Another catch up post! I pampered my P.S. for Father’s Day by marinating and grilling NY strip steaks. One of the side dishes was a grilled romaine lettuce salad. It’s time to post the stuffed sweet potatoes that were finished on the grill. As I mentioned before, my P.S. did the actual grilling because he enjoys it.
I enjoy preparing the food and letting my P.S. finish it for me. As he grills I can sit around with a drink in my hand looking all leisurely. Kidding! I’m usually doing more prep work inside. But these potatoes were prepared ahead of time for the most part. They could even be prepared a day ahead or even frozen for later. They just need to be heated through on the side of the grill or a rack.
I started on the stuffed sweet potatoes by scrubbing the skin of one large sweet potato. I cut it in half and placed the halves cut side down on a foil covered baking sheet I’d sprayed with cooking spray. I put them in my preheated 375° oven for about 45 minutes. I tested them by squeezing with my fingers (quickly, cuz they were hot!) and they were perfectly done. They had some give to them.
I removed the pan from the oven and let them sit to cool for about 20 minutes. While the sweet potatoes were baking I’d sautéed some onion in a little oil in a nonstick skillet, adding diced red sweet bell pepper and letting them get a little browned as well. I stirred in cumin, a large pinch of cayenne, some salt and pepper, and 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro.
I added ½ cup of black beans I’d drained and rinsed, along with ½ cup of drained whole kernel corn. I sautéed them until they were heated through then turned the heat to low and waited for my potatoes to cool.
When the potatoes were cooled to touch I removed most of the potato around the inside of the shell with a spoon. I put the sweet potatoes into a bowl and mashed them with a potato masher.
I added butter and stirred it into the mixture until it was melted, then added soy milk until I had my desired consistency. I stirred in the beans and corn and corn mixture.
The recipe I used was for 4 sweet potatoes and I was only making one cut in half to serve two people, so my measurements varied. The pictures show much smaller portions.
Filling done, I loaded the two sweet potato shells to heaping.
I sprinkled shredded cheese on top and arranged a foil pan using folded foil to hold my sweet potatoes when they were set on the top grill rack for finishing. We just needed to warm them again and melt the cheese.
The sweet potatoes were next and oh my, I loved the southwestern flavors. Odd that a sweet potato, that for years I piled full of brown sugar, butter and marshmallows, could be so interesting in a savory dish.
We loved the southwestern touch with the sweet potatoes. The cumin and black beans and even the corn were things I wouldn’t have expected, but were delicious all together. Covered with melted cheese they were an exciting twist to an old standby. In the winter (or on a rainy day) it would be easy to broil them in the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese. They aren’t only for grilling!
Southwestern Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
4 medium sweet potatoes
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk (I used soy milk, any milk would be fine)
1/2 cup onion; chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper; chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup black beans; rinsed and drained
1/2 cup corn kernels
2 tablespoons cilantro; chopped (I used 2 teaspoons)
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used Cheddar Jack and some leftover mozzarella)
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Wash your sweet potatoes and cut them in half the long way. Place cut sides down on a foil covered baking sheet. Bake for about 1 hour or until easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and let them cool until you are able to comfortably handle them.
While the potatoes are cooling, sauté the onion and red pepper in a skillet with a little oil until they begin to brown. Add cumin, chili pepper, salt and pepper. Stir in black beans and corn and heat through.
Split potatoes lengthwise and carefully scoop out the flesh, making sure to not pierce the skin. I left a little extra potato in the shell to help them maintain their shape.
Place sweet potato flesh into a bowl with butter. Mash, adding a little milk if necessary to make them creamy. When sweet potato mixture is smooth and creamy, fold in the corn and beans. Taste test for seasonings, adding more salt if necessary.
Carefully spoon potato mixture into the sweet potato skins evenly.*
Sprinkle cheeses over the top of each potato half, place in a foil pan or fasten one with foil and bake on the top grill rack or on a cooler side for 10-15 minutes.
*If you are making ahead or freezing the potatoes, at this point wrap well and refrigerate or freeze without adding cheese. When ready to cook add the cheese on top.
Yield: 2 servings
Adapted from Foodie Bliss