Thursday, December 9, 2010

roasted sweet potatoes, chorizo, greens and garlic

sweet potato roasted with kale, chorizo and garlic, served with manchego cheese

This dish was a very serendipitous creation that Laura and I came up with. I think we were both very surprised just how much we liked it.

We had, (and still have, for that matter), tons of sweet potatoes from the food co-op, as well as garlic and your garden variety leafy greens. I think it was kale, but I could be wrong and in any event I'm sure that spinach, chard or even collard greens would work just as well. As I was peeling my sweet potatoes, Laura came home bearing a package of chorizo. I looked the in The Flavor Bible, and it told me that chorizo and sweet potatoes were secret lovers. Laura and I quickly decided to join culinary forces.

Laura sliced up the chorizo and fried it. I boiled the sweet potatoes and sliced up some garlic. Once the potatoes were cooked through, I cut them into centimeter thick disks and spread them out in a pyrex baking dish. I sprinkled the potatoes with garlic and drizzled on some olive oil. This method is from Mark Bittman, whose sweet potatoes have been a family Thanksgiving favorite for eleven years now thanks to my Aunt Cathy.

From there I decided to improvise by tossing in a bunch of leafy greens. Of course, when I put this all in the oven to roast, the greens were on top, exposed to the worst of the oven's heat, and soon started to get singed. I had to do a lot of stirring to make sure they didn't completely burn. If were to make this again, (which I totally would, because it was awesome), I would definitely sautee the greens with the chorizo before adding them to the baking dish.

When it became clear that all the stirring in the world wasn't going to save my kale from burning, Laura suggested that we mix in the chorizo. This was a brilliant idea. The grease from the pan moistened the kale so that it cooked down nicely, and infused the whole pan with meaty Spanish flavor. Somehow, the meat and slightly bitter greens perfectly complimented the sweetness of the sweet potatoes. In short, this just came together perfectly.

This is a complete meal unto itself, which I love. All we had with it was a little of the giant wheel of manchego cheese that our Spanish friend Katia had brought Laura from Spain. Anyway. Next time I make this, this is the recipe I plan on following:

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Chorizo, Greens and Garlic

1 lb chorizo, chopped
2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled
1 large bunch leafy greens, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
3 tbs olive oil

Pre-heat the oven to 400˚. Boil sweet potatoes for ten minutes. Run under cold water to cool, and slice into rounds. While potatoes are boiling, cook chorizo in frying pan on medium heat. Once the chorizo is cooked, set it aside, leaving the drippings in the pan. Saute your greens in the chorizo grease until they begin to wilt. Remove from heat.

Toss the sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the sweet potato rounds in a large baking dish and sprinkle with chopped garlic. Bake for ten minutes, then add the chorizo and leafy greens and bake for five more minutes, or until sweet potatoes are cooked all the way through and the greens are soft.

1 comment:

  1. With inspiration from Rick Bayless, I discovered bulk chorizo (i.e, not in sausage form). In addition to sweet potato, another of its lovers is mushroom. Mushroom, sweet potato, and crumbled, sauteed chorizo soft tacos or enchiladas are awesome. For soft tacos, use corn tortillas and singe them one at a time over a gas burner on your stove, then fill lightly and sprinkle with Cholula or other hot sauce. Bayless's line of salsas is fantastic, as is his delicious chipotle/garlic enchilada sauce.