Sweet Potato Corn Cakes

UPDATE:

Adding black beans was delicious.

Careful with the cast iron skillet, the oil doesn’t seem to disperse evenly and you ended up burning some of these a little bit.

You went too heavy on the garlic in the sauce. You should crush, not chop it next time (per Twelve Recipes).

Original Post:

Yum! These were fabulous. A few tips/convenient substitutions/possible additions:

1. Make sure to fully cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave. I ended up with a few hard, uncooked lumps in my cakes.

2. I chopped up the skins and added them in to boost nutrition.

3. All I had was polenta, so I used that instead of breadcrumbs. Crunch and delicious.

4. Add some black beans next time to add some protein.

http://www.budgetbytes.com/2012/07/sweet-potato-corn-cakes-with-garlic-dipping-sauce/

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Chinese Chicken Salad

This salad recipe was really delicious. I was trying to replicate the Chinese Chicken Salad from Tender Greens, which I had a few weeks ago and was so so good. Funny part was the chicken was the worst element of the salad, completely flavorless. I’m sure it would have been fine had it been seasoned somehow, but that seemed like too much work for me.

Anyways, this recipe basically nails it. It’s so colorful and delicious. Definitely don’t leave out the carrot or cucumber. I used field greens instead of cabbage. I omitted the mandarin oranges and used roasted peanuts instead of almonds. Oh, and no chicken. Right.

For the dressing, it seemed like there was a lot of oil (usually the ratio is 3:1 oil:acid), so I cut back on the canola oil (but added in the full amount of sesame oil). Also substituted for the rice wine vinegar half balsamic half cooking sherry. It turned out perfect. Would definitely make again.

 

Pizza

I’ve been perfecting my pizza recipe and method:

1. Brush/spray outer part of crust with oil. So yummy.

2. Bake the crust almost all the way without any toppings, as hot as the oven will go. UPDATE: I think this might have made the crust too crunchy? I like a crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside crust, and when I used Booby Flay’s pizza dough recipe (which everyone raves about so I wonder where I’m going wrong), it turned into a kind of flavorless, thick cracker. Still need to perfect the technique I think. It may not have risen enough, so maybe try the heat the oven to 100 or so, turn off, then let the dough rise?

Also, maybe try this recipe: http://www.jasonandshawnda.com/foodiebride/archives/11097/

3. Then, open the oven and quickly add your toppings. Everything will melt and heat through, and you’ll have a crispy crust (instead of a soggy, ingredient soaked crust).

This recipe is delicious. I substituted Parmesan for the mozzarella and it was so good. Also I think tossing the greens in olive oil and lemon really kicks it up a notch.

http://www.dinneralovestory.com/tag/jim-lahey-pizza-crust/

UPDATE 5/5/15: Hahaha, I had such a colossal pizza failure last night! Let’s see if we can do better next time.

1. Don’t add fresh arugula until the end, otherwise it cooks too much and is kind of gross.

2. Try this dough recipe. And make sure to check the yeast, maybe your dough didn’t rise because the yeast was old? This is an all day rise BTW.

http://www.jasonandshawnda.com/foodiebride/archives/11097/

3. From the above recipe: “It takes ~30 minutes for my oven to heat to 550 and then I hold the temperature for 30 minutes to make sure the stone and everything inside is actually 550 degrees.”

4. Also could try this broiler method for those of us with those funky bottom broiler drawers instead of in the oven broilers: “Because mine is a drawer-style broiler at the bottom of the oven, room to maneuver is at a premium. Rather than use the back of a cast-iron skillet, which would position the pizza too close to the flame, I put the pie on a preheated cast-iron grill pan, pulling out the broiler-pan assembly beforehand to make room.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/02/AR2010030200545.html

5. Try assembling the pizza on parchment (maybe with cornmeal? might be unnecessary) so it’s easier to slide onto the preheated surface in the oven.

Beet and Citrus Goat Cheese Salad

Such a yummy combination! I basically used the recipe as a guide to use up what was available at the store/what I had on hand. I used oranges, red beets, burrata cheese and scallions. The dressing was delicious with this salad, I followed that recipe almost exactly, except didn’t have sherry vinegar so I substituted half white balsamic vinegar half sherry cooking wine.

http://www.acommunaltable.com/blood-orange-beet-and-goat-cheese/