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A Favorite Recipe, Never Before Seen
Plus, a standby that we go to again, and again, and again
The revised How to Cook Everything Vegetarian came out in 2017. I did some of the recipe testing for it, which was really fun. I ate a lot of good things, some of them things that I never thought I’d enjoy but I did — a lot — like the Mostly Vegetable Vegan Quiche. But the shining star of the bunch was Sweet Potatoes Escabeche.
The crazy thing? Somehow this fabulously memorable recipe did not make it into the book. So when we partnered with Made In on a couple of Instagram reels — right before Thanksgiving, perfect timing — I immediately went to the sweet potatoes as one of the recipes.
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Escabeche is a preparation that I love, as it typically utilizes a lot of vinegar and hot peppers; but it’s also interesting because the marinating happens after the cooking, and the dish — fish, meat, or vegetables — is served cold, soaking up its delicious sauce.
The lost How to Cook Everything Vegetarian sweet potato escabeche is a grilled (or griddled, or broiled) take. Charred sweet potatoes soak up a bright, tasty sauce — garlic, ginger, chile, soy — as they cool. When I tested it, I felt, for at least a moment, that I’d never tasted anything as good. (Don’t be afraid to get the potatoes very crispy on the outside — it will help retain some texture in the final dish.)
Before I get into the second recipe, let’s talk about Made In’s Black Friday sale, going on now, with up to 30% off on items across the site. We talk about Made In a lot, because we love cooking with their products. Here are some picks that would be perfect for the world’s best sweet potatoes:
Carbon Steel Griddle + Press: $29 off for the set. It’s heavy duty, with a beautiful even surface that really maximizes direct heat contact with the food so it gets the potatoes crisp and browned. I’ve used it for so much — chicken thighs, pancakes … the world is your oyster (or sweet potato).
You can see both in this video Mark and Holly made together:
The second recipe we featured in the reels incorporates one of the best recipes in the Bittman repertoire: Portobello Bacon. You cook shiitakes with pimentón until they’re incredibly crispy and crunchy and almost meaty-tasting, loaded with flavor — simple as anything and you won’t believe how good they are. They go on top of a simple brown rice and brussels sprouts pilaf — yes, also perfect for Thanksgiving — and really, should go on top of just about anything. For this one, we’d recommend The Best Nonstick Pan Ever Made (in our humble opinions). Mark and I are partial to the blue color. The 12-inch is now 20 bucks off — the time is now. See it in action here:
Sweet Potatoes Escabeche
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 40 minutes
Other vegetables you can use: potatoes, bok choy, asparagus.
1 clove garlic
1 one-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
1 fresh red chile (like Thai bird), seeds removed
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
5 tablespoons good quality vegetable oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
About 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices.
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
1. Prepare charcoal or gas grill to moderate heat or turn on the broiler and put the rack 6 to 8 inches from the heat source.
2. Put the garlic, ginger, chile, lemon zest and juice, 2 tablespoons of oil, and soy sauce in a blender and puree until smooth (if you don’t have a blender, you can use a microplane for finest holes on a box grater to grate the garlic, ginger, and chile; whisk in the lemon zest, juice, olive oil, and soy sauce. Put the potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle on the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil and sprinkle on salt and pepper; Toss to coat. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
3. Grill or broil the potatoes, turning as necessary to prevent burning, until they’re browned and crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, 15 to 25 minutes. Put the potatoes on a serving platter and drizzle the sauce over all. Let sit for at least 10 minutes, garnish with the cilantro if using, and serve warm or at room temperature.
— Recipe courtesy Mark Bittman and Kerri Conan
Brown Rice and Brussels Sprout Pilaf With Shiitake Bacon
Makes: 4 servings
Time: about an hour
6 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
12 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 1/2 cups long-grain brown rice (preferably basmati)
1/2 cup apple cider, white wine, or water
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1. Heat the oven to 400°F and position 2 racks toward the center with a few inches in between them. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with foil and smear each with 1 tablespoon oil. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and save them for another use (like stock). Slice the caps crosswise as thin as you can manage.
2. Spread the mushroom slices on the prepared pans in a single layer (it’s okay if they overlap a bit) and sprinkle with the paprika, salt, and pepper. Transfer the pans to the oven and bake, switching racks and rotating the pans halfway through, until the mushrooms release their water and the pan is almost dry again, 20 to 30 minutes. Lower the heat to 325°F and continue to cook the slices, rotating again to ensure even browning, until they dry and shrivel a bit, and release easily from the pan, another 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
3. Meanwhile, use the slicing blade on a food processor or a knife to thinly slice the Brussels sprouts.
4. Put 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the onion softens, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the rice, lower the heat to medium, and stir until the rice is glossy, completely coated with oil, and starting to toast, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, then add the apple cider. Cook, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the cider has mostly evaporated, just a minute or 2. Turn the heat down to low and add the stock and Brussels sprouts. Bring to boil, lower the heat to a steady, gentle bubble, stir once or twice, then cover.
5. From this point, the rice will take about 40 minutes to become tender; check after 30 minutes to make sure there’s enough liquid and, if not, add about 1/4 cup more. When the rice is tender, turn the heat to the absolute minimum (if you have an electric stove, turn the heat off and let the pan sit on the burner), and let rest, covered, for another 15 to 30 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and the dill and fluff with a fork. Taste and adjust the seasoning, fluff again, garnish with the mushroom bits, and serve.
— Recipe from Dinner for Everyone
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