Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sweet Potato Patties, I'll never let you go

Hey hey kiddos, quick and dirty tonight...tomorrow is my first day of work at my new job, after all. :)

The topic? Sweet Potatoes. The taste? Phenomenal. The picture? Less than extraordinary. (Sorry, still don't have my camera charger -- I took this picture with my iphone.)

A few nights ago I made mashed sweet potatoes to go with our dinner of French Onion soup, roasted chicken with meyer lemons, and a green salad. I baked the two huge sweet potatoes and then mashed them, skins on, with a dab of wildflower honey, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. They were wonderfully savory and complimented the tangy chicken perfectly.

Last night, however, dinner was a bit different. I roasted a slab of salmon in the oven (seasoned with fresh oregano and more meyer lemon) (I would have grilled it, but wouldn't you know that our deck is being ripped out because of water and termite damage and we can't walk out to the grill for fear of collapsing the fragile remnants of our once beautiful deck. Don't ask.), blanched some green beans, and reheated the left-over French Onion soup.

I wanted to use the left-over mashed sweet potatoes also, but I didn't want to simply reheat them. Instead, I unearthed an old recipe from my memories of helping my parents cook as a child. My mom and dad both loved potato patties (fried circles of day-old mashed potatoes, mixed with diced onions, and salt and pepper) and I loved to help them shape the potato mixture into patties. Plus, dipping the (crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside) potato patties into ketchup was highly entertaining to my as a kid. I haven't had them in years.

I created the below recipe based on that memory -- our dinner guests and I gobbled them up. Hope you give them a try, they are really, really worth it!

Sweet Potato Patties

(Sorry, all ingredients are approximations -- this sort of recipe I do by feel)


-- leftover mashed sweet potatoes, skins on (approximately 3 cups)
-- flour (approximately 3/4 cup)
--eggs (two)
--nutmeg (1/2 teaspoon *freshly* grated)
--cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon ground)
--ginger (1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated)
-- salt and pepper
--honey (one teaspoon, but only if the mashed sweet potatoes don't already have honey added)

-- neutral oil, such as canola, for frying


1) Combine all ingredients, except the oil, with your hands. Be sure to add the flour bit by bit (you may not use it all). The mixture should be thick and tacky like playdough. If it is too wet, add more flour, if it is too dry, add a bit of water or an extra egg white.

2) Heat oil in large cast iron frying pan (enough oil to go 1/4 inch up the side of the pan) until sizzling. A drop of water should dance on the surface.

3) Form golf ball sized balls of sweet potato mixture, and flatten them to about 1/2 thick

4) Slide the patties into the oil, making sure the pan isn't too crowded. When one side is browned, flip the patty and fry the other side until golden.

5) Remove the patties from the oil and place them on a plate covered with a layer of paper towels.

6) Fry the patties in batches until all of the mixture is used.

7) Blot the excess oil from any patties and serve hot.


Be sure to use fresh oil -- rancid or stale oil will ruin these. Also, the freshly grated nutmeg is very important, pre-ground will not be nearly as good. Additionally, the patties should have a crunchy exterior and a smooth, creamy interior. Finally, you should be able to taste the interplay of the salt/sweet/spice flavors.

We served these for dinner, but our plan is to reheat the left-overs in the oven and serve them for breakfast with maple syrup. I'll let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I'm back!

Hello, and deepest apologies. As you've very likely noticed, I've been absent for some months. In a nutshell, I was working 14 + hour days and nearly every weekend. I didn't have time to get my haircut, let alone cook any sort of meal and take pictures of it. I subsisted on sandwiches most nights for dinner (around 11:30 p.m.) and almost entirely stopped going to the farmers market (and mainly just shopped for necessities at Trader Joes). They were sad times friends, sad times.

However, I did manage to take a trip to Italy in October (and, while staying at an old Tuscan villa, enjoy mind-bogglingly good food). I also took multiple trips to New York City to visit the boyfriend (and, while there, also relished delicious meals at fabulous restaurants). Of course, taking these trips necessitated even more time at work and no time to document all of the tastiness.

Never fear fine reader, those times are behind us. I have quit my job a The Big Law Firm and will be starting a new job next Monday. My hope is that the new job will not suck as many hours out of my life as the old one (and how could it?) and that I will be able to return to regular posting! First, however, I need to buy a battery charger for my camera. What good is this blog without the pictures? :)