Thursday, June 4, 2015

Bacon and Sage Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup

I began this blog because I want to help my friends find REAL FOOD to eat. I'm a stay at home mom with a 4 year old boy so my days are busy with a bundle of energy. Each afternoon we go to Taekwondo lessons and during the day I'm trying to sort our an attempt to homeschool. My husband works in emergency medicine so when he goes to work it's either for 12 or 24 hours. Sometimes he'll work at one of the bases outside of town and he'll be gone for a few days at a time. What I'm trying to convey is that I have a notebook of recipes but I don't always have the time to take perfect photos to go with each one. As the little one gets older I'm hoping to have more time but for now I'll share what I can. Some posts may contain photos taken from my cell phone camera and others may not have any photos. In the future my goal is to go back and remedy this situation but for now I'm going to share recipes as I create them.

These potatoes were FANTASTIC and I'll be putting them on my holiday menu for years to come. Since I gave up added sugar almost a year ago my taste buds have changed and most things that are sweetened for the regular population are entirely too sweet for me. I honestly can't believe that we add sugar and marshmallows to sweet potatoes. They are so incredibly sweet already. So, here is a savory version to balance out the sweetness.

4 sweet potatoes peeled and diced
7 slices of thick sliced bacon
2T of Nutiva shortening, ghee, bacon fat, or butter
12 fresh sage leaves
1/2t salt
3T maple syrup

I've found that the quickest way to cook sweet potatoes is to steam them because they seem to take all day in the oven. I also recently read somewhere that baked sweet potatoes have a higher glycemic index than boiled sweet potatoes. I'm not sure how steamed sweet potatoes rate on the scale but I'm guessing that it has to be less than a baked sweet potato.

Cut the potatoes into bite sized chunks and steam them just until they are fork tender but not mushy. I'm sure it would taste great either way but in terms of appearance and texture I think cooked chunks will work better. For reference, I steamed my sweet potatoes for 20 minutes.

While the potatoes are steaming cook the bacon in the oven. I put a cooling rack on a cookie sheet to catch the oil. That way there are not any splatters or a big mess to clean up. Time and temperature will depend on the thickness of your bacon and how crispy you like it. For thick sliced bacon I use 375F and let it bake 20 minutes or so. After it's cool I cut it into bite sized pieces about 1/2" thick.

When the bacon and sweet potatoes are almost done melt your fat of choice in a skillet and add the fresh sage leaves to fry. Using 12 sage leaves there were hints of sage in the dish but it wasn't overpowering. If you'd like more of a pronounced sage flavor simply use more leaves. Frying sage leaves can be tricky because it's a super quick process. If the leaves turn brown they are burnt whereas they will be dark green when they are crispy. I usually cook both sides for a total time of about 60 seconds, 30 seconds each side. A pair of tongs is very handy for this quick task.

In a bowl add the sweet potatoes, bacon, crumbled sage leaves, and salt. Pour the fat the sage leaves were cooked in over the potatoes along with maple syrup. Toss to combine and enjoy.