Monday, November 15, 2010

Hatchet in the Kitchen

Now that it's chilly outside and my gardening is severely curtailed (When did it actually become autumn?!), all of my excess creative energy is being devoted to baking.

We're in deep, deep trouble at Chez Hatchet, folks.

In one day, I had Swiss cream cheese setting up on the counter, apple butter cooking down in the crockpot and panettone-inspired muffins baking in the oven. I also have lovely iced sugar cookies on the counter and homemade marshmallows awaiting hot chocolate to swim in. Fresh bread is always readily at hand and I now have cranberry-apple chutney ready for Thanksgiving dinner (The flavors will meld together in the fridge this week.). I've picked up a handful more icing decorating tips, icing colors and came really close to buying 50 animal cookie cutters, but they were plastic, so I didn't. All I really wanted was a turkey, but I can make do without it.

I'm also testing out recipes for Xmas gifts, so some of the madness is just that: testing. The rest is just an outlet for creativity. And KA Flour (Now I feel a burning need to make pumpkin scones, just because I followed my own link. Ack!) keeps sending me their version of kitchen porn: their catalog. I'm so weak! So many of their items are terribly, terribly tempting! Also, there are recipes on every 3rd page! I...I have to try out those recipes!

Good thing I don't feel the burning need to eat all that I'm making! I keep giving it away. For my own safety, of course.

I made a yummy thing for dinner that I'd been wanting to try for awhile: Mark Bittman's recipe for Sweet Potatoes with Brown Butter and Sage. I hate sweet potatoes and marshmallows (Sorry Mom!) and really loved this. Now to get Eric to try it!

Stir-Fried Sweet Potatoes With Brown Butter and Sage
Recipe adapted from The New York Times, from 2008

3-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and grated, 4 to 6 cups (I used a single large sweet potato, for about half the recipe)
Salt and pepper
1/2 stick butter, more to taste
4 cloves garlic, crushed
20 sage leaves (Good thing the frost didn't kill the sage plant out front! If you're allergic to sage like my friend Sierra, you could probably substitute basil, rosemary or thyme here.)
1. Put oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add sweet potatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring only occasionally, until they change color and begin to brown, then stir more frequently until they are tender but not at all mushy.
2. Meanwhile, heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sage; shake pan occasionally. When butter turns brown, turn off heat.
3. Use tongs to remove sage and garlic from butter. Serve potatoes drizzled with butter and garnished with a few sage leaves. Garlic can be served alongside, though it will not be super-soft.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

I ditched the garlic instead of trying to eat it since it was all chewy/crisp, which isn't how I like my garlic. I must admit that I really liked the buttery, crispy sage leaves! Mmmm! I'll definitely make this one again!

Well, I guess I'd better go check the chicken parts that are simmering in the crockpot. I'm making some broth for chicken soup. Should be yummy!

So...what are you cooking up this fall?

Updated to add: He liked it! He liked it! He never likes sweet potatoes! We have a winner!

1 comment:

ellen said...

I am definitely not cooking as much as you! I love to cook though. Even with my crazy school schedule I still take time to cook dinner for the family and make cookies or muffins with the kids.

We've had a ton of pumpkin things the last few weeks. Soup, muffins, cookies, and tomorrow pie! Gotta love what you can do with a pumpkin!

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