Inspiration: Often times, one of my biggest inspirations in the kitchen is random ingredients that I have on hand that need to be used. During Mardi Gras time a few weeks back, I made a pot of smoked sausage and red beans, stashing the extra smoked sausage up into the freezer. And then recently, Brandon was away on business for a week, so I stocked up on sweet potatoes, intending to bake them up for myself for a few easy suppers, but I never ended up using them. Add those couple of ingredients to a few chipotle peppers that have been tucked away in the freezer for too long, some dying cilantro in my crisper, and this awesome-looking recipe from Closet Cooking that I’ve had saved for who knows how long, and we had ourselves a meal.
What We Loved: This dish was a great mixture of spicy, sweet, and savory flavors. The chipotle pepper and adobo sauce added just the amount of heat for a nice kick without being overpowering; the sweet potatoes added a slightly sugary flavor; and the smoked sausage was rich and flavorful while adding a nice hit of protein. On top of such a wonderful combination of flavors, my favorite part of the dish was the way that the tomato/adobo mixture and the onions melted into a sticky, caramelized sauce that just coated everything. And to top things off, the cilantro really rounded things off with a bright and fresh flavor that was a great complement to the rest of the dish.
Tips: Make sure to cook over medium heat (not too high), and to stir often. Since the sauce is really more of a coating, if you leave everything to sit for too long or cook over heat that is too high, you may end up with everything sticking to the bottom of the pan and/or burning.
Chipotle Sweet Potatoes with Smoked Sausage and Cilantro
Source: Adapted from Closet Cooking
1 small onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
8-10 oz smoked sausage, sliced
1 chipotle peper in adobo sauce, chopped, and about 2 teaspoons of sauce
2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
About 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1. Heat a good pat of butter in a saute pan over medium heat.
2. Add the onion, and saute for a few minutes until tender. Add the garlic and cumin, and stir to incorporate. Cook for about a minute more.
3. Add the sweet potatoes, sausage, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, and tomato paste, stirring to coat. Add about 1/4 cup water, just enough to mix everything into a nice coating for the potatoes and sausage. Season to taste with Kosher salt.
4. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
5. Mix in the cilantro and serve.