Where’s the Food?! – Food Truck Options at the Washington County Fair (and a giveaway)

Imagine my delight when I opened an email recently that asked me to write a little something about the Washington County Fair that will be kicking off next week! I am being compensated for this post, but trust me when I say that my love for the fair (and the food!) are very real. That said… let me tell you a little story…

I think it was called the Zipper.  Ages ago, something like 15 years ago, my friends and I (Mike, Jason, Clint and a few other people) went to the Washington County Fair.  I was particularly looking forward to getting something massively unhealthy and fried to a delicious stage of golden brown.  I wasn’t really particular on what exactly it was I was going to get, but the desire was there.  That was my underlying motivation.

Then, the Zipper.

Clint and I made the mistake of getting on the Zipper (or whatever it was actually called; Clint suggests the ‘Hellishtorturetron’ or perhaps the ‘Zephyr’).  We were irrevocably altered by this experience.   There are two factors we have to keep in mind.  One, sometimes carnival ride operators will extend the time of the ride somewhat in order to ‘be nice’ to the good folks attending the fair or carnvial, or whatever.  We got one of those dudes.  Two, in the late 90s I wore a variety of big loose shorts that had rather large pockets (and often carried loose change rather than some sort of man-purse or something).

The thing to keep in mind about this ride is that it was essentially a series of suspended seats in steel mesh cages, wide enough for two people, which could pivot back and forth as the ride itself turned through the air.

Enter Clint and I.  We got into our doomcage seat, unaware of the horror that was to await us.  The ride accelerated and we began to sway back and forth.

OK, I thought, this isn’t so bad.

And then the operator turned up the speed.

First, all of the loose change from my pockets became airborne.  Pew! Pew! as they ricocheted off of the mesh cage walls, becoming a hail of tiny silver and copper covered shrapnel, as we tumbled over and over and over again.  “AIIIIIGGGGGHHHHH!!!!! MAKEITSTOP! MAKEITSTOP! PLEASEGODMAKEITSTOP!!”  I honestly don’t remember if that was me or Clint.  Probably both.  Probably.

Then, the ride just didn’t stop.  It went on.  And on.  And on.  It seemed to enter into this time-out-of-time wherein time had no meaning.  And no matter how much Clint and I screamed, no matter how much we begged, no matter how much we cajoled or threatened, it just wouldn’t end.  There’s no bargaining with the Zipper.

And then, finally, it ended (with a large portion of my change on the ground below the Zipper).

What I remember is that all my blissful thoughts about getting something fried and delicious left my head with a large amount of regret after getting my insides thoroughly scramblerized like that.  Clint and I lay on the ground,  on the hard concrete, blissful that we weren’t moving any more, but nauseous beyond belief.

I guess here’s the takeaway.  Is it crazy to have a place like the Washington County Fair where you can have life altering rides (there’s a reason I don’t ride roller coasters anymore) right beside the most awesome County Fair food you could imagine?  I think so, yes.  My advice?  There’s more to the fair than just rides.  If you’re not into the rides, go for the food.

Speaking of food, there’s actually going to be more options at the Washington County Fair this year than your typical fair food found at concessions stands (these typically act as fund-raisers for 4-H clubs and agriculture associations like Cattlemen’s).  This year there are actually going to be some food trucks, which is exciting.

Some of the options are going to be:

  • Shuckin Delicious – They provide jazzed up corn on the cob, with Jamaican sausage, cheddar peppers and mozzarella sticks
  • Aunt Susie’s Gourmet Kettle Corn-  Kettle corn, caramel corn, something called Piggie Puffs and cheddar peppers (a popular option at the fair this year)
  • Carsten Concessions-  Apparently a ‘food oddity’ trailer rather than your typical fair food.  Sounds mysterious and worth checking out.
  • MTN Snow Shaved Ice-  Because August (well, September really). In Arkansas.
  • Porky Chicks-  A BBQ concession.
  • Danny Bowers- Chicken wings, chicken cheese steak, Jack Daniels burgers and Krispy Kreme Donut Burgers (for your blissful pre-coronary moments)

But the one I’m most looking forward to?

  • BALLER FOOD TRUCK!!!! – These guys are the bomb.  Seriously.  If you’ve never tried Baller, what they do is essentially take a little ball of food stuff, roll it up into a ball, and then fry it until it’s a little delicious gold brown ball of goodness. It’s amazing.  They’ll be rotating different ball choices throughout the week.  Some of their ball choices will be:
  • BaconCheeseburger Ball
  • Mac-n-Cheese Ball
  • Hashbrown Casserole Ball
  • The ‘HOG’ Ball
  • Chicken Taco Ball
  • Beef Taco Ball
  • Chicken Enchilada Ball
  • Fried Brownie Bites and
  • Fried Apple Pie.

Baller Food Truck

Delicious Balls

The Washington County Fair is from Tuesday September 1st to Saturday September 5th.  Ticket information can be found here.

Follow along with all the news and announcements from the fair on social media.  Here are their links:

The giveaway: leave a comment for a chance to win $50 worth of tickets for the fair!

Remember, go for the food (if you don’t like the rides).

-a note:  this post was compensated, but, I assure you, my love for Baller Food Truck in particular and food trucks in general is quite real.

Thai Curry Grilled Pizza

Grilled Curry Pizza

Summer is perfect for grilling.  Of course, grilled pizza is divine, and probably the way everyone should be cooking pizza if they don’t have access to an actual pizza oven.  A grill can give the intense heat that really good pizza needs.  There are a ton of options when it comes to grilled pizza beyond just the standard pizza recipes.  One of my favorites is Thai Curry Grilled Pizza.

The technique is actually amazingly simple.  This recipe assumes that you have a working knowledge of both pizza dough and a  general ability to use a grill.

Once you have your pizza dough rising, assemble your ingredients for the Thai Curry.  I used my homemade red Thai curry paste, coconut milk, some Tyson chicken and sesame oil.

Tyson chicken

Fry the curry paste in the sesame oil.  The more paste you use the hotter it’s going to be.  Don’t be a wussy.

Thai Curry Paste

Add about half of the coconut milk and bring to a boil.  The more coconut milk you use, the thinner the resulting curry is going to be.  You don’t want it too thin, so mostly use the solid coconut milk at the top of the can.

Slice your chicken thin and add to the sauce, reducing to a low heat.  The residual heat from the sauce will cook the chicken through.

Adding chicken to the curry sauce

From there it’s just a matter of pre-grilling the pizza dough, assembling the ingredients onto the partially cooked dough, and then finishing it off back on the grill.


Arranging the ingredients

Here I added the Thai chicken curry and topped it with thinly sliced red bell peppers, cilantro and basil.

Grilling pizza

There’s really nothing like Thai Curry grilled pizza.  The flavor and the texture are absolutely transcendent, and easy to make if you do the work of making the curry early.  For extra zing squeeze a little fresh lime juice on top.


  • Pizza dough (3 cups flour, 2 cups water, a packet of yeast, salt and pepper)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced chicken
  • 1/2 can of coconut milk (more or less)
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • red bell pepper
  • basil
  • cilantro
  • lime wedge (optional)

Kyya Chocolate – The Alchemy of Joy

Kamp Kyya Chocolate

One of the cool things about being a blogger is sometimes you get invited to incredibly cool places to hang out with incredibly cool people learning about incredibly cool things.  Last week I got invited to Kyya Chocolate with a few other bloggers to take a tour, learn about the educational and fun day camp for kids they’ll be running this summer (Kamp Kyya), and most importantly, to partake in the alchemy of joy, i.e. to taste some amazing chocolate.  What the fine folks at Kyya get is that chocolate is a transformative substance.

The Kyya Team

You see, it’s not just chocolate.  Yes, chocolate has an undeniable psychoactive effect on the brain, releasing serotonin and dopamine.  It’s incredibly intoxicating in higher doses.  But of course, we live in an incredibly connected world.  Chocolate has to come from somewhere.  Much of the larger chocolate suppliers actually source their chocolate from four countries (the Ivory Coast, Indonesia, Ghana and Nigeria), and there’s definitely an aspect of economic exploitation.

where chocolate comes from

Kyya has a mission.  A goal.  Kyya is going into the other chocolate producing countries (such as Equador, Uganda, Madagascar) and connecting directly with the source.  Rather than letting the chocolate farmers be exploited by some middleman, Kyya is buying directly from the chocolate farmers themselves, at a higher price than the middlemen would provide.  Kyya then makes their very special chocolate right here in Northwest Arkansas.

Kyya is transforming suffering into joy by connecting with these farmers.  The farmers gain a level of dignity and economic security that is unprecedented.  Their chocolate is transformed into frankly some of the best chocolate I’ve ever tasted.

Kyya cocoa powder in its raw form

Kyya also makes their own cocoa powder and cocoa butter.  Most small chocolatiers use commercially available cocoa butter, but not Kyya.  It’s a distinctive difference.

Chocolate mills

The aroma when you walk into the building is heady, almost overwhelming.

Cacao being transformed into chocolate

It can take over a day to process an entire batch of chocolate.  The granite stones in the milling machines grind the chocolate solids down to a velvety smooth consistency.

Vacuum mold machine

They even have their own form machine where custom molds can be made.  Children who attend Kamp Kyya will get to make their very own molds to make their own chocolate.

Making bonbons

They’ll get to make these amazingly delicious chocolate bonbons, as well.

Chocolate Bonbons

I also had a chance to try some of their single sourced Ugandan chocolate syrup (made from their own cocoa powders).  I almost felt like the top of my brain was going to explode when I tasted this.

Single Origin Ugandan Chocolate Syrup

Kyya is also committed to contributing 10% of their profits back into the communities that they source their chocolate from, whether that means a well, or a school house, or whatever the community needs.

If you’re excited by the idea of your children learning about chocolate this summer, and you want to be part of something truly special, visit their website and sign up for Kamp Kyya.

Mediterranean Salad Dressing

mediterranean vinaigrette

There’s something alluring about a good vinaigrette, especially if it’s somehow made almost creamy.  It crosses over into the realm of the sensual, an orchestra of flavors bursting forth on your tongue.  I had a very good Mediterranean themed salad dressing at lunch the other day.  So good, in fact, that I was inspired to make my own version.  So this is my spin on a tangy, slightly spicy and creamy Mediterranean Salad Dressing.

The people who live in the Mediterranean region are renowned for their longevity, which research suggests is largely due to their diet being full of green leafy vegetables, as well as the health benefits of a whole host of other available foods, such as olives and olive oil.

The real key to this salad dressing is that the complexity of all of the various ingredients makes the whole more than the sum of its parts.  Every ingredient acts in accord with every other.  The salty balances the sweet, the sweet balances the tart, the spiciness adds another layer of depth to the flavor.

Assembling the ingredients

The complexity of the flavor profile is all the more amazing because the process of making this is so easy.  You simply add of the ingredients  together and blend until smooth.  It’s as simple as that.

The ingredients:

  • one small sprig of rosemary
  • 2 or 3 olives (green, black or a mixed variety)
  • 3 or 4 sun dried tomatoes (chopped into smaller pieces)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • the zest and juice of one lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • a few anchovies
  • 1/8th teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (or cayenne pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard

Salad Dressing

The tartness of the lemon juice and red wine vinegar plays well with the almost raisin-like sweetness of the sun dried tomatoes.  The anchovy imparts a salty, deep rich umami flavor to the Mediterranean Salad Dressing.  The herbaceous flavors of the rosemary and oregano play well against the olives, as well.  This vinaigrette works well over mixed greens, with some feta cheese and perhaps a sliced, boiled egg.  If you try this recipe, please let me know how you like it.

Red Cabbage Sauerkraut – or Lactofermination is Your Friend

Red Cabbage Sauerkraut

I never used to love sauerkraut.  In fact, I kind of hated the stuff.  I never really got it, until I fell in love with fermented foods (kimchi was the real gateway drug in this story).  Now, I love the stuff.  The sauerkraut I had in Germany was amazing (I went there last Summer).  There are all sorts of health reasons why you should eat fermented foods (phickle does a much better job of explaining those reasons than I ever could; plus it’s a gorgeous blog).  But really, the main reason why you would want to eat something like Red Cabbage Sauerkraut is because it’s real food.  It has a history.  It has flavor because it’s not some nameless anonymous foodstuff you got out of a can.  It has flavor because it’s meaningful, because it’s something you can make (and I would argue should), hopefully from locally grown produce.

caraway, mustard seed and coriander seed

Of course, the fermentation process itself, the way that the Lacto bacillus bacteria break down all the nutrients in the red cabbage introduces a lot of flavor to the sauerkraut.  That’s where the sour part of the flavor comes from.  What I like to do, to amp up the flavor, is to take my caraway, mustard and coriander seeds and toast them until they just begin to turn brown.  You’ll want to swoosh them or stir them around a little, just to make sure they don’t burn on the stove.

The toasted ground spices

Then grind the spices in a spice grinder or coffee mill (make sure you thoroughly clean it out if you use the coffee mill).

Red cabbage and salt

Next, add three or four cloves of garlic to the food processor and process until they’re well ground.  Then chop the red cabbage into quarters.  Chop each quarter into slices and process in the food processor.   Depending on the size of your food processor you may have to do this in batches.   If the slices are too big they won’t properly shred in the food processor, so make sure you chop them in 1 inch to 1/2 inch slices.  Place all of the shredded red cabbage into a large bowl.

adding the salt, then mix

Once all of the red cabbage is in the bowl, sprinkle half of the kosher salt over the top of the shredded cabbage.  Mix thoroughly.

Adding the rest of the salt and the spices

Finally, add the rest of the salt and the ground spices (and just a little ground black pepper). Mix thoroughly again.

The final step is to fill large mason jars with the pre-fermented sauerkraut mixture.  There should be enough for two large jars, though you might have to pack them in a little to fit it all.  Leave the jars out on your counter for several days to a week (depending on how warm it is).

The salt creates an environment hostile to harmful bacteria, but one that lacto bacillus fermenting bacteria find quite hospitable.  When the sauerkraut is thoroughly fermented you can store it in the fridge for several weeks.  As the sauerkraut ferments the color will slowly change from a deep bluish purple to a bright almost pink purple.

This Red Cabbage Sauerkraut is a great topping for hot dogs (along with some kimchi) or as a side with some roasted potatoes.

The ingredients:

  • 1 head red cabbage
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
  • dash of ground pepper

I opted for the complexity of the other spices because I wanted the caraway flavor to be subtle, not overwhelming, to match the subtle flavors derived from the fermentation process.


Thai Veggie Curry Noodle

vegetarian curry

I’ve been very vocal about my love of Asian grocery stores before.  This particular dish, Thai Veggie Curry Noodle, is a prime example why.  On a recent visit to one of my local Asian grocery stores, Asian Amigo (they have Asian food and Hispanic food as well), I managed to procure kaffir lime leaves, fresh galangal root (think ginger with a hint of mustard/horseradish flavor), Asian eggplants, mushrooms and even some jackfruit.  They also had these lovely Chinese egg noodles, somewhat like ramen, but a little chewier.  So I decided to throw it all together with some Thai red curry paste and coconut milk, and see what happened.

curry paste, Asian eggplant, onions, mushrooms and breadfruit

Mise en place, as always, is very important when cooking.  Have your ingredients prepared and ready to cook, and you’ll save time and effort.  And not look like an idiot running around trying to find the one thing you forgot.  I chopped up the jackfruit, mushrooms, Asian eggplant and onion and placed them all in bowls.  I also had some Thai red curry paste on hand.

Kaffir lime leaves, fresh galangal root, fish sauce and coconut milk

One can of coconut milk, some kaffir lime leaves, fresh galangal root and fish sauce later, and I was ready to cook.

Cooking the veggies

First, saute the onion, Asian eggplant, jackfruit and mushrooms in a little oil on a medium heat.  The jackfruit and mushrooms both absorb flavors in the sauce very well, but the jackfruit holds onto its texture a little better.  Set these aside once they’re cooked through and a little browned.

frying curry paste, grated galangal and kaffir lime leaves

Add the red curry paste, grated galangal root and kaffir lime leaves to the pan.  Stir until the curry paste begins to bubble.

Adding coconut milk

Add the coconut milk and stir.


Let it come to a boil and then add the veggies back in.

Adding Cayenne Pepper

I added some extra red pepper for a little kick.

Chinese Egg Noodles

Finally, I added the noodles.  These were cooked and just needed to be warmed up by the sauce.   The fish sauce was added a the very end for flavor.

The ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup onions
  • 1/4 cup Asian eggplant
  • 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms (any kind)
  • 1/4 cup diced jackfruit
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of Thai red curry paste
  • 2 teaspoons grate galangal root
  • 4 to 6 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper or hot paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of fish sauce at the very end
  • 1 package of Chinese egg noodles

Of course, if you want to avoid the fish sauce and make the Thai Veggie Curry Noodle truly vegetarian, you could always substitute some soy sauce at the very end instead of the fish sauce.  Either way, you’ll thank me.  If you can’t find jackfruit, try using a vegetable that is really good at absorbing sauces and flavors, such as zucchini or squash.

Family Dinner Night – Cooking with Your Kids

cooking with your kids

It’s tough, getting your kids to eat healthy, good food on a regular basis.  At least, that’s been my experience.  One of the things we’ve done in our family, in an effort to model good behavior and foster a sense of inclusion, is to institute a Family Dinner Night.  On Family Dinner Night the kids get to pick what we eat (we have a pretty large array of cookbooks, some of which are pretty kid friendly) and help us cook it.  There really is no better way to encourage children to eat than to make them part of the process.

Homemade Chicken Tenders

Much has been made recently about the ‘Tyranny of the Chicken Tender.’  There’s definitely a tendency to appeal to juvenile tastes on the part of the food industry.  Kid friendly foods like chicken tenders don’t have to be unhealthy or prefab, though.  Recently we cooked these delightful DIY homemade chicken tenders with our kids (Ginny got the idea from a really neat Disney kids cookbook, the Disney Princess Cookbook).


They enjoyed helping crack open the eggs.  Ginny started out the egg mixing process, and then my wife finished the process.

Dipping in the coating

Next we dipped the chicken breast strips into the egg wash, then shook them up in a bag filled with the coating (mostly crunched up crackers, flour, a little cornmeal, paprika, parmesan cheese, pepper and garlic powder).

Chicken on the baking sheet

One spray coated pan later and all of the chicken tenders were ready to bake (much healthier than frying them, and they still end up crispy).

Flipping the chicken tenders

Ten minutes later they were ready to flip and go back in the oven.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

Ginny wanted a dipping sauce for the chicken tenders, so we made this easy Sweet and Sour Sauce recipe.

  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • a little grated ginger
  • a little bit of fresh cracked pepper

Cooking Sweet and Sour Sauce

Just add everything to a pot and mix.

Ginny's Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce

Heat up the sauce until it just starts to bubble, mixing the whole time.  Ginny loved helping with that part.  Then take it off the heat and let it cool down before serving.

Helping Mommy Cook

Ginny loved helping her mommy cook.

Jack's Salad Dressing

Jack wanted to help too, so he made his famous salad dressing.

What’s your experience?  Does instituting a Family Dinner Night where the kids help to cook help encourage them to eat?  What do they like to help cook?

(And yes, the prodigal has returned to blogging.  I apologize for my extended absence.  I’ll be blogging more again soon.)

Pav Bhaji Recipe – A Vegetarian Mumbai Street Food

pav bhaji streetfood

There’s a strong tradition in countries with high population metropolitan areas (such as India) of street food.  This is economical food, using ingredients for their ease of availability and affordability.  While America doesn’t really have a huge tradition of ‘street food’ per se (unless you count the food truck craze of the last decade or so), there’s a lot to be learned from street food in other cultures, easily incorporated into a modern American kitchen.  Pav bhaji is a street food using the most ubiquitous of ingredients, white bread, specifically a type of roll.  This pav bhaji recipe is essentially an economical, tasty and spicy quick and easy vegetarian curry (I have other curry recipes too).

assembled ingredients

Pav bhaji (depending on how you feel about butter; you could omit it if you want) is fairly nutritious.  The basis of the sauce is freshly cooked vegetables, blended and simmered with Indian spices (there’s abundant evidence that spices have a number of health benefits, particularly for their anti-cancer properties).

cooking carrots onions

Saute the chopped onion, carrots and cauliflower in a little oil in a nonstick pan, until they begin to soften.

adding peas

At this point add chopped tomato and peas.  Continue to cook.

pav bhaji masala

Add the pav bhaji masala.  For mine I used equal proportions of cayenne pepper and garam masala (here’s my garam masala recipe).  You want the pav bhaji to be assertively spicy.

immersion blender

Next, add the vegetable mixture to a high sided glass or container and blend with an immersion blender (pretty much one of the most useful tools you could have in any kitchen).  Be careful not to splatter any hot sauce on yourself.  Blend until smooth.

adding the bread

Add the vegetable mixture back to your pan, add a little butter and the chopped bread (if you toast the bread just a bit before you add it then it won’t get so soggy).  Mix quickly and serve warm.  Easy!

If you like this pav bhaji recipe be sure and check out some of my other curry recipes.  I’m a self-admitted curry freak.

The ingredients:

  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • a few knobs of cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 2 small tomatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups chopped white bread rolls

Southern Comfort – a Southern Poutine Recipe

homefried potatoes with gravy

My Grandma kept a jar of bacon grease on the counter.  It’s a very Southern thing to do.  There’s something about the distillation of flavor aligning with the practical economics of the act.  You make do with what you have.  That’s also a very Southern thing to do.  So I do the same thing, more out of habit than anything else.   This Southern Poutine recipe is a recipe that I’ve developed that uses said bacon grease in two ways (not that I cook with it all the time).  Of course, you CAN use other fats.  You could use olive oil, maybe coconut oil.  But it WILL taste different.

The technique:

Peel and dice two potatoes into small irregular chunks, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in length.  You want them small so they’ll cook quicker, and brown faster.  The brown crust is the goal (that’s the taking the express train to flavor town).

Fry the diced potatoes in a mixture of bacon grease and olive oil in a nonstick pan until browned on all sides.   Be sure and season with salt and fresh cracked pepper (just don’t use that horrid pre-ground stuff; seriously).  Set the potatoes aside.

Frying Potatoes

Next, make the gravy.  Add 4 tablespoons bacon grease and 2 tablespoons butter and bring to a medium heat.  When the butter is completely melted add 2 tablespoons flour and mix to make a roux.  Stir for about a minute.  You don’t want it to get too dark, you just want to cook out the raw flour taste.

Next, add 1/2 cup of milk slowly, stirring as you add it.  You may not need to add all of the milk.  Reduce the heat and keep stirring.  The goal is a thick biscuit gravy.  Add a little salt and pepper.

Once the gravy is done, pour over the potatoes, and add shredded cheddar cheese.

The ingredients:

  • 2 potatoes
  • 6 tablespoons bacon grease
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup milk (approximate)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

It’s not authentic poutine, but this Southern Poutine Recipe is delicious.  Definitely comfort food for a lazy Sunday morning.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi


I confess, dear readers, that I’ve been in something of a funk lately.  It happens to lots of people this time of year.  The slow descent of the year into torpor, the trees losing their glorious leaves, the ever shortening days.  The air grows crisp, the nights begin to dominate over the day after the Solstice.  When this happens I feed the soul, taking solace in the sure comfort that I can make something delicious out of humble ingredients (and you can too).  With this in mind, I made this almost decadent Sweet Potato Gnocchi.

As much as pumpkin screams ‘Autumnal’ to many people, I find that the humble sweet potato is just as representative of the season.  The sweetness of things hidden, the small miracle that something so delicious can come out of dirtIt’s nothing short of amazing, when you stop to think about it.

The technique:

First, bake a sweet potato wrapped in aluminum foil.  350 degrees for about 25 minutes.

sweet potato oven baked

Unwrap the sweet potato, slice it in half and let it cool down for a while.  Then scoop out the insides and place into a bowl.  Mash the sweet potato until it has a soft texture.

mashed sweet potato

Add flour, salt, a dash of pepper, olive oil and an egg.

Adding egg, olive oil and flour

Mix well, then knead for about five minutes until it forms a soft dough.

gnocchi dough

Roll the dough out into long ropes, a little larger than a finger.  Using a knife, cut off knobs of dough about half an inch wide.

cutting the gnocchi

Cook the sweet potato gnocchi in boiling water for about 5 minutes, just long enough for them to lose the taste of the raw flour.  While doing this, add butter and olive oil to a pan.

adding the sage

Add fresh sage leaves (or rosemary, or any other fresh herb, if sage is too ‘sagey’ for your tastes) and cook in the oil.  Add two tablespoons of flour and cook over a medium heat for several minutes.

cooking the sage

If you’re feeling REALLY decadent (or need to comfort your soul that much) add a splash of heavy whipping cream.  Pour over the cooked sweet potato gnocchi, and serve quickly.  This dish is best served warm and fresh.

The ingredients:

  • 1 baked sweet potato, mashed
  • 4 tablespoons flour (for the gnocchi)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter (for the sauce)
  • several fresh sage leaves (or other fresh herb)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (for the sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • splash of heavy whipping cream (optional)

What do you make when you’re feeling down, in a funk, and just need to reconnect with your soul?

exploring global food and food culture