Sweet Potatoes à la carte

It’s unlikely they will ever truly replace good old reliable potatoes, but sweet potatoes have really hit main stream. Everyone is getting on board, trying to give them a chance, and I couldn’t be happier. From French fries to pancakes, they are everywhere.

There’s no question, a nutrient-rich baked sweet potato is incredibly filling and satisfying in a pinch. I’m known to pop one in the microwave for a fast meal and top it with whatever is loose in the fridge, from chutney to chili.

Of late, one of my favorite ways to prepare sweet potatoes is in latkes.  Add a little onion, some binder, and they are worthy of a place at either the breakfast or dinner table. In mini portions, they make a handsome appetizer with a dab of sour cream and chives.

Unlike potatoes that turn color when prepped ahead, sweet potatoes grated a day in advance will still hold beautifully. With the holidays headed our way, consider latkes as part of your party entertainment fare.

Sweet Potato Latkes
Inspired by Gale Gand’s Brunch!

1/2 yellow onion
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled (3 to 4)
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon sea salt and black pepper
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 bunch green onions or chives, sliced


1. Grate the onion with a box grater into a mesh strainer and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

2. Either grate the potatoes on a box grater or use a food processor.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, onion, flour and eggs until well combined. Season generously with salt and black pepper. Make little balls and flatten them into about a 3 inch disc.

4. Pour about 1/4 cup oil into a skillet and heat over medium high heat. Put a few latkes in a pan at a time, press down firmly with a spatula, and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown. Move to paper toweling to drain and hold in a warm oven.

5. Top each with a small dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with chives. Makes 8 large or about 36 mini-latkes.

Mix and Match

This time of year we are all looking for easy holiday statements that will go above and beyond the norm and please many. Here is an elegant ensemble that stars lightly smoked Nova Scotia salmon in mousse form.  You can go all out and line the mold with more thinly sliced salmon or simply adorn it with dill and capers.

Surround this beauty with a colorful display of fresh vegetables: radishes, cucumbers, red peppers, celery, baby carrots etc.,  fill in with olives, gherkins, a few pepperoncini, and whatever else strikes your fancy.  Salmon moldAdd an assortment of crisp lavosh, seeded crackers and to-die-for mouth sized bites of homemade Sally Lund Buns. (For more, visit earlier post on the virtues of Sally Lund Bread.) The buns are beyond good warmed with a slathering of herb butter—one will fit nicely in each cheek.

Sally Lund Buns pic

Smoked Salmon Mousse Mold

4 ounces sour cream
6 ounces cream cheese, brie or other soft cheese, cut up
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon horseradish, or to taste
2 teaspoons lemon juice, or to taste
salt to taste
8 ounces Nova Scotia salmon, thinly sliced
dill, capers, sliced lemon for garnish

  1. Smoothly line 2 cup flatish mold with plastic wrap.
  2. Blend sour cream through lemon juice until smooth, blend in part of the nova up to half until smooth, reserving enough to line mold. Adjust seasoning.
  3. Decoratively place dill, capers, into the mold, which will be the finished top. Line with a thin layer of salmon and fill with mousse. Wrap well and weight down lightly. Chill well.
  4. Unmold the mousse and carefully remove the plastic wrap.  Smooth out any obvious wrinkles with damp fingers. Accompany with radishes, cucumbers, celery, peppers, crackers; dill and lemon. Serves 8 to 10.

For Sally Lund Buns

Refer to Romancing the Bread with previous post for the Sally Lund Bread recipe here.  The easy batter is quickly made a couple of days in advance and stored in the refrigerator until the day it is needed.  For buns I increased the sugar from 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup.  About 2-1/2 hours before serving, remove the batter from refrigerator and stir it down with a few strokes.

For large buns:  Butter or spray standard muffin cups and fill with about 1/4 cup of batter.  Cover with lightly buttered plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled in volume, about 1-3/4 hours.  Bake in 375 degree preheated oven for about 25 minutes, until golden brown.  Cool on rack for 5 minutes and turn out to cool.  Yield:  about 18 large buns.

How to use the batter for an assortment of medium and mini buns

For medium buns:  using 4-oz silcone cups, fill with about 2 tablespoons of batter (a small ice cream ladle); cover with lightly buttered plastic wrap and let rise until nearly doubled, about 60 minutes.  Bake in 375 degree preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.  Cool on rack for 5 minutes and turn out to cool. Yield:  12 medium bins.

For bite sized buns:  butter or spray mini muffin cups; fill each 1/2 full using rounded teaspoon.; cover with lightly buttered plastic wrap; let rise for about 45 minutes and bake in preheated 375 degree oven 15-20 minutes until golden brown.  Cool on rack for 5 minutes and turn out to cool.  Yield: 36 mini-buns.

Note:  I baked the minis first.  While they were baking I prepped the larger medium sized which require additional rising time.