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The Nosh Pit: Sweet Potato Awareness Month Recipes

In honor of National Sweet Potato Awareness Month, take a look at these sumptuous recipes for all things sweet potato.

By: Sarah Bauder
Published: November 18th, 2013 in Culture » Food » Recipes
(clockwise) Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Sweet Potato & Carrot Tzimmes, Glazed Sweet Potatoes, Sweet Potato Soup, Sweet Potato Bread
It could get messy, but it will always be memorable. Every week in the Nosh Pit, we’ll lead the gathering of an impassioned group of foodies, offering delectable dishes, seasonal treats, and other goodies to nosh upon.

We’ll introduce the timely scenario – what to bring to an obligatory sports party or contribute to a spring picnic–and share some auspicious recipes. Spice up a soiree, diversify your dinner, or help convince those reluctant souls that ‘soy substitute’ is not synonymous with ‘stale.’

Recipes are best shared, passed from one sated soul to the next, with everyone adding just their own flair, and creating endless yummy possibilities. At a concert, people shed inhibition and share passion in a moment of synergy and excitement; they will do the same in the Nosh Pit, directing their unparalleled enthusiasm towards food.

Sweet Potato Recipes (in honor of Sweet Potato Awareness Month)

Sweet potatoes are a delicious and very nutritious source of food. Chalk full of beta-carotene, they are also an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, just to name a few. Although in North America sweet potatoes are often referred to as yams, the two in fact, have a completely distinct scientific classification from each other. In honor of National Sweet Potato Awareness Month, take a look at these sumptuous recipes for all things sweet potato.



Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Fried Sage and Shaved Chestnuts from Gourmet

Ingredients:
1 1/4 lb russet (baking potatoes)
1 (3/4-lb) sweet potato
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus more for serving
1 1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup sage leaves (from 1 bunch)
1/3 cup bottled roasted chestnuts, very thinly sliced with an adjustable-blade slicer or a sharp vegetable peeler
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Equipment:
potato ricer or a food mill fitted with fine disk

Directions:
Make gnocchi:
Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle. Pierce russet and sweet potatoes in several places with a fork, then bake in a 4-sided sheet pan until just tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool potatoes slightly, then peel and force through ricer into sheet pan, spreading in an even layer. Cool potatoes completely. Lightly flour 2 or 3 large baking sheets or line with parchment paper. Beat together egg, nutmeg, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in a small bowl. Gather potatoes into a mound in sheet pan, using a pastry scraper if you have one, and form a well in center. Pour egg mixture into well, then knead into potatoes. Knead in cheese and 11/2 cups flour, then knead, adding more flour as necessary, until mixture forms a smooth but slightly sticky dough. Dust top lightly with some of flour. Cut dough into 6 pieces. Form 1 piece of dough into a 1/2-inch-thick rope on a lightly floured surface. Cut rope into 1/2-inch pieces. Gently roll each piece into a ball and lightly dust with flour. Repeat with remaining 5 pieces of dough. Turn a fork over and hold at a 45-degree angle, with tips of tines touching work surface. Working with 1 at a time, roll gnocchi down fork tines, pressing with your thumb, to make ridges on 1 side. Transfer gnocchi as formed to baking sheets.

Fry sage leaves and chestnuts:
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Fry sage leaves in 3 batches, stirring, until they turn just a shade lighter and crisp (they will continue to crisp as they cool), about 30 seconds per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Season lightly with salt. Fry chestnuts in 3 batches, stirring, until golden and crisp, about 30 seconds per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Season lightly with salt. Reserve oil in skillet.

Make sauce:
Add butter to oil in skillet with 1/2 tsp salt and cook until golden-brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Cook gnocchi:
Add half of gnocchi to a pasta pot of well-salted boiling water and stir. Cook until they float to surface, about 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to skillet with butter sauce. Cook remaining gnocchi in same manner, transferring to skillet as cooked. Heat gnocchi in skillet over medium heat, stirring to coat. Serve sprinkled with fried sage and chestnuts and grated cheese.

Cooks’ notes:
Uncooked gnocchi can be frozen (first in 1 layer on a baking sheet, then transferred to a sealable bag) up to 1 month. Do not thaw before cooking. Chestnuts can be sliced 1 day ahead and kept in an airtight container at cool room temperature. Sauce and topping can be halved; make full recipe of gnocchi and freeze half of it. Enjoy!



Sweet Potato, Carrot, Apple, and Red Lentil Soup from All Recipes

Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
4 cups vegetable broth
plain yogurt

Directions:

Melt the butter in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Place the chopped sweet potatoes, carrots, apple, and onion in the pot. Stir and cook the apples and vegetables until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir the lentils, ginger, ground black pepper, salt, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and vegetable broth into the pot with the apple and vegetable mixture. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lentils and vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes. Working in batches, pour the soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway full. Hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen towel, and carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Puree in batches until smooth and pour into a clean pot. Alternately, you can use a stick blender and puree the soup right in the cooking pot. Return the pureed soup to the cooking pot. Bring back to a simmer over medium-high heat, about 10 minutes. Add water as needed to thin the soup to your preferred consistency. Serve with yogurt for garnish. Enjoy!
Related articles: Nosh Pit, Recipes, Jewish, Kosher, Sweet Potato Awareness Month, Yams, Gourmet
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