Isn’t Eggplant a beautiful vegetable? I am going to go out and buy a few before my next open studio class. That glossy smooth surface and the colors ranging from white to lavender to deep purple and purply black are just luscious. They also have the fun shape, sort of a rolly polly goofy shape on the purple ones and the elongated graceful shapes of the exotic varieties. Throw them together with a few red tomatoes and you have an awesome still life to paint.
One of my favorite vegetables to eat is the Sweet Potato. There are endlessly great ways to cook sweet potatoes.
Sweet potato pancakes
1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
dash of ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Combine remaining ingredients; add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Drop by tablespoons onto hot greased griddle or skillet and fry, turning once, until browned on both sides.
Makes about 24 pancakes.
About 3 years ago I was invited to come to the Vinoy Hotel in St Petersburg to paint in their garden for the day. It was a wonderful experience to spend a day at this grand old hotel from another era. She has been restored to her former glory and is one of the classic hotels in Florida. Located right down on the Bay Front and a lovely pink coral color, she is magnificent!! I had lunch by the pool in the alfresco cafe’. They served outrageously good sweet potato fries, one of my favorite foods.
Sweet Potato Fries Recipe
Try the Sweet Potato Fries recipe either salted or sweetened with a little cinnamon and sugar. Either way, they’re an unusual finger food treat or side dish, and a real crowd-pleaser.
Sweet Potato French Fries
4 large sweet potatoes (not yams)
Oil for deep frying
Salt to taste
Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into fries about 3/8″ thick.
Fry in batches in hot oil (375°) until tender, about 5 minutes.
Drain on paper towels, salt to taste and serve.
Note: Soaking the cut fries in ice water for about 30 minutes prior to frying them greatly reduces the starch content and keeps them from sticking together while cooking.
Mix 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon together with a pinch of salt and sprinkle over the fries.
At home, I make this recipe in the oven. I use olive oil to coat the potato strips and place apart on sheet pans. I bake them in a 425 degree oven for about 10 minutes and re-stir them for another ten minutes of baking. Watch them carefully to get the edges brown but tender inside. You can also use a bit of taco seasoning to sprinkle over them for a spicy flavor.