently reheat in the cast iron skillet.

Cooking with Love in My Nonesuch Kitchen,

Karen

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SPIRALIZED SQUASH NOODLES

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I have harvested a huge crop of Tromboncino Squash this year.  This squash is an Itlaian heirloom that is delicious when used either as a Summer Squash or, when allowed to ripen and used as a Winter Squash.  Here’s a link to more information: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tromboncino_(squash)

When it is picked while still green or even slightly green, it has a mild nutty flavor. What I really love about it is, that, when cooked while still green,  it never gets mushy.  It retains a nice semi-firm texture.  This makes it perfect for making spiralized squash noodles out of it.

I’ve been making spiralized noodles all summer using a small hand held device. That was Ok for small squash and small amounts of noodles, but now I had lots of big green squash. 

Troboncino squash vines keep producing until frost, so, along with the mature squash, there were still several green squash. 

They were pretty big. When I saw how big some of the squash were and how many I had to harvest, I decided to invest in an attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer. With an attachment, I could process larger pieces of squash and, hopefully,  freeze it.

Here’s the attachment that I bought.

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It works great. I managed to process five squash today into very nice spiralized noodles in a very short period of time.  It took me no more than an hour and a half to make the noodles, steam blanch them and package them into freezer bags.

Here’s the noodles in bags and one of the squash. I ended up with 11 quarts of noodles.

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Of course, this attachment would also work great with other summer squash.

I’m also going to use it to spiralize some sweet potatoes.  I’ve been experimenting with spiralizing them and then cooking them up into fries.  I’d like to dehydrate some and see how that works for storing them. That would keep the mice from getting into them all winter in the basement.

For a treat, I also spiralized two white potatoes that got fried up for lunch. They cooked up light and crispy. YUM!

Cooking with Love in My Nonesuch Kitchen,

Karen

Platacones NoneSuch Style

My husband and I went on an amazing trip to Costa Rica. We went with our yoga instructor and seven of her students/friends.

Our base was at a beautiful resort high above the Whale’s Tail beach. The Vista Celestial resort only has room for a maximum of ten people and is really set up for those who practice yoga. Besides having beautiful yoga sessions on a open air platform that was high above the jungle floor, we ate some really delicious food.

One of the foods was Platacones, which are a local specialty. I had them in a small local place down by the beach, where they were served topped with a spicy meat sauce and at the resort where they were topped with beans. The Platacones were crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. I tried finding a recipe for them, after we got home. Every recipe called for slicing the raw plantain, frying the slices, then squashing them flat and frying them again. That’s not what we had in Costa Rica.

I finally found a recipe that called for cooking the plantains in boiling water until they were very tender. They were left to cool in the water, then sliced and fried. Again, not what we had. I finally came up with the idea of boiling the plantains, letting them cool and then putting them into a food processor. This gave me a sticky “dough” that I could carefully shape into patties, which I then fried. Voila! The patties that we had in Costa Rica.

RECIPE:

Yield: About 8-10 patties

Prep time: Two hours, spaced out

INGREDIENTS:

2 large very green plantains

Fat for frying: I use homemade lard but peanut oil or avocado oil would also work.

PROCESS:

Peel the plantains by slicing lengthwise down one side. Use the tip of the knife to loosen the skins. Peel them off.

Cut the plantains in half and place them in a pot with water. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and let cook for 1/2 hour. Pierce with a fork to test for tenderness. If tender, remove from the heat and let the plantains cool down enough to handle.

Cut the plantains into 1” chunks and place in a food processor. Process until smooth. You might have to add some water to make a smooth but somewhat stiff dough.

Working with about 2 TBL of dough at a time, form it into patties. I found that cold water on my hands helped to keep the dough from sticking too much. Place the patties into the hot fat. Cook on one side until the patties get brown around the edges. Carefully flip the patties and cook on the other side.

 

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It takes about five minutes to a side. I cook the whole batch all at once. The dough dries out too much if it’s not cooked immediately. The patties keep well in the fridge and are easy to reheat in a small skillet.

I’ve recently been adding green onions and fresh cilantro to the batter.This photo also shows the cooked plantains.

It makes a very nice flavor change.

I serve them plain for breakfast. I also love them topped with my fermented salsa, chicken and/or some fresh mashed Avocado.

Delicious!

Cooking with Love in NoneSuch,

Karen

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ROASTED SWEET PEPPERS in MARINADE

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The Sweet peppers are finally starting to ripen and are producing quite a crop.  I planted two heirloom varieties: Lip Stick Pimento and Jimmy Nardello. 

The Lip Stick is a lovely conical shaped pepper that is very sweet after it turns red. It has very fleshly walls that take well to roasting. 

The Jimmy Nardello is an old Italian heirloom that produces a long, slender sweet red pepper. It is a dependable and heavy producer under many weather conditions.  It’s walls are much thinner and harder to work with when roasted, but it is worth the effort.

After cutting off the tops and saving the seeds, I laid the peppers on a wire rack over a cookie sheet. The cookie sheet was there to catch drippings from the peppers as they cooked. I roasted the peppers in a 450F degree oven for about a half hour.

 

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The peppers need to roast until the skins start to bubble up and turn black. I always tend to get in a hurry and pull them out a bit too soon. That means they will be much harder to peel, so, leave them in the oven until the skins are bubbled and turning black all over.

Once the skin reaches the right color, remove the peppers to a bowl that is big enough to hold all of them.  Cover the bowl with a cloth and let the peppers “sweat” until they are cool enough to handle. The sweating process helps the skin to come loose from the pepper.

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Peel all the loose skin off of the peppers. At this point they can be frozen or used in a recipe.

I chose to marinate these peppers.

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RECIPE for MARINATED PEPPER SALAD

One full tray of roasted sweet peppers, peeled and cut into pieces.

Make a marinade of Balsamic vinegar and Olive Oil.

(I used a Black Mission Fig Balsamic Vinegar and Arbosana Olive Oil. I purchased both of them at Stuarto’s in Lexington, KY.)

Place 1 TBL chopped fresh garlic into a glass measuring cup.

Add  a pinch of sea salt

Pour 1/4 cup of the balsamic into the glass measuring cup.

Slowly pour in about 1/2 cup of  Olive Oil while whisking the mixture constantly. Whisk until all of the Olive Oil has been added and the mixture thickens up.

Pour the mixture over the peppers and gently stir to  coat each pepper.

Let sit, covered,  for a couple of hours, then refrigerate until ready to use.

Because Olive Oil thickens up in the refrigerator, set the dish out at room temperature about an hour before serving or gently heat it in the microwave.

These peppers are delicious served alone. They are also very good served with fresh tomatoes.  If you eat bread, they would be fabulous with fresh French Bread.

ENJOY!

Cooking With Love in MY Nonesuch Kitchen,

Karen

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