Sweet Potato Biscuits

Makes 12.

Note: Bake, peel and mash the sweet potatoes the night before and refrigerate them. Chilling the butter in the freezer makes it easier to work into the dry ingredients. Sorghum syrup is not easy to find locally but is available online, or use the suggested substitutes. Thomas Jefferson enjoyed an early version of these biscuits in 1774, when they were served at the First Continental Congress. From “Sweet Home Cafe Cookbook/ A Celebration of African American Cooking,” by the Smithsonian Institution.

• 2 1/4 c. flour

• 1 tbsp. baking powder

• 1/2 tsp. baking soda

• 1 tsp. fine sea salt

• 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg

• 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

• 3/4 c. mashed sweet potatoes, cold (see Note)

• 1/4 c. sorghum syrup, molasses or dark maple syrup (see Note)

• 3/4 c. full-fat buttermilk, plus more for brushing

• 8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and chilled in freezer for 15 minutes

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon into a large bowl.

In medium bowl, mix mashed sweet potatoes with sorghum and buttermilk until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut butter into flour mixture until fully incorporated and a coarse, mealy consistency forms.

Make a well in the center of the flour-butter mixture. Pour sweet potato mixture into the well. With a rubber spatula, begin folding it into the dry ingredients. Mix just to the point that a dough forms. Do not overmix.

Place the dough onto a floured surface and roll out 1 inch thick. Dust a 2-inch round biscuit cutter with flour (use a 1 1/2- or 2-inch cutter for cocktail size biscuits), and cut out biscuits. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 1 inch apart.

Brush tops of biscuits with buttermilk. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Serve biscuits hot.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 200 Fat 8 g Sodium 390 mg

Carbohydrates 27 g Saturated fat 5 g Total sugars 6 g

Protein 3 g Cholesterol 20 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 starch, 1 carb, 1 ½ fat.

 

Maple-Syrup-and-Mustard Brussels Sprouts

Serves 4.

Note: You can steam the Brussels sprouts up to 1 day ahead and keep them in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature or warm them gently before proceeding. From “Everyday Dorie/ The Way I Cook,” by Dorie Greenspan.

• 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, regular or mini, trimmed and, if large, cut in half from top to bottom

• Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper

• 1 to 2 garlic cloves (to taste), cut into slivers

• 1 shallot, cut into slivers, rinsed and patted dry

• 6 strips thick-cut bacon

• 2 tbsp. pure maple syrup, or more to taste

• 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard (grainy, smooth or a mix), or more to taste

• 1 tbsp. olive oil

• Cider vinegar, optional

Directions

Set up a steamer. Season Brussels sprouts with salt and pepper and toss them with the garlic and shallot. Steam sprouts until the tip of a small knife can easily poke into but not completely pierce them, 8 to 10 minutes. (If sprouts are large and/or older, they may take a bit more time.)

Remove the sprouts, garlic and shallots from steamer and set aside. If you are doing this ahead of time, dunk the sprouts in ice water or run cold water over them to stop the cooking, then pat them dry.

While sprouts are steaming, cook bacon in a large saucepan or high-sided skillet until crisp. Drain between a triple thickness of paper towels, then coarsely chop into bite-sized pieces. Set pan aside.

Mix maple syrup and mustard together.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat from the skillet and add the olive oil to the pan. Turn heat to high, and when oil is shimmering, add sprouts. Cook, turning a few times, until sprouts are charred here and there and crisp-tender. Lower heat to medium and stir in maple-mustard mixture. Cook, stirring, until sprouts are uniformly glazed. Stir in bacon pieces, season with salt and pepper, then taste and dab more syrup and/or mustard, if needed. If you’d like a touch of acidity, add a splash of vinegar. Serve immediately.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 220 Fat 14 g Sodium 430 mg

Carbohydrates 16 g Saturated fat 4 g Total sugars 9 g

Protein 9 g Cholesterol 20 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, ½ carb, 1 high-fat protein, 1 fat.

 

Sweet and Smoky Roasted Carrots

Serves 6.

Note: Smoked paprika can either be mild and sweet or picante (hot); use the sweet for this recipe. If your carrots have green tops attached, cut off the tops but leave an inch or two of the green stems, which look nice; the same is true if the taproots are still attached — leave an inch or so of that. The carrots are good when served hot, at room temperature or cold. From “Everyday Dorie/ The Way I Cook,” by Dorie Greenspan.

• 1/4 c. cider vinegar

• 1 tbsp. smoked paprika (see Note)

• 1 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

• 1 1/4 tsp. ground cumin

• 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, or more to taste

• 3 tbsp. olive oil

• 2 tsp. honey

• 2 lb. carrots, scrubbed, trimmed and patted dry (see Note)

• 1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt

Directions

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or a double layer of parchment paper.

Whisk the cider vinegar, paprika, salt, cumin and cayenne together. When the spices are dissolved, whisk in the oil and honey and taste for cayenne.

Arrange carrots on the baking sheet, pour over about 1/3 cup of the spice syrup you just made, and turn the carrots until they’re evenly coated. Set the remaining syrup aside.

Roast the carrots for 20 minutes, then flip them over, rotate the baking sheet and roast for another 20 to 30 minutes, until tender and browned. They may be a tad charred here and there, and they’ll probably be a bit wrinkled, and it’s all good. Pull sheet from the oven. The carrots can be made ahead to this point and kept at room temperature for up to 6 hours.

Stir a tablespoon of the leftover syrup into the yogurt, taste and add more, if you’d like. The yogurt sauce can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Serve the carrots hot with the yogurt sauce spooned over them or spread under them as a base. Alternatively cover the sauce and refrigerate, then serve as a dipping sauce with room-temperature carrots.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 150 Fat 8 g Sodium 700 mg

Carbohydrates 18 g Saturated fat 1 g Total sugars 10 g

Protein 4 g Cholesterol 2 mg Dietary fiber 5 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 starch, 1 ½ fat.

 

Eve’s Temptation Salad

Serves 4.

Note: Pomegranate seeds (also called arils) can often be found packaged in the produce aisle. Or seed the pomegranate yourself, cutting the peel in quarters, then submerging the fruit in a bowl of water as you pull the peel off and separate the seeds from the white pith. This method keeps the pomegranate juice from spraying all over. To make pomegranate syrup, simmer 1 cup pomegranate juice for about 45 minutes, until reduced by half. From “Astonishing Apples,” by Joan Donatelle.

• 1 (5-oz.) pkg. mixed baby greens, rinsed and dry

• 2 medium apples (Cortland or Honeycrisp are good), cored and sliced

• Seeds (arils) from 1 pomegranate (see Note)

• 1 bunch green onions, sliced

• 1/4 c. chopped fresh mint

• 2 tbsp. pomegranate syrup (see Note)

• 2 tbsp. cider vinegar

• 1 garlic clove, minced

• 1/4 tsp. sea salt

• 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

• 4 oz. Parmesan, shaved

• 1/4 c. shelled pistachios

• Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In large salad bowl, mix together the greens, apples, pomegranate seeds, onions and mint.

In a small bowl, mix together the pomegranate syrup, cider vinegar, garlic and salt. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking to blend. Toss the dressing with the salad, and garnish with the cheese, pistachios and black pepper to taste.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 410 Fat 25 g Sodium 560 mg

Carbohydrates 35 g Saturated fat 7 g Total sugars 23 g

Protein 14 g Cholesterol 20 mg Dietary fiber 7 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 2 fruit, 1 ½ medium-fat protein, 3 ½ fat.

 

 

Whipped Sweet Potatoes Three Ways

Serves 4 to 6.

Note: Whipping the sweet potato flesh incorporates a little air to lighten the texture while playing up its creaminess. From “Eat a Little Better,” by Sam Kass.

• 3 to 4 medium sweet potatoes (2 1/2 lb.), scrubbed well and poked all over with a fork

• Variations of flavorings (see below)

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put the sweet potatoes on the baking sheet with a little space between each one. Roast until the taut skin collapses slightly and you can slide a butter knife through the thickest part of the flesh with no resistance, 45 minutes to 1 1/4 hours, depending on size. Cool the sweet potatoes and peel. Transfer the flesh to a food processor or large bowl. Proceed with one of the variations of purée below.

Whipped Crème Fraîche-Herb: To the sweet potatoes, add 3/4 cup crème fraîche, a big pinch of thinly sliced fresh sage leaves or some roughly chopped fresh dill, 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Process or whip with a sturdy whisk until smooth and slightly fluffy. Check seasoning and top with more sage or dill.

Maple-Cider Vinegar: In a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Process or whip the potato with a sturdy whisk until smooth and slightly fluffy, adding half the maple-vinegar mixture. Season with more salt or maple-vinegar to taste.

Goat Cheese-Herb: To the sweet potatoes, add 1/2 cup soft goat cheese, handful of coarsely chopped mixed fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, tarragon or marjoram), 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest and 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Process or whip with a sturdy whisk until smooth and slightly fluffy. Season with salt to taste.

Nutrition information per each of 6 servings of the Whipped Crème Fraîche-Herb version:

Calories 200 Fat 11 g Sodium 210 mg

Carbohydrates 25 g Saturated fat 7 g Total sugars 8 g

Protein 3 g Cholesterol 30 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 ½ starch, 2 fat.