Brianna, meet satsumaimo. Satsumaimo, meet Brianna.
It’s important to become acquainted with new vegetables in your produce section. I’d never cooked with a Japanese sweet potato before. Their skins are a beautiful light-purple color, and resemble a yam more than a sweet potato. When you bake them, their insides turn a beautiful light golden color, opposed to bright orange, and their taste is a little less sweet, reminiscent of a roasted chestnut. I baked them as I would a regular potato, carefully removed the skins while they were still hot, and made a side dish that tasted like fall; a little sneak preview of Thanksgiving. Then I remembered that it was a holiday in Japan — shubun no hi (more familiarly known as Fall Equinox Day). So not only did I get acquainted with a new veggie, but I turned it into something comforting and seasonal. The inspiration for this recipe came from The Food Network.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
3 satsumaimo (or regular sweet potatoes)
2 TBS. butter
1 tsp. salt
2 TBS. real maple syrup
2 TBS. chicken broth, warmed
2 TBS. fresh squeezed orange juice
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Rinse any dirt off the potatoes, pat dry, and roast until easily pierced with a fork (about an hour).
- Peel them while still hot (there was some profanity during this step. I suggest cutting one of the ends off, holding the other end with a kitchen towel and scooping out the insides with a spoon into the bowl).
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl. Mash together with whatever tool you have handy. Serve hot!
I was food-blog browsing, as I usually am, and came across a recipe for Parmesan Dijon chicken over at Two Novice Chefs, One Tiny Kitchen. It looked like a good comfort food recipe to go with my sweet potatoes.
Parmesan Dijon Chicken
4 chicken breast halves.
1/2 cup bread crumbs (we used panko, as always)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 TBS. melted butter
2 TBS. Dijon mustard
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix melted butter and Dijon in a bowl. In a large Ziploc bag, combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese .
- Dip the chicken into the butter/mustard mixture, then toss into the bag and coat with breadcrumb mixture. Place chicken in an ungreased rectangular pan.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, making sure to flip the chicken halfway through baking. Or you can pan fry it in oil, which is what we’ll probably do next time to get a crispier crust!
And since our meal was lacking something green, we made some balsamic broccoli; the way I ate it as a kid. Couldn’t have been easier.
- Add broccoli florets to a pot of salted boiling water, and cook until it’s beautifully verdant, just about 3 minutes. Drain, return to pan and drizzle with some good quality balsamic vinegar.