Meatless Monday: Yummy Sweet Potato Tacos
Yes, yes, I know the calendar says it’s May, and you’re thinking, Why would I want to eat a sweet potato when it’s warm enough for tulips to bloom. Don’t worry yourself about such details, because this little number is the furthest thing from winter. And I dare ya, just like I did with Mister MA, to try this one on all the sweet potato naysayers in your midst. I’m telling you, I’ve got a gem right here, and you need not waste one more minute in dubious contemplation.
Here’s how easy it gets: Boil a large-ish sweet potato and mash it, and zing it up with some chopped garlic and the heat of a chile or cayenne. Whip up a little pepper-onion mix in the skillet, grate some cheese and assemble these little beauties. Dinner is ready in about 45 minutes, sooner if you’ve got a kitchen partner.
Here’s the madness behind my sweet potato motivation in May: Sweet potatoes make great mash, and great mash means a dry filling that sticks to other stuff in a tortilla and makes for a swell taco. I suppose you could mash up a few spuds instead, but I love the antioxidant beta carotene bennies you get from the sweet potato, plus it’s darn pretty in a tortilla.
As I wolfed down my third taco, I started to think of the possibilities -- a lil’ spinach tucked inside, or chopped pineapple, scallions and queso fresco or feta instead of the melty cheese. See how much fun you can have on a Monday night?
KOD’s Sweet Potato Tacos
1 large sweet potato
1 clove garlic, minced or mashed
¼ teaspoon cayenne and/or smoked paprika to taste
½ fresh chile of choice, seeded and diced (optional)
salt to taste
1 medium yellow onion, cut into half moons
½ red or yellow bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Vegetable oil for frying tortillas
8 -10 small corn tortillas
at least ½ cup grated smoked mozzarella and/or cheddar
Small bunch cilantro, chopped, and lime wedges, for garnish
Peel and cut sweet potato into cubes. Place in a medium saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook until fork tender, about 25 minutes, and drain. Mash with garlic, spice, chile (if using) and salt. Taste for seasoning and adjust. Should have a little kick in the mouth.
In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion half moons and diced pepper and allow to soften, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and reserve.
Meanwhile, prepare the tortillas: Heat ¼ teaspoon of oil in a skillet over medium-heat hit. When oil is hot, place a tortilla in the pan and fry until soft, about 25 seconds; flip and repeat with the other side. Do not let tortilla get too crisp; reduce heat if this happen. It’s key to keep oil to a minimum, as the tortillas will end up unpleasantly greasy.
Place tortillas on a plate and keep warm, and preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Assemble your tacos: Spoon a scant tablespoon of sweet potato mash in the center of each tortilla, and flatten it a bit. Add a teaspoon or so of onion-peppers and top with grated cheese. Fold over so that ends meet and place on a baking sheet.
Bake for about 8 minutes, until somewhat crispy and cheese is melted.
Garnish with cilantro and lime. Ripe avocado slices also make a luscious topping!
Makes about 8 tacos, with a lil' extra for cook's treat.
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