Knife Skills! And Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Chorizo!

March 11, 2013

IMG_7211Oh.  My. Sweet. Goodness.  It has been six months since my last post.  So…that’s…ya know…my bad.  Seriously.  I’m trying to get back on top of this blogging thing, I am.  But: real life.  Sometimes, it gets in the way.  I’m not trying to make excuses, but I’ve been busy at work, and I’ve been doing theater auditions (and rehearsals, etc.), making use of my degree (it’s in theater!).  I have also been making some new recipes, so I’m going to do my best to find time outside of rehearsal and work schedules and roll some of those out soon, even if they don’t have photos.  To make up for it, this one has lots of photos!

So: here’s a new recipe.  It’s really easy.  It’s really tasty.  And, to top it all off, we get to talk about knife skills, too!  Here’s what you’ll need:

IMG_7169

2 lbs chorizo                                        oregano, to taste

2.5 lbs sweet potatoes                      smoked paprika, to taste

1 large yellow onion                          cayenne, to taste

1-2 cups pecans                        apple cider vinegar, to taste

4 Tbsp butter, optional

Some thoughts on the ingredients:

  • Get good pecans, if you can.  The best pecans are from Southern states.  If you’ve only ever had Yankee pecans, these’ll rock your world.  I got mine for Christmas from my grandma in Alabama.
  • Smoked paprika and sweet paprika are NOT the same thing.  Get smoked; thank me later.

So that’s what goes into the recipe.  BOOM!  Look good?  Good.  Now let’s talk about how to turn those ingredients into a meal.  Here’s how to prep onions, video-style!

After the onions, you can prep the sweet potatoes like this:

That’s the basic process for chopping some common vegetables.  Remember, too, that whenever you’re working with a knife, you really want to make sure your fingers are running vertically, not horizontally.  They should look like this:

See how my fingers on my left hand stay up and down?  That makes it hard to cut them.  If you stick them out flat, you can easily take the tip of your finger off.

See how the tips of my left-hand fingers stay up and down? That makes it hard to cut them off.  Not so if they’re lying flat.

Now that you’ve prepped the ingredients, you’re halfway there.  So, fire up the oven to 400, roll up your sleeves (probably a good hygienic move) and let’s finish this thing.  You can pretty much just toss the pecans, onions and sweet potatoes into a big roasting pan, like the one here.  It should look like this:

IMG_7209

Now, all that’s left is to deal with the chorizo, season it, and pop it in the oven.  For the chorizo, we’re just going to be making meatballs:

¡Albondigas gigantes!

¡Albondigas gigantes!

But seriously, make meatballs about the same size as the sweet potato and onion pieces, and add them to the pan.  Be forewarned: your hands will get sausage-y:

Yeah, buddy!

The sausage goes on top, of course, so that as it cooks, it will render its fat over the veggies.  This can sometimes be a slow process, so if you’re the cautious type, here is where you’d add the optional butter.  Just cut a few pats and put them in the pan.  You can see them in the picture above; there’s basically one in each corner.

Now, the seasoning!  Get out those spices we mentioned earlier and go to town.  Turn your inner chef loose and just start sprinkling away.

If you're not having fun, why do it?

If you’re not having fun, why do it?

Your other option, of course, is to go the artistic route:

AKA the "Chef Makes It Rain" technique.

AKA the “Chef Makes It Rain” technique.

All right.  Now that the dish is all seasoned up, just throw it in that 400-degree oven for 45 minutes, tossing it every 15.  That’s it.  See?  Told you it was easy.  Just chop, mix, season (make it rain!), and roast.  When it comes out of the oven, it should look like this:

Aww yeah.  Eat up, friends.

I know, I know.  This post got a little food porn-y.  You’re welcome.

A sweet potato dish like this makes a great post-workout or post-sprint meal.  It’s also good as a serve-yourself (or “grab’n’growl”, as my family called it when I was growing up) side dish.  Sharing good food, good company, and good spirits. It doesn’t get much more primal than that.

Popeye had his spinach.  We have that, too, but this time, we have chorizo.

Popeye had his spinach. We have chorizo.  Well, we have spinach, too, but not this time.  This time, we have chorizo.  Stay strong, everyone!

One Response to “Knife Skills! And Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Chorizo!”

  1. sarahburt Says:

    Blahahaha! I like all the pictures, but especially appreciate the meatball shots.

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