Friday, March 09, 2012

Sweet Potato Pie

Little else is as wonderful in the kitchen as a recipe that requires little preparation with maximum results. Yes the "Is it really a side? Isn't it more of a dessert?" controversy always seems to arise when this is placed on the table, but its versatility adds to its greatness! I personally serve this as a side, usually with roasted chicken and grilled veggies. It's great served cold or warm which makes it a winner (and staple) on my Shabbat go to menu. The complimentary flavours of the pureed sweet potato and cinnamon are always crowd pleasers and easily conceal the "vegetable" categorisation of this side. Truthfully, I was never a fan of sweet potatoes but when I tried the pretty burnt orange coloured pie I saw on a Shabbat table I changed my tune quick! This is a great option for kids who won't go for the veggies as their first choice!

Besides the versatility of when to serve this dish, the topping also works as a base or alternatively can be eliminated altogether. This pie is great with the crumble coating. I discovered this through sheer accident. It was one of those, I'm so tired and just need to get through prepping this meal kind of days and realized I had skipped the step of making a pie crust before pouring the mixture into a pan. I had leftover crumble from another pie I had made and decided to place it on top. The result was surprisingly well received by the guests and became my new (much quicker and more efficient) method of preparing this!

That being said, the pie is also wonderful without crust or crumble and with a dusting of cinnamon overtop right before going into the oven! On another note, the crumble could also be used as a base to make the overall dish more cohesive and easier to slice and serve (creating almost a pie a crust of sorts).

The recipe can be easily doubled to make more than one pie. Also, a quick tip to help with prep, set the sweet potatoes to boil while you're prepping other aspects of your meal and leave this for last. I cut the sweet potato into large chunks and slice into it all around, in order to speed up the boiling process.

Overall, this is a great option to serve at any meal whether festive or weekday and it is always a hit as a contribution or gift to a hostess! Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Pie Makes 1 9"x 9" Pie

1 large sweet potato, boiled until very, very soft
1/4 cup Margarine
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup Riches Whip (soy milk works just as well)
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl and either using a stand or hand held mixer, blend until mixture is thin (approximately 3 minutes).

Bake in oven at 350 degrees F for approximately 40-50 minutes.

* I've also mixed this using only a fork and it turns out completely fine, just thicker. I personally prefer it almost pureed, without any chunks of sweet potato which produces a much fluffier pie.
*If you're not using crumble, sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon overtop the mixture.

Crumble

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup of oats
1/2 cup of melted margarine (or oil)

To use as a base, pat down into the bottom of a 9"x 9" pie pan.
To use as a topping combine all ingredients in a bowl.
Roll a ball about the size of your palm into your hand and sliding your hands forward and backwards crumble it over the pie. DO NOT just pat it down or drop it onto the pie, it will sink into the puree. Crumble it a little bit at a time over the mixture.
Sprinkle half a tablespoon of cinnamon overtop the crumble

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Mommy's Pizza Muffins

I love pizza. It's one of the few foods that I don't need to be hungry to demolish (you know, besides chocolate & the like...). So imagine my sheer delight when I was going through my mom's recipe book and found her recipe for pizza muffins?! Pizza. Muffins. My love of pizza and baked goods coming together as one!

This is a great option for a kids lunch or even as a side for dinner (imagine replacing dinner rolls or garlic bread with a pizza muffin!). They are also completely adaptable to your liking. I personally don't like green pepper or onion so I omit that in my batch and add a green olive into the center of the muffin batter as well as extra cheese and mushrooms. You can divide the batter into different bowls and everyone can add their own toppings. Use different colored cupcake liners to differentiate between everyone's custom pizza muffins. It's a simple, quick and fun family dinner option and the flexibility caters to everyone. I have only made these dairy, however if you'd like to use a meat topping and are keeping kosher then you can replace the cheese with a non-dairy soy based cheese and add all the meat toppings you'd like (think fried salami, pepperoni etc!). The ingredients posted below are simply based on my preference and what I have made, tested and worked with! The possibilities are endless! Enjoy!

Pizza Muffins (makes one dozen)

1/2 cup of sliced mushrooms
1 1/4 cup of grated mozzarella
1/4 cup of shredded "pizza" blend cheese
1/2 cup of pizza sauce
2 tsp garlic powder
5 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1 1/4 cup of flour
1 tablespoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
In a large bowl combine mushrooms, cheese, pizza sauce and garlic powder
In a separate bowl beat eggs
Blend in oil
Add flour and baking powder
Beat until smooth
Stir cheese mixture into flour mixture until well blended
Spoon mixture into greased muffin liners (the muffins will stick to the liners otherwise and prove difficult to remove)
Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned
Can be served either warm or cold
Store in refrigerator