I'm happy to report that my landlord was able to fix the oven on Thursday night, and so MVC is back up and running again. He approached the problem like a typical engineer - as a challenge. He took apart the oven and engaged in some problem-solving behavior for about an hour, and at the end of it all, the oven is working even better than when we moved in. Anyway, all is well in our little DC kitchen, and so I'm moving on to one of my favorite vegetables - sweet potatoes - and posting extra recipes to make up for lost time.
I might just be a little sweet potato obsessed these days, and Cunningham Farms Sweet Potato Butter definitely has something to do with that. I first discovered this product about a month ago at the DC Grey Farmer's Market. The sweet potato butter has a smooth texture, similar to pumpkin butter (another one of my favorites), and a sweet, spiced taste reminiscent of Thanksgiving. It has a rich flavor without overpowering other tastes that you combine it with.
The Cunningham Farms company is a small business that has been making this sweet potato butter for four years now. The recipe was handed down from a farmer in Tennessee and entrusted to Schuyler Cunningham, Andy Mendrala and Bradford Walker, who make the sweet potato butter in small batches using organic sweet potatoes and locally-produced apple cider.
What I love about the product is that you can put it on and in just about anything. In one tablespoon, there are only 20 calories, 0 grams of fat, and 4 grams of sugar, which means that you really don't need to be shy about putting some on your toast or a freshly-baked scone. It also doesn't contain dairy, which I love, and so it's a great vegan spread that packs lots of flavor and 30% of your daily Vitamin A needs in just one tablespoon.
You can buy the product on their website or from Zingerman's mail order (an Ann Arbor favorite). The sweet potato butter is also carried locally in DC at ACKC on 14th Street NW and Seasonal Pantry on 9th Street NW. I had the chance to talk to Schuyler Cunningham and learn that there may be another sweet-potato product or two on the horizon, and I can't wait to find out what those might be. For now though, here are a few recipes to try after picking up your own jar of Cunningham Farms Sweet Potato Butter.
Spiced Maple Salmon (2-4 servings)
2 salmon fillets, about 4 oz. each
2 Tablespoons Cunningham Farms Sweet Potato Butter
½ Tablespoon soy sauce (low-sodium if possible)
½ Tablespoon maple syrup
½ Tablespoon olive oil
*Season each fillet with salt and black pepper. Spread one Tablespoon of Cunningham Farms Sweet Potato Butter on each salmon fillet, and make sure that the top and sides of the fillet are coated. Let the salmon marinate for an hour, or overnight if you can.
Preheat broiler to high. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.
1. Pat the marinated salmon fillets with a paper towel to soak up any excess sweet potato butter that remains on the surface of the fish.
2. Mix together the soy sauce, maple syrup, and olive oil in a small bowl, and then use a pastry brush to coat each fillet with the mixture.
3. Broil the fish for 7-8 minutes, until the edges are browned and crispy and the salmon is cooked through.
Serve with a fresh salad with Maple Sweet Potato Dressing, or a side or your choice. If you’re serving the salmon for dinner, you’ll get about 2 servings. You can also serve about half a fillet of salmon over a green salad for lunch and get about 4 servings.
For one 4-oz. fillet of Maple Spiced Salmon, here are the nutrition facts:
Serving Size 140 g
The next recipe is for a great salad dressing that you can keep in the refrigerator during the week and throw on almost any salad combination (though I'll provide my favorite combination so far). It's got a bit of sweetness, but also a richness and tang that results from the sweet potato butter and Greek yogurt combination.
Maple Sweet Potato Dressing (Makes 5 2-Tablespoon servings)
¼ cup Greek nonfat plain yogurt
3 Tablespoons *Cunningham Farms Sweet Potato Butter
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
½ teaspoon sea salt½ teaspoon black pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Or, place everything in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake until the dressing is combined (this is my preferred method because I can keep the jar in the fridge and enjoy the leftovers later).
This dressing tastes great on the following Arugula Salad, but feel free to experiment with different flavor combinations.
Serving Size 30 g
Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese, Walnuts, and Berries (2 Servings)
2 oz. fresh arugula (we get the prewashed organic arugula from Whole Foods)
¼ cup fresh blueberries
2 Tablespoons dried cranberries
1 oz herbed goat cheese
2 Tablespoons walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
*1/4 cup Maple Sweet Potato Dressing
*2 oz. Spiced Maple Salmon (optional)
Serving Size 127 g
Finally, we made it to dessert, my favorite. Sweet Potato Ice Cream. This is truly rich and delicious and carries all the flavors of a sweet potato pie within a cool, creamy ice cream.
Sweet Potato Ice Cream (Makes 2 servings)
2.5 oz. cooked sweet potato, peeled (or ¼ to 1/3 cup sweet potato purée)*
2 ½ Tablespoons Cunningham Farms Sweet Potato Butter
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese
2 Tablespoons plain Greek nonfat yogurt
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 cup almond milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
*A small sweet potato can be cooked in the microwave with the skin on for about 5 minutes (see the muffin recipe for instructions). You can also use sweet potato purée, or even pumpkin purée.
1. Add all the ingredients to a blender. Blend on high speed until the mixture is completely smooth, about 1 minute.
2. Turn the stand mixer on low with the ice cream maker attachment (or turn on your ice cream maker), and slowly pour in the ice cream mixture from the pitcher of the blender to the bowl. The ice cream should take 8-10 minutes to freeze, depending on the texture that you want (I go for soft serve texture) and how long the sweet potato had cooled before blending.
3. Scrape down the sides of the ice cream bowl with a rubber spatula and distribute the ice cream to 2 bowls.
Top with whipped cream, chopped nuts (I especially like pecans with this), sweet potato granola, or any other toppings of your choice. (Sweet & Crunchy Granola was a perfect topping).
One serving of Sweet Potato Ice Cream has the following nutrition facts:
Serving Size 212 g