These are so delicious. Really. They are. They are the perfect appetizer to bring to a party or would make a great lunch with a salad or soup.
I was looking at some food blogs a couple of months ago and I tend to be a little tab crazy. Oftentimes there are a dozen tabs open on my browser and I can’t even remember what linked me to where, But somewhere along the way, someone recommended a cookbook that interested me and next thing I knew, I was ordering it.
It is a beautiful vegetarian cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi from his column ‘The New Vegetarian’ for London’s The Guardian’s Weekend magazine. I looked at it for a month or so before I actually tried one of the recipes mainly because I couldn’t decide which to try first. I think I made a good choice. It was one of the less complicated recipes and since my kids love sweet potatoes, I thought they would love them.
My hopes were a little to high in that regard. On the plate below, the only thing the kids ate, besides a fly size taste (and that might be too generous) of the sweet potato cakes, were the carrots and peppers. Followed by more carrots and peppers. Followed by whole wheat toast with butter, sprinked with ground flax seed, It’s one of the few things I can get away with! Followed by another piece of toast with jelly – and some peanut butter hiding under it. Oh well. Just gotta keep trying I guess. Eric and I talk the talk about being firm with the kids and saying, “if you don’t eat this, then you can go to bed hungry.” but we don’t walk the walk. We cave. After they took the ” try it bite” aka the “no thank you bite,” they had worked themselves up to an intensity far beyond what you would think would be the normal scope for trying a bite of a new food. It really would have been cruel not to give them something else to eat.
If you are making this for kids who don’t like spicy food I would take out some of the mixture before adding the red pepper. And if you don’t want to fry the cakes, I am sure they would taste great baked. Let me know if you try that!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as Eric and me.
RECIPE: makes about 16-20 small cakes
(adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi)
2 medium Sweet Potatoes, cut into chucks
2 tsp Shoyu soy sauce
3/4 cup flour ( I used a gluten free blend, but use your favorite)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp sugar
3 Tbsp green onions, chopped
1/2-1 tsp finely chopped red chili (OR NOT, if you are serving to kids or don’t like spice)
2 Tbsp butter, for frying
2 Tbsp mascarpone (sour cream or plain yogurt)
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 Tbsp Olive oil
Steam sweet potatoes chunks for about 15 minutes, or until they are soft all the way through and you can easily stick a fork in it. In a mixing bowl, mash the potatoes with a fork or potato masher. Add shoyu, green onions, flour, salt, sugar, and pepper( if using) and mix. Form into patties.
In a large pan on medium heat, melt 1 tbsp butter (or oil) and fry half of the cakes. Fry for about 6 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Place in between two sheets of paper towel to soak up the extra butter. Repeat with the rest of the cakes
For the Sauce, mix all ingredients well and add a dollop on top of each sweet potato cake.