Tag Archives: sweet potatoes


We have been eating all of the produce we brought back from our Louisiana trip, and everything is nearly gone except for the sweet potatoes we bought in Texas. What luck! Sara Moulton, the current doyenne of American television cooks and noted cook book author, has a syndicated column in our local paper. This week her recipe was for sweet potato salad with a vinegar-based dressing instead of the usual white potato/mayonnaise mix that is so popular around the Fourth of July. I have made a few tweaks to her published recipe. She called for only a half of a chipotle, but my Southwestern background determined that I needed more pep, either with more chipotle or with hot sauce. The original was also a little monochromatic, so I added pimentos for color.  Either her way or my way, I think you will find this a refreshing salad for hot summer days and evenings.


Sweet Potato, Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salad with Spicy Cilantro Dressing

Sweet potato, grilled corn and black bean salad

Sweet potato, grilled corn and black bean salad


  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 small shallot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 chipotle in adobo
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 1½ pounds sweet potatoes (about 5 small), peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 3 ears fresh corn, husked and silk removed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 scallions, whites and green tops, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces diced pimentos
  • (optional Chalula or other hot sauce to taste)


  1. In a blender, combine the garlic, shallot, chipotle, cilantro, and rice vinegar. Puree until smooth.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Transfer to a covered jar and set aside.
  2. In a large covered pot with a steamer basket, bring about 2 inches of water to the boil. Add the sweet potatoes, and steam, covered, until fork tender, about 8 minutes
  3. Transfer the steamed sweet potatoes to a large bowl. Pour half of the pureed dressing over the potatoes and mix well, being careful not to break up the potatoes. Set aside to cool.
  4. Brush the ears of corn lightly with the melted butter and then place on a hot grill. You can use your Santa Fe chile roasting grill for this operation. Roast the corn, turning frequently, until it is lightly charred on all sides. Transfer to a plate and cool until it can be handled easily.
  5. Hold each ear on its thick end on a cutting board, and using a sharp knife, cut the roasted corn kernels off the cobs. There will be 3 cups or more of corn kernels.
  6. When the sweet potatoes and corn have cooled, combine the dressed potatoes, corn, black beans, and pimentos. Add the remaining dressing and mix gently until everything is well combined. Adjust seasoning with additional salt, pepper and optional hot sauce.
  7. Serve warm or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and ready to serve.



Filed under Food, Photography, Recipes


We are back home after a very long two weeks in Shreveport, Louisiana. We had a good time and enjoyed seeing old friends, but taking care of two young children is not in the usual job description for folks as old as my wife and me.

Susan had driven her car all the way from Santa Fe, so we knew that we had a long drive back. We decided we were not going through the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex even though it was probably the shortest and fastest return. There is too much traffic; we have been there before many, many times; and the cityscape is, well frankly, boring.

Instead, we left the interstate at Tyler and headed up to Sherman, the home  of a beautiful small liberal arts college, Austin College. The road was like so many country roads in Louisiana and Texas: well paved, not much traffic, and lines with farms and big stands of pines and hardwoods. The further west we got, the smaller the trees became. There were several towns along the way, but most were no bigger that a few hundred people. Every town, though, had an enormous high school and an even bigger football stadium. Every town also had several churches. Some had tall spires while others looked like they were just hanging on.

Still steeped in farm-to-table enthusiasm, we stopped at a small roadside stand several miles from any town. They were advertising fresh homemade ice cream along with fresh produce. We certainly helped their cash-flow that day. Susan bought several jars of homemade preserves, honey, pinto and Anasazi beans, sweet potatoes, cantaloupes, watermelon, sweet cherries, fresh peaches, and bright red tomatoes.  We had to re-arrange our already crowded back seat to make room for everything.

We resumed our travel, stopping in Amarillo overnight (That is another story, but probably not appropriate for a blog) and then got back on the interstate to complete our trip home.

Since then, we have been enjoying all of the fruits and vegetables from Shreveport along with more from the fruit stand. We’ve had fresh tomatoes sliced, in a salad, and along with avocado so it occurred to me that a tasty meal might include mashed sweet potatoes, a big slice of ham from the store, and baked tomatoes.  That’s what we had last night.


Baked Stuffed Tomatoes


  • 2 large ripe tomatoes
  • 3 crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + more to drizzle on top of the tomatoes
  • 3 scallions including green tops, chopped finely
  • ½ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup panko
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Cut off the stem ends of the tomatoes. If needed, cut a very thin slice off the blossom end so that the tomato will sit flat. With a grapefruit knife or grapefruit spoon, remove the pulp from the tomatoes, leaving a rim of about ¼ inch of the flesh. Rinse, drain, and set aside.
  2. Rinse any seeds from the pulp, sprinkle with salt, chop finely, and set aside to drain any excess water.
  3. In a small pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the mushrooms until they have given up their liquid and it has evaporated, about three minutes. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the mushrooms with their cooking oil, scallions, parsley, panko, Italian seasoning, and vinegar. Blot the chopped tomato pulp dry with paper towels and add it to the mixture.
  5. Correct the seasoning with salt and pepper.
  6. Stuff the tomato shells with the mixture, packing it firmly. Top with the Parmesan cheese, drizzle with olive oil, and place in the middle of an oven preheated to 350° F. Bake for 30 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer the tomatoes to plates and serve immediately.




Filed under Food, Photography, Recipes, Travel