The following originally appeared on 2/11/09 at Exit 51.
Who was the first person you had a crush on? It’s ok, I won’t tell anyone. Me? My first crush was probably Shawn Cassidy. Yes, I grew up surrounded by Tiger Beat and Teen Beat magazine hotties. Oddly enough, I was not allowed to buy those magazines. In hindsight, I think that may have shielded me from some less worthy crushes like Scott Baio, Kirk Cameron, and Duran Duran.
I still get crushes. But let’s be honest, what are the odds of your crush ever turning into a real relationship? Unless of course, you happen to be Katie Holmes and your crush is Tom Cruise.
I find that more and more, I develop crushes on recipes. They woo me with their online photos and descriptions until I can think of nothing else. I am beholden to their charms. And then, finally, I give them a chance. Much like the fickle adolescent that I used to be, I tend to get over these crushes pretty quick. The idea of them is better than the reality of them. But some do turn into lasting relationships. They are the TomKat of my cooking world.
Here’s my latest crush. I can’t decide whether it’s a keeper or not. I think I need to give it one more chance to win me over.
Crushed Sweet Potatoes with Roasted Garlic and Ginger
The Washington Post, From executive chef Ethan McKee of Rock Creek at Mazza.
The dish can be fully assembled, then cooled, covered and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance. To reheat, cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake in a 350-degree oven for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- 4 large (3 pounds) sweet potatoes, scrubbed well, then cut lengthwise into quarters
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 4 sprigs rosemary
- 10 to 12 cloves garlic (from 1 head)
- 1 cup nonfat vegetable broth
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger root
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar substitute or light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon good-quality olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have ready a large, lidded baking dish.
Combine the potatoes, herb sprigs and garlic in the baking dish. Pour the vegetable broth over and season lightly with salt and pepper to taste. Cover (or use aluminum foil, wrapped tightly) and bake for 1 hour or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork and the garlic is tender.
Transfer to the stovetop; discard the herb sprigs and use a potato masher to crush the vegetables. Add the grated ginger and the brown sugar substitute or brown sugar, stirring to mix well. Drizzle the oil over the top, mixing just to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Serve warm.