Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sweet Potato Cakes with Sage

 It's a tad deceiving that I've headlined this post with a side dish, but I wondered how many would actually dig into an entry titled "Smoked Meatloaf and Sweet Potato Cakes with Sage".   I realize that the standard meatloaf (we'll get to the "smoked" part in a second) doesn't do it for most people.  I'm totally with you when I take a moment to relive some past meatloaf experiences (elementary school cafeteria, anyone?).  But I actually dig a good meatloaf and appreciate its kid-, freezer-, and leftover-friendly qualities.  We even ordered it out at a restaurant once (Lulu's, Richmonders) at the exuberant behest of the server, and it was as amazing as she promised.  It's no surprise that my two favorite meatloaf recipes come from my two favorite domestic ladies: Ina and Marth.  I've referenced Ina's turkey meatloaf recipe before (in Make Ahead), and it's quite good.  Today I am providing Marth's beef/pork version that is, believe it or not, packed with vegetables.  I've made this in a loaf pan as suggested and was a little weirded out with it sort of swimming in fat at the end.  (Sorry, I know that it totally not appetizing...just trying to provide fair warning.)  Here's a picture of the loaf - in all its smoked glory - instead just mounded onto a pan where the drippings can disperse away from the meat a little more easily.

Now, the cooking technique.  The average sane person doesn't fire up a smoker once a week.  So you can obviously do this in the oven - which is what the recipe recommends, after all.  For those that do have an interest in using a smoker or indirect heat over the grill, this strategy imparts tremendous flavor and really takes it from good to wow.  Ryan was especially proud of the smoke ring (grill speak) he achieved.

Finally, the delicious, healthy, and completely simple side:  sweet potato cakes with sage.  I found a blurb in Real Simple magazine listing six interesting uses for sweet potatoes, and this was one of them.  Seasonal ingredients are just the best, because they are the most fresh while being the least expensive!  I happen to adore sweet potatoes, so I was excited to happen upon some fun new treatments.  The article didn't provide any cooking instructions or quantities, so I just made it up as I went along, and it turned out to be a success.  Honestly, with fragrant, savory sage and beautiful fresh sweet potatoes sauteed in olive oil, it would be kind of tough to go wrong. Here's the scoop:

Sweet Potato Cakes with Sage

Peel and coarsely grate two large sweet potatoes, and place them in a large bowl.  Mix in about 1/3 cup grated onion, 1/2ish tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, one beaten egg, 2 Tbsp flour, and 1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage.  Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a pan and drop spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the pan.  Do your best to resist playing with them until you can see evidence of some browning on the bottom.  Otherwise, they'll fall apart!  When you peak underneath and they stay together, it's safe to turn them.  Once browned on both sides, serve them topped with a nice dollop of sour cream.


Post a Comment