Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Thai Red Curry Sweet Potatoes
Thai Red Curry Sweet Potatoes.

I’m always looking for ways to deblandify popular dishes. Make ’em more interesting.

Take sweet potatoes, f’r instance. I’m a big fan of the uncomplicated Baked Potato approach: scrub the exterior, pierce with a few tiny holes, stick in a 375°F oven for about an hour or so until done. Split, shove some sweet cream butter in there, and you’re good to go.

Around this time of year, all kinds of sweet potato dishes start showing up. The Thanksgiving classic almost always involves marshmallows, along with various kinds of sweetening agents - as though the noble Sweet Potato were not sweet enough on its own. I’m not a big fan of these cloying, hyper-sweetened affairs. The sole exception is the version our friend Gary makes. It’s sweet but not overly so, and I’ve learned to dodge the marshmallow crust.

A few weeks ago, I found a new way to deal with the Sweet Potato, and in an unlikely place. Not unlikely as in, “What’s that doing there?” Unlikely as in, “What’s Elisson doing there?”

And I will freely admit it. I got this recipe from Martha Fucking Stewart.

(“Why ‘Martha Fucking Stewart’?” you may ask...and I will tell you that that is the name our friend Laura Belle has bestowed upon the Queen of Kitchen ’n’ Crafts. Appropriate, no?)

We were at the Hair-Cutting Place, the Missus and I, and as I awaited my turn in the chair, I picked up a copy of Ms. Stewart’s eponymous magazine. What had attracted me was a stunning photograph of a cranberry-almond tart on the cover. (Hey, if I’m gonna be attracted to a tart, it might as well be a cranberry-almond one. That way, SWMBO’s less likely to break my ass.)

One thing led to another, and I found myself reading the damn magazine. Skipping the Arts ’n’ Crafts crap, I zeroed in on anything that looked edible. Which left out Ms. Stewart but included several potentially interesting vegetabobble dishes. Meanwhile, I’d check myself every so often for evidence of penis-shrinkage.

I ended up purchasing a copy of the magazine. Such is my confidence in my own manliness, that I did not even send SWMBO into the bookstore to buy it for me.

Elisson: “Gimme a copy of... let’s see... Time... National Review... the New York Review of Books... Hustler... this Penthouse ‘Split Beaver Annual’ here... and this Martha Stewart magazine.”

Bookstore Cashier: “Hey Charlie - how much is the Martha Stewart magazine?”

Anyway, the potatoes. They’re baked, mashed, and blended with Thai red curry paste, coconut milk, maple syrup, butter, and a dab of kosher salt. Then you run ’em under a broiler for a few minutes. The curry is a perfect complement to the rich, sweet potatoflesh.

Oh, you want times and proportions? Go out and risk your own dick buy your own damn Martha Fucking Stewart magazine.

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