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Amazing Roasted Sweet Potatoes

So I made the best sweet potatoes I’ve probably ever had today. They are spicy and sweet and get stuck in your teeth in the good way.

Sweet Potatoes

Three bouts of inspiration for them:

  1. Spring has sprung on Long Island. We’ve had some pretty awesome weather, which has inspired me to use the grill. Daylight savings time, which as a concept I hate, is actually pretty cool when you work 9-to-5[ish] and want to grill after work. Grill => burgers => potatoes.
  2. I was watching Sara’s Weeknight Meals the other day and saw her make some pretty great looking burgers and sides and was inspired. While the fries/chips from The Dandelion looked pretty killer, I served similar spinach turkey burgers with amazing roasted sweet potatoes.
  3. I was looking for a recipe for sweet potato oven fries the other day. I find most oven fries really kind of bleh. They’re wannabe fries, and I didn’t want wannabes. I tried my usual sources including Cook’s Illustrated and Serious Eats, but nothing really caught my eye. Then I found this, made it, loved it, but ultimately decided they would be better as roasted potatoes instead of pretending to be fries. Wannabes.

I’d like to write up my burger recipe as well as my special sauce recipe, but time is short and these sweet potatoes are better anyway.

Amazing Roasted Sweet Potatoes
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Spicy roasted sweet potatoes adapted from Minimalist Baker's Cajun Baked Sweet Potato Fries.
Servings Prep Time
3 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Amazing Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Print Recipe
Spicy roasted sweet potatoes adapted from Minimalist Baker's Cajun Baked Sweet Potato Fries.
Servings Prep Time
3 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Place a large cast iron skillet in the oven. Preheat oven & skillet to 375F.
  2. Cube up potatoes. Toss in a large bowl with everything but the cilantro. Toss until you think everything is evenly distributed and then toss again. It's worth it.
  3. Once the oven is up to temp, pour the potatoes into the skillet and roast for about 20 minutes. Toss around and then roast for another 20 minutes. It won't hurt to toss again go up to another 20 minutes.
  4. Toss potatoes with chopped cilantro and serve.
Recipe Notes

Please use a cast iron skillet. Please. It's so worth it.

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Italian Vegetable Soup

Italian Vegetable Soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
3 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Italian Vegetable Soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
3 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. To a medium pot, add chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
  2. Add kale and salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste. Return to a simmer and let cook for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add carrots and let cook another 2 minutes.
  4. Add cabbage and tomato sauce and cook for 5-10 minutes until everything is hot and vegetables reach desired tenderness.
  5. Serve and garnish with parmesan and olive oil.
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Italian Stir Fry

Italian Stir Fry
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Italian Stir Fry
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: person
Instructions
  1. Heat skillet over medium-high. Add olive oil.
  2. When olive oil is shimmery, add kale, salt, black pepper, and red pepper (to taste). Stir occasionally, cooking for about five minutes.
  3. Add cabbage and carrots and continue to stir occasionally, cooking for another five minutes.
  4. Once vegetables have browned and wilted slightly, add tomato sauce and rice. Stir occasionally until everything is heated through.
  5. Add water if necessary to loosen to desired consistency. I like to add just a little too much water and then reduce down until slightly thickened.
  6. Serve with plenty of parmesan and drizzle with olive oil if desired.
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Zucchini Tahini Dip

DSC_7806During my lunch hour today, I was looking for a summery recipe for tonight’s supper. It’s not summer, but this winter has been so long and I’ve been feeling like I need some fresh, light food. I stumbled upon a recipe for Chicken Shawarma – a nice, light grilled chicken dish. I often feed a crowd on Friday nights and this recipe seemed like a solid and economical choice. I was also drawn in to the recipe for zucchini hummus. I’m really not the type to pretend something is what it isn’t, and in my opinion, this is not hummus. Hummus is made from chick peas, and this dish is not. However, it looked delicious and seemed like it would make a nice pairing with the chicken and a recent vice, Terra sweet potato chips.

As it turned out, I wasn’t feeding a crowd tonight. Just my sister and me.  Yesterday, I had made some chicken drum sticks, so instead of preparing the chicken shawarma recipe, I reheated the drum sticks. Still wanting some fresh food, I prepared the zucchini dip recipe with minor modification. Specifically, I cut the amount of cumin in half, and probably added a bit more olive oil than the recipe called for. It turned out delicious and was great with the chicken, the chips, and some grilled zucchini. This recipe is a keeper. I found it much lighter than hummus. As a variation in the future, I plan to puree with some grilled zucchini instead of fresh. That would remove some moisture and lend a light smoky taste, not unlike baba ghanoush.

Zucchini Tahini Dip
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Zucchini Tahini Dip
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Place the lemon juice and tahini in a food processor and blend for about 30 seconds or until well combined and creamy. You may need to scrape the sides once or twice to get the ingredients to fully combine.
  2. Add the zucchini, olive oil, cumin, salt, black pepper and garlic and blend until smooth. You may need to scrape the sides once or twice.
  3. Transfer to a small bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, a couple of dashes of paprika, and cilantro.
Special Equipment
  1. Food processor
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Simple Summer Salad

I subscribe to a CSA, and in my box in the early part of the summer, there is always plenty of arugula. So much arugula, in fact, that I run out of things to do with it. When this happens, I feel compelled to abandon creativity and revert to simplicity.

This salad has two main ingredients, and only four additional items from the pantry: arugula, sliced strawberries, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and black pepper. That’s it. That’s all that’s necessary. Strawberries, balsamic, and black pepper are a classic combo. The peppery arugula amplifies the heat of the black pepper and complements the sweetness of the strawberries and balsamic perfectly. A little salt and olive oil completes the picture.

It doesn’t hurt if you let the everything sit for a bit before tossing with the arugula. I’d suggest slicing the strawberries and tossing with the salt, pepper, vinegar, and olive oil. Then wash up and spin dry your arugula and the strawberries will be perfect. The salt pulls some of moisture out of the fruit, which gets mixed into the vinaigrette.

Although strawberries work really well in this recipe, if I dare call it that, another fruit could be substituted. I’d consider tomatoes to take it more savory, or perhaps peaches, pineapple, or watermelon to keep it more on the sweet side. You can’t go wrong. If you felt like gilding the lily, some soft goat cheese would be lovely.

Simple Summer Salad
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Simple Summer Salad
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: person
Instructions
  1. Mix together all ingredients except for the arugula. Set aside.
  2. Wash and spin dry the arugula. Place in a bowl or on a plate.
  3. Top arugula with fruit mixture and enjoy!
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