Chipotle-Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Let's face it: sweet potatoes rule. AND they're super healthy for you, which combined with the fact that they rule means we end up eating them about once a week. And lately this is the way I've been making them, because though this recipe takes a while it's generally low-maintenance and gives me plenty of time to drink an entire bottle of pinot noir all by myself. Because I'm a real classy broad like that.

You'll need:
  • 2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean (try and pick out a matching pair to that they'll cook for the same amount of time)
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1-2 (depending on how spicy you like your food) chipotle peppers in adobo (cans of which you can find in the Hispanic foods section of your local grocery store)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Put an oven rack in the middle position and preheat that baby to 450°F. (Usually I just use the toaster oven. Seems to work just fine.) While that's going, line a baking sheet with foil and prick each potato several times with a fork. (The foil will catch all the sugars that seep out of those holes you just made and make clean up so much easier.)

Bake your sweet potatoes on the prepared baking sheet until they are very soft. This should take about an hour to an hour and a half.

Remove the potatoes and reduce the (toaster) oven temperature to 350°F.

As soon as the potatoes are cool enough to handle, scrape the insides into the bowl of a food processor, and add all of your remaining ingredients.

Then give it a whirl until everything is whipped up all together.

(If you don't have a food processor, you can use a stick blender or even a regular blender, though it'll probably be a whole lot more difficult to get your whipped potatoes out of a regular blender. OR! You can mash the peppers up with a fork into a fine paste in a large bowl, then add the other ingredients and whip that all together with a hand mixer.)

(You might also be asking yourself what you are going to do with the rest of those peppers from that can. Well, I have no idea what you are going to do with them. But what I do with them is I put them in a small, freezer-safe container, and I stick them in the freezer. Then, whenever I make chipotle-whipped sweet potatoes I take that small, freezer-safe container out of the freezer when I put the potatoes in the oven. By the time I need peppers to throw in the food processor, they're thawed out enough so that I can pull a couple out and put the rest back into the freezer. And then I repeat that process until I'm all out of peppers, at which time I buy a new can and start all over again. But feel free to do whatever it is you want to do with them.)

Spoon out your puree into an oven-safe receptacle of some kind.

Then bake your whipped potatoes until they're hot, for about 20 to 25 minutes. Then serve. And hopefully enjoy. But if you don't then, meh, there's nothing I can really do about that now can I?


About Oven Roasted Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta

One of the things we generally always have in the freezer is a bag of frozen shrimp. There are many reasons why we generally always have a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer, but I'll only bore you with four: (1) shrimp is easy to cook, (2) and it does so real fast like, (3) plus it's delicious, and (4) the "fresh" shrimp you buy in the seafood department of your local supermarket is just defrosted frozen shrimp anyway. And just to make life easy, we always buy the frozen shrimp that's been deveined, but still has the shell on, because I like to keep the shells in a bag in the freezer and then make stock out of them. But you don't have to do that if you don't want to, because I do realize that it's weird to keep a bag of shrimp shells in one's freezer. It sort of seems a few steps shy of keeping, like, eyeballs in the freezer or something equally as morbid. But ANYWAY.


Shrimp are sold by count, which basically means that you'll see a sign or a label or something that will say, like 12-15 count, or 35-40 count, or some other set of numbers. Those numbers tell you how many shrimps will make up one pound. So, if you buy a bag of 12-15 count shrimp, 12-15 shrimps will weigh one pound. The smaller the shrimp the less time they'll take to cook, and I don't really like to buy super tiny shrimp because they're kinda not worth it. For this recipe anything in the 20ish range will work.

Defrosting your shrimp is also super easy. Either let your frozen shrimp defrost in a bowl in the fridge overnight, or put them in a colander under a steady stream of cool water until they're all ready.

Ready? Mis en place!

This recipe definitely qualifies as easy, fast, and delicious. And the only other thing I want to mention is that it is well worth splurging on a good quality feta cheese. It makes all the difference. Also, don't buy the pre-crumbled feta; it doesn't melt too hot. For 2 servings you need:
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/8 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
  • 3/4 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3+ cup feta cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large, oven-proof skillet heat up your olive oil over medium high heat, and saute the onions for 3-5 minutes until they are softened. Then, add the garlic and cook just until you can start to smell it, about 30 seconds more.

Add the tomatoes and bring them to a simmer. As soon as it starts getting bubbly reduce the heat to medium low and let that continue to bubble away for another 5-10 minutes until the juices thicken a bit. Now remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the herbs, shrimp, feta cheese, and a little salt and pepper to taste.

Now place the pan in oven and bake, uncovered, until the shrimp are cooked through. This should only take about 10-12 minutes.

And, uh, that's about it. I like to serve mine over polenta, but this could easily be eaten with pasta or rice or couscous or with nothing more than a big ol' loaf of french bread.

This recipe is so good, y'all. Promise me you'll make it, okay?