Chipotle Sweet Potato Latkes

Happy Monday, everyone!  If you’ve found your way here via Mark’s Daily Apple – welcome!  Kick off your shoes and make yourself at home – the dog doesn’t bite, so just shove him off the sofa.  Would you care for some iced tea?

I hope you all had a lovely weekend; as you can see, the Big Kahuna Burger made Mark Sisson’s Weekend Link Love which, I must confess, made my day.  It’s not the first time – he also linked to the Rack of Goat recipe, but I guess burgers (especially burgers eaten by Samuel L. Jackson) are a bit more popular than goat, because traffic to the site just exploded.  I’ve already had to increase the bandwidth twice so far this year, and am probably going to have to do it again before the end of the month.

Oh, darn. </sarcasm>

At any rate, our weekend was busy, as usual.  We smoked a brisket on Saturday and had it for dinner last night with a combination of beet greens and mustard greens I braised with some bacon and onions in a little homemade chicken stock – they were quite tasty.  I also made this dish, and all I can say is, you’ll never look at a latke in quite the same way.

First, we’ll kind of ignore that I took the first of many liberties with this classic Jewish dish by frying them in lard – in my defense, it’s what I had on hand since we were rendering some yesterday.  Some non-hydrogenated palm oil shortening would be a good alternative.  And since I used a Japanese sweet potato, I thought some heat would be a good counterbalance and added some finely chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce to the mix, which turned out to be a great addition.  Tapioca flour came to the rescue again as a binder; it really does work well in fried foods (although I’m learning that “less is more” when it comes to baked goods, but more on that later this week).

All in all, it was a really nice addition to our dinner last night – Beloved particularly enjoyed them, so I will be making them again.  They’re not only really tasty, but pretty quick and easy to throw together, too; just mix the ingredients in a large bowl, drop them by the 1/4 cupful into the hot fat and presto – crispy, sweet and spicy potato pancakes.

Sweet Potato Latkes
Sweet Potato Latkes
Chipotle Sweet Potato Latkes
Serves: 6
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and shredded
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle pepper, minced with adobo sauce
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 medium onion, grated
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 cup lard or other fat suitable for frying
  1. Heat the lard in a large, heavy skillet over high heat to 350 F.
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, stirring until well-mixed. Drop the sweet potato mixture into the hot lard – each latke should be about 1/4 cup of the mixture. Fry until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per side; drain briefly on paper towels and serve immediately.
  3. Nutrition (per serving): 201 calories, 14.5g total fat, 74.2mg cholesterol, 272.4mg sodium, 139.9mg potassium, 15g carbohydrates, 1.2g fiber, 1.5g sugar, 2.6g protein


Banana Cinnamon Muffins

Happy Thursday, y’all!

Today’s recipe isn’t much of a much, although it’s a very tasty one – Banana Cinnamon Muffins are merely a slightly sweeter, warmly spiced version of my Almond Flour Banana Bread from the holidays.

I always keep fruit in the house for The G Man; he doesn’t really get cookies, candy or other sweet treats at Meema and Papa’s house.  But the boy just adores fruit, and he’s especially fond of bananas, so I always try to make sure to have some on hand.  On the downside to that, I sometimes have bananas slowly rotting on my counter – after all, there’s only so many bananas a 2 1/2 year old can eat during his weekly visits to the grands, and Meema, Papa and Uncle Young One have to really be in the mood to eat a tasty nanner.

It seems to be different if you put the tasty nanner in bread form, for these disappeared quite rapidly (which is why I don’t bake often).  I whipped these together for our Sunday brunch a couple of weeks ago, and since I was walnutless and didn’t want to wait an hour for a loaf of bread to be done, muffins it was.  The addition of the cinnamon was an interesting twist.

Note: I’m not sure why they sank slightly in the center; it’s possible my oven wasn’t quite hot enough, which is pretty par for the course – it’s a temperamental appliance.  However, they were done all the way through and still quite delicious.

Banana Cinnamon Muffins
Banana Cinnamon Muffins
Serves: 12
  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large very ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons melted ghee or clarified butter
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F; generously grease a 12 serving muffin tin.
  2. Whisk together the almond flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or another large mixing bowl if you’re using a hand mixer), mix the eggs, bananas, sugar, cinnamon, ghee and vanilla on medium speed until well blended. Mix in the almond flour mixture in three additions on low speed, mixing well and scraping down the sides after each addition.
  3. Divide the batter between the 12 prepared muffin cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  4. Place on a wire rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out the muffins. Allow to cool completely before serving.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 248 calories, 17.1g total fat, 56.7mg cholesterol, 228mg sodium, 266.8mg potassium, 16g carbohydrates, 3.7g fiber, 10.6g sugar, 1.8g protein


Cashew-Coconut Crusted Mahi Mahi with Orange-Banana Salsa

Pay attention, folks – this is a good one.

Beloved and I live about two miles from our workplace, and come home for lunch nearly every day.  It’s often the only “down time” we get from the demands of work and family, and we enjoy it a great deal.  Most of the time, we eat leftovers from a previous meal – usually dinner the night before – but when there are no leftovers, I’ll throw something relatively simple together.

This is one of those dishes.

Lunch is almost the only time we eat fish, since The Young One’s consumption of seafood is pretty much limited to scallops and shrimp.  This particular fish lunch was one of those wonderfully fortuitous occasions where you just happen to have all of the ingredients on hand and decide to throw them together to see what will happen.  Mahi mahi?  Check.  Cashews and coconut?  Check.  An orange and a banana?  Check.  A poblano pepper that should be used posthaste?  Check.

This takes no time at all to put together, especially if you’ve roasted the pepper ahead of time, and I cannot even begin to tell you how delicious it was.  Served over a puree of roasted parsnips, this managed to be sweet, savory, rich, light and bright all at the same time.  Neither of us could believe how good it tasted – in fact, Beloved called it…well, I’ll let him tell you in the comments section.

If you don’t have a poblano, feel free to use a jalapeno or other pepper for the salsa (roasted or not; it’s up to you).

Cashew-Coconut Crusted Mahi Mahi with Orange-Banana Salsa
Cashew-Coconut Crusted Mahi Mahi with Orange-Banana Salsa
Serves: 2
  • 2 filets mahi mahi, about 5 ounces each
  • salt
  • freshly-ground black pepper
  • Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy seasoning blend
  • 1/4 cup cashews, very finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca or arrowroot flour
  • Salsa
  • 1 medium orange, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium banana, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium poblano pepper – roasted, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • salt to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Mix together the cashews, coconut and tapioca flour together in a small bowl. In a separate, larger bowl, combine all of the salsa ingredients; taste and season with salt as needed. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the fish is ready.
  3. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and the spicy seasoning blend, then top each filet with the cashew/coconut mixture, divided evenly.
  4. Bake the fish for 18 to 20 minutes, or until it flakes easily with a fork. Top with the orange-banana salsa and serve.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 404 calories, 18.3g total fat, 35.4mg cholesterol, 40mg sodium, 1214.4mg potassium, 38.3g carbohydrates, 7.1g fiber, 17.2g sugar, 26g protein.


Honey Ginger Scallops

I have a ton of recipes to post, and a ton more to try or refine (think homemade cream of chicken soup) so you’re getting another easy recipe today.  I’m also making a concerted effort to cook for just two while it’s just me and the kiddo in the house, so this only serves two – I guess you could stretch it to three if you wanted, especially if you served it over rice or with rice noodles (the only starch and noodles I truly miss).

Again, this isn’t exactly low-carb but it’s not horribly high, either, and is VERY easy and amazingly tasty – The Young One loves this, which I serve to him over steamed rice.  Well, he loves the scallops and rice, anyway, and sort of picks his way around the vegetables…he might eat the broccoli.  I, on the other hand, love the veggies with this and I think you will, too.

Happy eating, y’all.

Note: If you don’t have coconut oil, you can use any fat of your choice – ghee or clarified butter would work, but don’t use regular butter, since it burns at high temperatures.

Honey Ginger Scallops

Honey Ginger Scallops

serves 2

12 ounces sea scallops
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon ginger, freshly grated
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 cups broccoli florets
½ cup carrots, julienned
½ cup baby corn, cut in half

Mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and garlic in a small bowl. Place the scallops in a resealable plastic bag; pour in the marinade.  Squeeze as much air as possible out of the bag and turn to coat the  scallops. Place the bag in the refrigerator and marinate for half an hour.

Heat the coconut oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat. Remove the scallops from the plastic bag and discard the marinade; place them in the pan and drizzle with half of the honey. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, then turn the scallops over and drizzle with the other half of the honey. Cook for another 3 or 4 minutes and remove to a plate. Cover and keep warm.

Add the vegetables to the skillet and quickly stir fry until the vegetables are tender crisp, about 5 minutes. Plate, top with the scallops and serve immediately.

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