Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Leeks and Gorgonzola

Mmmm, I love sweet potatoes.  We usually bake them whole in the oven for an hour and then top with either sweet or savory toppings, but recently I came across a different way of cooking them that I wanted to try.  It’s from Smitten Kitchen, one of my favorite cooking blogs.

Deb (can I call her Deb?) sliced the potatoes into 1-inch thick medallions and roasted them with just a little oil, salt and pepper, flipping them partway through.  Then she served them with “a little Thanksgiving on top”: a salad of chopped celery, shallots, dried cranberries, goat cheese, and pecans…yum!  
I made my potatoes exactly as she described, but I topped mine with sautéed leeks and freshly crumbled Gorgonzola, and then put them under the broiler for a minute or two just to melt the cheese.  I got that ingredient combination idea from The Best Ever Three and Four Ingredient Cookbook.  

The result was a perfectly cooked potato, crispy on the outside, smooth and almost creamy on the inside.  The biggest bonus?  They were done in half the time it normally takes to bake a potato in the oven!  

Loaded with toppings - ready for the broiler.
They were so good!  I had extra potatoes and leeks so we made them again tonight!

Sweet Potatoes with Leeks and Blue Cheese
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen  
Serves 2 if the whole meal, 4 if a side

1 ½ pounds sweet potato (about 2 large)
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large or two small leeks
½ cup (or more, to taste) crumbled Gorgonzola or blue cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 F.  Wash and scrub the potatoes.  Slice crosswise into ¾ to 1-inch-thick slices, don’t bother to peel.  Drizzle a couple tablespoons of the oil onto a baking sheet and spread it around so it coats the pan.  Lay the potato slices on the sheet in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the leeks.  Slice off and discard the dark green tops and the very bottom end of the white part.  Take the part that remains and slice it lengthwise into quarters, then slice those quarters into small pieces.  Get a large bowl of cold water and fill it with the chopped leek.  Agitate it with your fingers to loosen any dirt, which will sink to the bottom.  Strain the leeks out of the bowl and dry them.  A salad spinner works great for this, or just lay them between two towels.  You want them to be as dry as possible so they don't spatter when you cook them.  

Add a tablespoon or so of oil to a skillet and turn the heat to medium.  When hot, add the leeks and saute until soft and a few start to brown.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.  

When the potatoes have finished roasting on one side (they will be nice and brown/blistery on the bottom, some might be very brown), flip them over and season the other side.  Return the pan to the oven and let them cook for another 10 minutes or so, until the other side has browned as well.  

Remove the pan from the oven and turn on the broiler.  Top each potato slice with some of the leeks and cheese.  Broil for a couple of minutes, just until the cheese bubbles.  

Serve immediately.  

1 comment:

  1. Robyn
    what a great way to serve sweet potatoes! I have never seen them done like that...and now I want them! The sky is the limit with toppings!! Thanks so much for the inspiration!


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