Monday, November 25, 2013

Sweet Potato Casserole With Pecan Crumble


I didn't share this recipe from Saveur which we tried out for Thanksgiving in 2011? Shame on me. It is simply delicious, just sweet enough to enhance the sweet potato flavor without obscuring it. Until Rose, far from home and providing the basis of Thanksgiving dinner for her friends, asked me about it yesterday I didn't realize I'd not put it on the blog.

Note: I skipped the mini marshmallows, not being a marshmallow appreciator.

Also, I feel positive that I make this to the point of adding the crumble and then refrigerate it until the next day, Thanksgiving, when I let it come to room temperature and bake it while the turkey is resting. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Sweet Potato Casserole With Pecan Crumble

Step 1:
3 pounds sweet potatoes

Heat oven to 425°. Place sweet potatoes on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake until soft, about 1-1/2 hours; let cool for 30 minutes, and then remove skins. Pass potatoes through a food mill into a large bowl.

Step 2:
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1-inch piece ginger, finely grated
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Stir in sugar, butter, cream, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, eggs, ginger, and pepper. Pour mixture into a 1½-quart baking dish and smooth top; set aside.

Step 3:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1/4 cup mini marshmallows

Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Stir together flour, oats, sugar, pecans, and salt in a bowl; add butter and, using your fingers, rub butter into flour mixture until large crumbles form. Mound crumble mixture over filling, dot with marshmallows, and bake until filling is hot and crumble and marshmallows are browned, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. Serves 6-8.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sichuan-Style Orange Beef with Sugar Snap Peas

This is from the latest Cook's Country magazine. They always have a center section of 30-minute recipes printed on card stock, perforated so you get the photo on one side, the recipe on the other, and it makes a nice recipe card that I punch holes in and put in my kitchen binder. These have been consistently good and simple whenever I've tried them.

I think next time I'd use more sugar snap peas but since I also steamed some broccoli (dressed with a bit of sesame oil and soy sauce) we had plenty of vegetables.

It was delicious with the beef tender, the snow peas crisp, and the flavor bright from the orange and red pepper flakes. Also, we had plenty left over for a second meal. In fact, I think the flavor was improved on the second night.

The obvious pairing is to serve this with steamed rice, although I could see it being a good match with pasta or rice noodles.

My only beef (ha!) with this recipe is that there weren't enough peas. A second time I made it with double the amount and that was just right. 

Sichuan-Style Orange Beef with Sugar Snap Peas

2 teaspoons grated orange zest plus 1/2 cup juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1-1/2 pounds flank steak, trimmed, cut into thirds lengthwise, and sliced crosswise into 1/4" thick pieces
8 ounces peas, sugar snap, strings removed (I double this)
2 scallions, sliced thin

Combine orange zest and juice, soy sauce, honey, garlic and pepper flakes in a bowl.

Combine beef and 1/3 cup orange juice mixture in a 12" non-stick skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until liquid has evaporated and beef is caramelized, about 15 minutes. Transfer the beef to a plate and tent loosely with aluminum foil.

Add the remaining orange juice mixture and the snap peas to now-empty skillet and cook, covered, over medium heat until the snap peas are bright green, about 2 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and the snap peas are tender, about 1 minute. Return the beef to the skillet and toss with the snap peas to combine. Transfer to a platter and sprinkle with scallions. Serve.