Sunday: "Warm" Sweet Potatoes

When I cook, I don't usually cook by recipe. I might look up a couple of recipes to use as "key" recipes. They help me decide things like flavor combinations, proportions of major ingredients and temperatures/times.

So this is one of mine that evolved over time. A few years ago, I was thinking about sweet potatoes and how I never really liked them at Thanksgiving with the marshmallows and everything, but also how good they are for you. I was trying to find other ways to use them (they're great mixed in with vanilla ice cream) and realized that I also dislike ginger when it's used in sweet foods. . . but I like it a lot in savory foods. I decided to try to cook sweet potatoes in a non-sweet way.

Since satsuma imo are not quite the same as U.S. sweet potatoes, I use kabocha for this recipe. It works just as well.

The Recipe



  1. Scoop out seeds and string from the center.

  2. Wrap in plastic or cover tightly and place in a dish. Micro on high for about 6-8 minutes, or until soft.

  3. Scoop the kabocha out of its now-softened shell.

  4. Add all of the spices, according to taste. Start with a little bit and add more until it suits you.

  5. Stir and eat.

The Notes

The Resource


I first started using Epicurious a loooooong time ago. Way before AllRecipes. What attracted me was their advanced search function. It doesn't seem so advanced anymore, now that other sites have caught on. But it works a little differently than AllRecipes' search by ingredient function.

Besides the format of the search, you should keep in mind that you're searching different databases! Nearly all of the Epicurious recipes come from Condé Nast publications like Bon Appétit. None of the recipes are submitted by home cooks. So they've all been professionally-tested.

The disadvantage is that this means that Epicurious tends to favor fancy recipes. They usually involve exotic ingredients or some sort of trendy gimmick. There is some overlap: you'll find simple recipes on Epicurious, just like you'll find a few ambitious recipes on Allrecipes.

My advice is to use Epicurious when you feel like a cooking adventure, or you want something show-stopping to impress people with. Use Allrecipes when you are just doing simple everyday cooking for potlucks, close friends, or home.

Like Allrecipes, Epicurious includes ratings and review feedback from anyone who feels compelled to speak his or her mind about a recipe. Epicurious also asks reviewers "Would you make this again?" Which is really useful to judge whether reviewers thought the recipe wasn't top-notch but perhaps it merits a second chance. (This is a nice correction for those cooks who make a lot of recipe changes and then judge the recipe "not very good")

Finally, Epicurious has resources, too! I think they assume more familiarity in the kitchen, so there seem to be fewer basic tutorials. However, they offer some step-by-step video tutorials (including one for gravy, it looks. Julie, take note!). They also give you access to a comprehensive food dictionary, as well as a wine dictionary. I find both handy.