changing up the format a little

So now that it is summer (although, as I sit here it is raining outside…?) and I have some extra time, I have decided to devote some of it to experimenting with my blog and changing some things around.  Specifically, I would like to work composing my pictures and formatting them on the blog in a way that I like and that is easy for the reader to understand.  Food photography is really hard, and its something that I would like to give more thought and time to (rather than, you know, just diving into my food as soon as it exits the oven).  Pretty thrilling stuff, I know, but I just had to put that out there before I move on.

special ingredients!

ANYWAYS, in more exciting food related news, I am and always have been obsessed with sweet potatoes.  They are soooo good that their nutritional benefits amaze me – how it is possible that something I like so much is so good for me? I even prefer them to regular potatoes (although if you hand me a baked white potato filled with melting butter, sour cream and MOUNTAINS OF BACON I will never say no).  I guess this really isn’t what you would consider a “summer dish,” as the potato can be a little heavy, but given the thunder (?!) outside, this ended up being pretty appropriate.

naked canvas

What makes this specific baked potato really special is the caramelized shallots (but, the blue cheese didn’t hurt either).  I absolutely love caramelized shallots and am intent on trying this recipe very soon.  The addition of vinegar into the shallots as they mellow in the butter and sugar elevates the flavor so much, and I really warn against skipping that step! Obviously you could change this up really however you want, but the garbanzo beans, blue cheese, and shallots really go very well with each other, and the potato.  And, they are three of my favorite foods, so duh.

artfully arranged utensils

Twice Baked Sweet Potato

Serves 1 

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo beans, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  1. Start by preheating the oven to 375.  Poke some holes in the potato with a fork (ventilation is KEY!), pop the potato in the oven, and bake until soft – about 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, caramelize your shallots.  Melt the butter in a pan, and toss in the shallots.  Cook over medium heat and be sure not to burn the shallots.  When the butter melts away, add the water, salt, sugar and vinegar and let cook over medium heat until soft and caramelized.
  3. When the potato is ready, cut it open and mash it up with a fork.  Add the garbanzo beans inside the mashed up tater, then top with the shallots and whatever shallot-y juice is left in the pan.  Top with LOTS of yummy blue cheese.  Pop back in the oven for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is nice and melty.
  4. Remove from the oven.  Dig in and ENJOY! This is one very unusual, but very good potato.
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