Archive for the ‘Veggies’ Category

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!  I’ve been slacking on the blogging lately, but I have an  totally lame extremely reasonable excuse – I’ve lost my recipe for beef empanadas.  I was going to follow up my chicken empanada recipe with one for completely inauthentic and excellent beef empanadas, but my raggedy, grease-covered recipe card is missing.   I’ve been so annoyed with myself for misplacing it that I’ve avoided the blog because the half finished draft of the beef empanada post was just pissing me off all over again.  So…my overly emotional response to losing a recipe aside…I’ve been cooking up a storm and have lots of other recipes to share so I’m going to get back into the swing of blogging regularly and just figure out the beef empanadas later.

This year we went to thanksgiving with my mother-in-law’s family.  When the giant planning emails started making the rounds I noticed that sweet potatoes were missing from the prospective menu.  So I volunteered to make them, and after a lot of deliberation, decided to make a standard glazed sweet potato, but to dial down the sweetness a bit.  I love sweet potatoes in any form, but the ooey-gooeyness can be a bit cloying on a plate piled high with other rich foods.  So enter these glazed sweet potatoes that definitely fit in that traditional sweet-sweet potato category, but with some citrus and a touch of booze to cut the sugar.

Several people told me that they aren’t generally a fan of Thanksgiving sweet potatoes because they are too sweet, but that these were good.  Most of them got eaten, so it seems that they weren’t just being nice about it.  I loved them, but I’m a sucker for sweet potatoes so I can’t trust my own judgment.  I would reduce the amount of zest I used though, and the recipe below reflects that change.  The only issue is that I didn’t get a picture until the leftovers were packaged up.  So it’s…umm…quite possibly the least appetizing picture you will ever see on this blog.  The recipe is good though!  I promise.  It’s just a little worse for the wear here…

Honey Citrus Bourbon Glazed Sweet Potatoes adapted from Epicurious

  • 5 lbs sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 mild honey
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • juice from one orange
  • zest from half of the orange
  • 2 Tbsp bourbon (I used Makers Mark.  Mister tsked over this and told me to use the cheaper stuff next time, but it’s a holiday and it’s two Tablespoons.  Live a little!)
  • 1 tsp salt

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into 1-2 inch chunks and place in a large mixing bowl.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine remaining ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat over medium high, mixing until melted and combined.  Continue to boil for ~10 minutes until syrupy.

Pour glaze over sweet potato chunks and toss to coat.

Dump sweet potatoes and all the glaze into a 9×13 pan and bake until the sweet potatoes are tender and the glaze is reduced to a thick syrup. (~30 minutes)

Once or twice while cooking use a rubber spatula to gently mix the tater chunks to assure even cooking and glaze distribution.



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Bacon Ranch Coleslaw

As I’ve mentioned before, I love cabbage.  It keeps forever in the fridge, so during weeks where my schedule is up in the air, cabbage is a great standby veggie.  If it ends up hanging out in there, keeping the ketchup company, it won’t turn into a slimy mess by the time I manage to turn it into something.  Besides, it’s surprisingly pretty.  See?

This particular time the “something” included the ranch dressing that has been hanging out in the condiment shelf and the 1/4 lb of bacon languishing in the fridge.   Bacon ranch style might not be the healthiest way to eat your vegetables, but it was damn tasty.

Bacon Ranch Coleslaw

  • 1/4 head green cabbage
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 1/4 lb bacon
  • 1/4 cup ranch dressing (you can go all fancy and make your own, but I like Hidden Valley)
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • a splash of bacon fat
  • a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper

Shred the cabbage.  I use my mandolin, but a box grater or sharp knife will work too.

Slice the onion as thinly as you can and toss with the shredded cabbage.

Saute the bacon till crisp, drain and crumble.

Whisk together ranch, vinegar, a splash of the bacon fat and pepper.  Taste and add salt  if needed, but with the ranch it probably won’t be neccessary.

Pour the dressing over the cabbage and onion and toss well.  Sprinkle the bacon over the top and toss lightly.

I think this would be a great side to some burgers.

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