Category Archives: Recipes

Sweet Potato Ravioli and stocking up

Standard

Today I spent my Labor Day laboring away in my kitchen. I didn’t really mind. I like good, homemade food and I like cooking so I decided to stock up my freezer.

First off, I decided to make sweet potato ravioli. I had cooked up two sweet potatoes (just stuck them in the crock pot) for sweet potato enchiladas (yum) and only used one so I decided to use the second one for ravioli filling. I mashed up the sweet potatoes (I probably had about a cup and a half ), added about 2/3 cup ricotta, a 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and about 1/3 cup chopped walnuts.

I used the pasta recipe that came with my ravioli mold (well worth the $15 I spent on it) and made 48 ravioli which are now sitting in my freezer.

Couple of hints for on making ravioli – first off, get the mold if you intend to make it more than once. I mean, look how pretty those little puffs of pasta are. Plus, you don’t waste so much dough. My first try at ravioli was hilarious – they were all wonky and the dough to filling ratio was way off.

 Second, make sure that you use water or egg to seal your edges. I’ve had ravioli filling spill out when cooking and water downed ravioli is not the best.

Inevitably I have pasta dough left over. I hate waste so I roll it out and take my pizza cutter and slice it up into misshapen noodles. Then I set them out on a baking rack and let them dry overnight. Homemade pasta is always good.

I actually enjoy these days when I stock up my pantry/freezer. I rarely buy prepared foods. I usually cook from scratch breakfast, lunch (mostly leftovers) and dinner. It’s taken me about a year to really get into my cooking grove, but it has paid off tremendously. And except for labor intensive stuff like ravioli, most of my meals do not take a lot of time. I’m a working mom and with a little thought, some handy made-ahead meals and a selection of well-loved recipes, it takes me just as much time to make dinner as it would to run to the fast food joint and buy it. While I have spent a lot of money on groceries, careful planning and cooking from ingredients I have on hand has kept my food bill down.

After I made ravioli, I went outside and got some basil from my basil bush and made a batch of pesto. One of the secrets to good pesto is to toast your pine nuts. Then I used my small ice cream scoop (it’s about an inch wide – it works great for filling the ravioli also) and scooped the pesto onto a baking sheet lined with freezer paper and popped it into the freezer also. Once my little pesto balls were frozen, I put them into a plastic freezer zip lock bag.  The trick to getting all the air out is to put a straw into the bag and close it up to the straw then suck as much air out as you can. Quickly pull out the straw and finish closing the bag.

My final project was to make some peach muffins for my son’s breakfast.

All together a pretty productive day!

Advertisements

Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Standard

I love sweet potatoes and have made sweet potato bread, sweet potato muffins, sweet potato waffles and they are were all good but I wanted something different.

I came upon two recipes, one for sweet potato enchiladas and one for sweet potato burritos and decided to create my own version of the two.

First of all, I already had homemade enchilada sauce and corn tortillas in my freezer. One recipe called for black beans and the other for cream chesse.

Here’s what I did. I baked the sweet potatoes and mashed them. Then I grated some Mexican cheese (Queso Fresca?) and added some cumin, salt, pepper, and chili powder to a drained can of black beans and semi-mashed them together. I took my corn tortilla and put a spoonful of sweet potato on it, then added the black bean mixture, some of the cheese and topped it off with some of the sauce. Then I rolled them up, put them in a dish, poured more sauce over them and added more cheese and baked in a 350 degree oven for about a half hour.

They were yummy but here’s what I will do different next time. I will only put the enchilada sauce on top of them, not in them. The sauce was too overpowering and hid the delicate sweet flavor of the sweet potatoes. Also, I will add the cheese to the top AFTER they are baked.

But overall, a very satisfying dish.