Monday, 30 January 2017

Sweet Potato Toast

Kornelia Santoro


Dear all,

Let’s start 2017 with a healthy recipe for a trending item: toast made from sweet potatoes. Replacing bread with sweet potatoes fits into a gluten free diet and is great for diabetics and everybody who wants to lose a few pounds after the holidays.

The giant, two kilogram sweet potato

I was asked to write about sweet potatoes. During my research I discovered this trending recipe and bookmarked it in my memory for my newsletter. The other day I discovered giant sweet potatoes in the supermarket. One of them was two kilograms heavy. I carried them home and set out to work.
giant sweet potatoes

Immediate oxidation

There are many kinds of sweet potatoes. In Goa we find mostly the reddish ones with light yellow flesh. They oxidize immediately when they hit the air and turn a rather unappealing darkish-greenish tone.

Warning: Sweet potato is difficult to work with although it delivers a healthy base for a kind of Ersatz-sandwich.

I knew this, so I had a big bowl with water ready to avoid oxidation of peeled slices. When I started to cut the skin of, I met with heavy resistance. It required all my gym-trained muscle to get rid of the dirty skin. Now I know why many cooks use sweet potatoes with the skin.

Slicing the massive root

The second difficulty was slicing the colossal sweet potatoe. I tried with my biggest kitchen knife from Solingen and failed miserably. So I took my sharpest, Swiss made kitchen knife and sliced all around the sweet potato to have a guiding line. That delivered chunky slices.

Mandoline? Chips-like thingy as toast?

Some cooks recommend using a mandoline. But this leads to tiny slices – I do not consider a chips-like thingy to be an adequate replacement for toast. Other chefs praise how easy it is to prepare sweet potatoe toast in a toaster. I consider this an urban myth.

Workout for my arm muscles

It took me half an hour to slice my giant. Once again I was astonished how quickly the sweet potato changes colour. I decided to blanch them to preserve their colour before baking them in the oven. This worked well. The slices left the salt water with a golden yellow colour. However, during baking they turned into their usual darkish-greenish tone. I might as well have saved the effort of blanching them – it reduced the baking time though. Next time I will try to deep-fry them in ghee, clarified butter.

The taste was a revelation though. “Highly addictive” was the comment of my 17 year old son who does not praise culinary achievements lightly.

Wishing you all the best for 2017 and happy cooking, always!

Kornelia Santoro with family

PS: My new book Cooking for Happiness received the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in the category innovation.
2. PS: I publishes my first video on my YouTube channel Kornelia's Kitchen. I am a bit ashamed because there is much to be improved upon, for example we did not shut off autofocus, we did not calibrate the microphone and we did not vary the shoots - but we will learn, I promise.

Sweet Potato Toast

sweet potato toast three ways
  • Sweet potatos
  • Coconut oil
  • Salt
  • Toppings of your choice

Keep a bowl of water handy. Peel and slice the sweet potatoes.
Slicing sweet potatoes
Keep the slices in water to avoid oxidation.
sweet potato slices in water
Bring plenty of water to boil in a big pot. Add salt and blanche the sweet potato slices for three to five minutes.
blanching sweet potatoes
Take the slices out of the boiling water with a slotted spoon and place them onto a cookie tray. I covered mine with a silicon sheet to avoid sticking. You can also spread some coconut oil over the sheet.
coconut oil for brushing sweet potatoes
I used homemade coconut oil and a kitchen brush to cover the sweet potato slices.
brushing sweet potato slices with oil
I brushed the slices on both sides with coconut oil to ensure crispiness. Then I baked them for half an hour at around 210 degrees Celsius. After half of the baking time I turned them. You want to see brown-golden marks on the surface.
Remember: The baking time depends on your oven.
baked potato slices
For the picture I chose three different toppings: Cream cheese with slices kiwi, tandoori hummus with stripes of red bell pepper and homemade chocolate-peanutbutter cream with slices of banana, sprinkled with cinnamon.

Our favourite: chocolate-peanutbutter cream with banana. For the cream melt dark chocolate with peanutbutter and some milk. Don’t ask me for amounts please. Just wing it. I also liked the cream cheese with kiwi. The slightly sour, fresh taste of kiwi provides a nice contrast to the sweetness of the potato.