Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Maple Sweet Potatoes with Bacon and Cranberries (My Second Recipe ReDux)

Sometimes I forget how great a good challenge is.

It makes you think, it makes you try, and it makes you cook extremely delicious things.

This months Recipe ReDux theme was "Vintage Side Dishes" - either favorite family sides, or a "healthified" version of an old recipe. Honestly, I found it to be a pretty tricky theme to come up with a recipe for.

This probably had to do with that fact that I don't really have any old favorites when it comes to side dishes.  Instead, I prefer to try something new whenever possible.  But, of course, trying something new wasn't exactly the point, unless it was the new version of an older recipe.

With no ideas and the 21st of the month (reveal day) approaching fast, I turned to others, in hopes that they would have a recipe to share that I could temporarily "borrow".  It was my Mom who came to my rescue in the end, recalling that growing up, Potatoes Roasted in Pork Fat were served often.

It wasn't the perfect starting point, but it was something, and I got to "healthifing" it right away.

That was when the second challenge started.  It turned out that making the above dish healthy (or at least healthier) was not easy in the slightest.  In fact, it was very hard.

My goal was the replace each ingredient in the original recipe with a better-for-you ingredient... and have the end result still taste good.  The first switch was subbing sweet potatoes for white potatoes.  That was an easy choice, as I adore sweet potatoes.  Then came the hard part.  What on earth was I supposed to replace pork fat with?

I thought long and hard about what to use.  Long and hard, I tell you. And in the end I came up with... olive oil.  It's sounds boring, yes, but I also added maple syrup.  And bacon.  Bacon istantly makes this dish awesome, right?  Just in case it doesn't, I added dried cranberries too.

All together, it made for one fantastic "Vintage Side Dish" that I am so happy to share today.  I don't know about you all, but I'd prefer it over potatoes and pork fat any day!

Maple Sweet Potatoes with Bacon and Cranberries
  • 3 pieces bacon
  • 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes/pieces
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375F.  Cook bacon on stovetop over medium heat until some fat has been released, but becon is not yet crispy, about 4 minutes.  Chop bacon into small pieces.  Add chopped bacon, sweet potatoes, and dried cranberries to a deep baking dish.  Drizzle maple syrup and olive oil over top, and toss to coat everything.  Roast 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender, taking out halfway through to mix.  Serve warm, or cover and refridgerate until serving time.  If doing the latter, reheat before serving.  Store leftovers in fridge.

Now that you know how to make this delicious side dish, I've but one more thing to say.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope your holiday celebrations tommorow are filled with family gatherings, fun times with friends, and of course, tons of delicious food!

Revisited Recipe of the Day:

Isreali Couscous with Brussel Sprouts and Cranberries

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  1. Looks like an awesome recipe. Just perfect for the season. I also love your recipe for Isreali Couscous with Brussel Sprouts and Cranberries. That is so "me!"

    1. Oh, a fellow brussel sprout lover, I see! I like you :)

      I hope you choose to give either recipe a try some day. They're both quite wonderful.

  2. OK, I saw your title and I was in! Maple - yes. Sweet Potatoes - yes. Bacon- YES. Dried Cranberries - yes. Will definitely be making this as I'm getting sweet potatoes a lot in my CSA share these days. Happy Thanksgiving - so glad you are part of our ReDux group!

    1. Yay! So glad to hear that. And I'm glad you agree that this recipe has tons of yummy stuff in it. I was just throwing in all my favorite fall foods when I made it.

  3. So, so glad you accepted this challenge...I love the resulting simple, delicious recipe! Its come a LONG way from 'Potatoes with fat'!

    1. It is a nice dish, isn't it? Very tasty and easy. And, wow, it has come a long way since 'Potatoes and fat'. That sounds so... gross.

  4. So, so glad you accepted this challenge...I love the resulting simple, delicious recipe! Its come a LONG way from 'Potatoes with fat'!

  5. Hi there. The current Food on Friday is all about potatoes! So it would be great if you linked this in. This is the link . Have a good week.

    1. Thanks for letting me know! I just linked this recipe up.

  6. thanks for linking this in to Food on Friday. We now have 90 great potato/sweet potato links. Wow! Have a great week.

    I have just signed up to follow your blog via Google Reader. A follow back to Carole's Chatter would be wonderful – or have you already followed? Cheers