curry

Fall Recipe: Sweet Potato Hash Browns

Here’s a unique recipe for fall that I used to run when I was the chef at Mars Hill Cafe.  This was one of our most popular side dishes:

Sweet Potato Hash Browns
Recipe Type: Side
Author: Stuart Reb Donald
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 1 large or two small sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 tablespoon canola oil
Instructions
  1. Shred the sweet potato with the shredding attachment of a food processor or use a box grater. Toss the sweet potatoes with corn starch and coat thoroughly.
  2. In a ramekin or small bowl combine the cinnamon and cayenne.
  3. In a large saute pan or griddle heated to 400 degrees add the canola oil. Place four equal sized mounds of hash browns and spread using the side of a spatula in a chopping motion.
  4. Cook until hash browns are golden brown then flip.
  5. Season the cooked side with cinnamon/cayenne mixture and cook just until second side is golden brown.
Notes

Each serving contains 108 calories, 1 gram of fat, 25 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of protein.

Sweet Potato Hash Browns

Easy Thanksgiving Recipe: Pumpkin Curry Soup

Here’s a unique recipe for Thanksgiving:

Pumpkin Curry Soup

  • 1 15 ounce can organic pumpkin
  • 1 cup organic chicken stock
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon Curry powder (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger (optional)
  • two tablespoons raw local honey
  • toasted pumpkin seeds

With a whisk, combine all ingredients (except pumpkin seeds) in a large stock pot and bring to a simmer (takes about 15 minutes) then serve.  Taste and if the soup is still a little bitter add more honey one tablespoon at a time until it cuts the bitterness but doesn’t make the soup too sweet.  Garnish with pumpkin seeds. Naan is also a nice addition.

Trust the Trend

Stuart Reb Donald on WannabeTVchef.comAt one time or another everyone of us has been caught up in a fad.  With great pride I went to school sporting striped suspenders studded with buttons.  I think the picture to the right demonstrates that copying Robin Williams’ cocaine influenced Ork-style was not my only fashion infraction.

That is in fact me, the Wannabe TV Chef in the size-too-small Subway shirt while rocking the mullet and porn stash.  Note that I am frying bologna in Parkay!

I share this with you to say that all of us have at one time tried on a fad only to years later have an embarrassing photo show up on Facebook.  That is because fashion trends are stupid.

Food trends on the other hand are not.  Food trends do not come from the mind of a “gifted” fashionista or spring forth from the THC clogged lymbic system of some modern day Holden Caulfield.  Food trends are the result of innovation – overcoming adversity by utilizing what you have available to you.

Remember when deep dish pizza, sun dried tomatoes and Buffalo wings were all the newest thing in food?  Food trends are rarely created by someone trying to revolutionize the culinary world but rather by someone trying not to starve to death.  Have you noticed that food trends may lose their status but the technique nearly always becomes part of the standard repertoire?  You cannot find parachute pants these days but egg rolls and nachos are everywhere.

A food trend is simply a regional technique or ingredient that works it’s way into the mainstream.  It was just a few years ago that flavored foams, panini and sous vide were cutting edge; now few are surprised to see them on a menu.  Foods are only trendy because they are new.  At one point or another everything we eat was a fad.  With that in mind why are Americans such sissies?

salmon on WannabeTVchef.comIn watching the current season of the Next Food Network Star I am startled by how many people are pulling against Aarti Sequeira because “no one likes Indian cuisine.”

Huh?  There are over a billion people in India that eat Indian food everyday, of course they just call it food.  Indian cuisine is the most popular ethnic food in the UK as well.  It’s as popular with the Brits as Mexican is here in the States.  For the record, had it not been for Europe’s lust for the flavors of India, Christopher Columbus might never have become the fifth person to discover the New World.

There is a reason that Food Network senior vice-president Bob Tuschman has been desperate to find the right host to do a show on Indian cuisine on the Network.  He knows, after years of doing his job very well, that with the right star behind it Indian cuisine will be the next hot trend in food; it will be the next sushi or Korean BBQ taco.  He knows that in ten years most people won’t remember Indian food as being exotic or bizarre.

Roasted Pork Belly on WannabeTVchef.comSo when you see that wild new item or flashy new cooking style on the menu try to remember that the chef would not serve it if it didn’t taste good.  That’s not the business they’re in – the tricking people into eating something nasty business.  The fast food industry has that all wrapped up.  So, please, try the roasted pork belly, try the heirloom tomato salad, try the fricking curried lamb.  Trust the trend.

Fish Dish: Coconut Curry Ahi Over Udon

I was excited to find that my local market has started stocking Full Circle all natural, wild caught, US fish in its freezer section.  I live on the Gulf Coast and can get fresh Gulf seafood but these are not indigenous fishcicles.  So I have decided to share this culinary voyage with you.  I won’t be providing recipes per se but instructions on how I fixed each Fish Dish.

Fish Dish: Coconut Curry Ahi Tuna Over Udon

Ahi Tuna

I had my first Thai dish about 2 years ago but it has quickly become my favorite Asian cuisine.  I am in love with the sweet/hot contrast especially in the red curry coconut sauce, although I do love all of the curries.  Thai generally comes in three temperatures: hot, hotter, and holy s%@#!  I was afraid that the powerful flavor of the curry would overwhelm a more delicate fish so I chose the Ahi tuna for this recipe.

I brought 2 quarts of water to a boil and seasoned it with salt and a couple of small pieces of fresh ginger.  In the water I boiled my Udon noodles until done.  I set the Udon to the side and finely diced the ginger.  My next task was to saute onions, chilies, carrots and the ginger in a little olive oil simply seasoned with salt and pepper.  I removed the veggies and in the remaining oil I added my tuna.  I cooked the tuna just long enough to brown the side (about 2 minutes) then I turned it over.  I then added enough curry-coconut sauce to come half-way up the filet, reduced the heat and let simmer, covered, about 10 minutes.  In essence I poached the tuna in curry sauce.

The curry sauce is frighteningly easy to make.  First add a few tablespoons of canola oil to a medium-hot pan.  Next add a few tablespoons of red curry paste (available at that Asian market you’ve been wanting to go into but haven’t had a reason to yet.  You’re welcome).  Stir, heating through and then pour in a can of coconut milk.  Combine and simmer for a few minutes.  Jar and refrigerate until you are ready to use it.  NOTE: The more curry you use the hotter it will be.

Plating: Udon first, then tuna, pour the sauce over both, top with veggies and I garnished mine with almond slivers, and roughly chopped fresh basil and cilantro.  A squirt or two of freshly squeezed lime juice adds a little pop to the dish.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up

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