My blog used to be a bit of a cooking blog, but it is decidedly not anymore. I do still cook and bake, though! Tonight I made this sweet potato tea cake from bon appetit which is a recipe they shared from the Tartine people. I had some left over oven-roasted sweet potatoes that I didn’t want to go to waste. It turned out pretty good, if not perfect, due to my loaf pan being slightly smaller than the one called for. I tried to remove some of the batter before I baked it, but I didn’t scoop out enough, and it rose from the vessel and overflowed in a cascade of crispiness on the left side. There is 2 cups of sugar in this tea cake, which feels absurd, although 2/3 of one of the cups is in the meringue topping. For those wondering, everyone just thought it tasted like pumpkin. Alas, the lowly sweet potato, forever living in the mighty pumpkin’s shadow. I blame the cinnamon. Down with cinnamon, I say!
People like me were sad to see this clearly original food cart that basically dished up some solid goods por poquito dinero pack it in. The specialty was pasta dishes, and if you cross your eyes you can make out the mural on the cart is a space-age alien pasta maker whipping out fresh noodles made with the purple eggs of probably some ultra-sexy chickens shipped in from somewhere in, like where else, North Bay Cali where they’ve been saving up all that crazy heirloom shit. It was mournful, though, to catch this parked down this ally type street across from a 7-11. I mean, it used to be on 12th & Hawthorne. Now it’s in the opposite kind of place. Sadness prevails.
One of my favorite simple recipes is the steamed sweet potato. I feel like most often sweet potatoes are mashed, or roasted, or covered in marshmallows and brown sugar, and all of those things are great, but I feel that the flavor and texture of the sweet potato is best exemplified in this preparation. I first had this at the Tao of Tea in Portland, OR, a specialty store and teahouse on Belmont Ave. that takes tea to another dimension. I owe them a tip of the hat for the introduction.
I bought a rice steamer at a yard sale the other day, and it came with a vegetable steamer basket. I used to have a set of those cumbersome bamboo baskets that you would set over a simmering pot of water, until my girlfriend managed to set the lid on fire. I guess it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because now we have this new steaming unit, which is highly preferable. In any case, here is the steamed sweet potato preparation:
Peal, slice in half length-wise, and steam the sweet potatoes. It should take around 20 to 30 minutes depending on how big they are. Pierce with a knife to test for doneness. Chop up a few sprigs of cilantro, and slice a few wedges of lime. Once the potato halves are done steaming, plate and sprinkle with the chopped cilantro, a little Fleur de Sel (fancy salt–kosher salt is fine, also, but you want a lager grain salt is all), and finally squeeze some lime juice over the top. Done and delicious!