Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

Sweet Potato Pie

Ok, I’m all about healthy cooking. The proof is in the book, Latin Superfoods. But this time of year is a little special! Let’s dig right into this Sweet Potato Pie, adapted from Gourmet Magazine. Go ahead and celebrate the old-fashioned way with family and friends. No guilt allowed. It’s only once a year! Remember, baking a pie, doesn’t mean gorging! Just a sliver slice is all you need. 

Growing up in Brazil, such a tart was not in the habits, and in fact it took some time for me to get the liking of it. But after 20 years of living here, let me tell you, I’m hooked! And Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays since it’s all about food, friends and family!

 A note about the recipe: You can roast the sweet potatoes and mash it up to 3 days ahead of time.You can also make and bake the whole pie ahead of time, and just bring it out to room temperature before serving. I like to garnish this pie with whipped cream and cocoa puffs, but even plain this pie is so good.

 

Sweet Potato Pie

(adapted from Gourmet Magazine)

Serves 8

For the Crust:

1 cup gingersnap cookies

½ cup walnuts

1 tablespoon organic cane sugar

Pinch salt

5 tablespoons melted butter

 

For the Caramel:

½ cup regular sugar

1/3 cup water

 

For the Filling:

2 cups (510g) mashed sweet potato (about 2 large sweet potatoes)

3 eggs

½ cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To garnish:

Whipped cream and chocolate cocoa crisps

Equipment: one 10-inch glass or ceramic pie plate

1-  Prepare the Crust: Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F.

2-  In the bowl of a food processor, combine the ginger snap cookies, walnuts and sugar. Process until well combined then slowly drizzle in the butter until the crumbs are uniformly moist. Transfer to a bowl.

3-  Using your hands and fingers, press the mixture into the pan, patting an even layer over the bottom and all the way up the sides of the pan. Bake the crust for10 to 12 minutes then transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

4- Prepare the Caramel: In a sauce saucepan, cook the sugar, pure and dry over high heat until it turns amber caramel. Remove from the heat and carefully pour water —it will bubble and steam and harden the sugar— and return to heat to dissolve the caramel. Remove from the heat.

5- in a large bowl, mix with a rubber spatula the mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, cream, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and vanilla and caramel, and mix well, stirring gently.

Pour the filling into the crust. Bake the pie until the filling is slightly puffed and center trembles slightly when gently shaken, 40 to 40 minutes. The top may crack, and that’s ok, and the filling will continue to set as it cools. If the crust begins to brown too much before the filling is done, crimp a ring of foil or use a pie shield to protect it. Cool the pie on a rack for 1 hour.

6- Serve the pie at room temperature garnished with shipped cream and cocoa puffs on top.

 

 

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November Diabetes Awareness Month

A Touch of Sugar

This month is an especially exciting time to talk about Type 2 diabetes as November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Our campaign America’s Diabetes Challenge—and our documentary A Touch of Sugar— are both brining with outstanding awards and also comes with an enormous feeling of pride having just celebrated the Step Out Walk to Fight Diabetes in Philadelphia, and taken a moment to reflect on another impressive year raising awareness about type 2 diabetes. There is so much to share!

When you see the film A Touch of Sugar (click above to see trailer) , you will hear about the amazing stories told through the voices of people living with the disease and their loved ones and advocates. Merck is determined to help raise the education about type 2 diabetes and to increase awareness and barriers to care, to spark action and, ultimately, to confront America’s type 2 diabetes epidemic head on, one community and one patient at a time.

Further in the film, we look at the importance of diet, cooking and exercising, from the personal voice and experience of award-winning actress Viola Davis, to a cooking session with Susie Katona in Yucca Valley, California. And of course, we feature some amazing recipes on our web site so that you can make good use of it.

I’m so inspired by the mission and work of Americas Diabetes Challenge and am equally motivated by the vote of confidence acting as the spokesperson for the campaign and the interaction with Merck as our sponsor. Thanks to Merck’s support, we are able to invest in this documentary, enhance our mission, provide a bigger platform, and continue our journey.

Since the film’s premiere in April, we have received over 800 requests from individuals and organizations to view and host screenings of the film to educate their networks and communities. A Touch of Sugar also continues to be recognized by and accepted into film festivals around the country.

I’m also delighted to report that the documentary airs nationally on A&E on November 17 at 9am ET and FYI Network on November 18 at 10pm ET and November 23 at 10:30am ET and November 25 ay 8:30am ET.

Scene from A Touch of Sugar

You can also head to ATouchofSugarFilm.com to request to watch the film or host a screening. On the website, you’ll find educational resources to help improve diabetes management and a discussion guide to learn more about how you can make a difference in your local community.

Always evolving as a professional, my new cookbook Latin Superfoods, has just released, and the response has been extremely positive! The book is completely inspired by my work with America’s Diabetes Challenge with lots of recipes for the whole family to enjoy. I’ve been touring the tristate area with cooking segments and sharing the incredible recipes that are meant to help you eat better, make good food choices, and perform at your peak in all aspects of your life. And every season there is more cooking, more photos, and more stories that inspire. They are made to be used and to be useful.

Latin Superfoods

With all these advancements, we continue to reach for more. I look forward to the work we are doing, to continue to lead the campaign, and helping people make better food choices, to increase the education for communities affected by type 2 diabetes, and to build prominence in the health and wellness fields via cooking.

I’m so grateful for being part of this important documentary, to share these delicious recipes in a new cookbook, and to partner with others who are also engaged in what we are seeking to accomplish!

I hope you enjoy seeing the interviews, watching the documentary, and cooking from Latin Superfoods!

 

 

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Leticia

 

 

 

Latin Superfoods

My New Cookbook: Latin Superfoods!

Latin Superfoods

My New Cookbook Latin Superfoods is due out October 15th by Skyhorse Publishing! I can’t believe it!

In this book, I write recipes that are super healthy yet unapologetically delicious that help you eat better, make good food choices, and perform at your peak in all aspects of your life. And in every page there is more cooking, more photos, more recipes and more stories that inspire. They are made to be used and to be useful. Want a tease? How about Braised Chicken with Fennel and Oranges (photo below), featured in Latin Superfoods is just one of the many recipes that will have you signing in the kitchen! Oh yeah! We cook through life in the kitchen with a bit of singing and dancing allowed! If you want to see videos that inspire too, check out my YouTube Channel! 

Thank you so much for your support throughout the years! Pre-order your copy today on Amazon to get this recipe and many more!

Chicken with Fennel & Oranges

Braised Chicken with Fennel & Oranges

 

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Leticia

 

 

Chicken in Mushroom Sauce

Chicken With Mushroom Sauce

Chicken in Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients collide. People get crazy. Cooking and recipes become kaleidoscopic matter in my kitchen. And then, BOOM! The unexpected wins out. A recipe that is more than fantastic, it’s a classic. To be added to any cooking school curriculum. After days spent hunkering up and down the pages of Ina Garden’s cookbook collection (I have so many of them! Love Ina!) consider this recipe for Chicken with Mushroom Sauce your caterpillar-butterfly moment, a dish brimming with fresh ingredients, fall flavors, and conversation invitations over dinner. When cooking is this epicurious, why do we need to wake up?

Chicken with Mushroom Sauce

Adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Foolproof

Serves 6

 

1 chicken (3½ lbs), cut into eights

All purpose-flour

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

8 garlic cloves

1 ½ lbs wild mushrooms (such as shitake, chanterelle, oyster, etc)

8 sprigs thyme

¼ cup sherry

2 cups white wine

2 cups chicken stock

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Pre-heat the oven to 325˚F.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Place ½ cup flour in a bowl and dredge the chicken in flour. In a large ovenproof (12-inches) pot such as Le Creuset or any other large pot, heat the oil. Add the chicken in tree batches (don’t crowd the pan) and brown them lightly over medium high heat for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken to a plate and continue until all the chicken is browned.

All the whole garlics, mushrooms, and thyme to the pot and cover over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sherry and cook for 1 minute, scraping up the brown bits. Add the minced garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the wine, chicken stock, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken (large pieces first), cover, and place in the middle of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through (about 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer).

Remove the chicken to a bowl and discard the thyme. With a fork, mash together the butter and ¼ cup flour and add it to the sauce. Simmer, stirring constantly, over medium heat, for 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Season to taste (it should be highly seasoned), put the chicken back in the sauce, and serve hot.

 

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Chocolate Sorbet

Chocolate Sorbet

Chocolate Sorbet

Chocolate Sorbet

 

If there was ever a recipe to sum up a great discovery in the 1980’s, chocolate sorbet was it. Adored for its smooth texture and thin-like silhouette, it was often the choice for restaurant menus with the greats of Le Cirque, or Lutece. Remember those days?

Who did I turn to? Pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini has a great recipe; Revealing in the light taste of summer, this sorbet is very smooth and not too sweet. Keep some in the freezer for a quick chocolate fix.

 

Chocolate Sorbet

Adapted from Johnny Iuzinni’s cookbook Dessert Fourplay.

Makes 1 quart

 

3 cups less 2 tablespoons(690g) water

¼ cup (20g) nonfat milk powder

1 ½ (45g) invert sugar (or corn syrup)

¾ cup (150g) sugar

¼ cup (25g) unsweetened cocoa powder

3 ¼ oz (110g) unsweetened chocolate

  • Set up an ice bath in a large bowl.
  • Whisk the water and powder milk together in a sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until it starts to boil. Whisk in the corn syrup and sugar and continue cooking until it’s all dissolved, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the cocoa powder and chocolate and cook, whisking until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Mix well with an immersion blender. Pour into a bowl and set over the prepared ice bath. Chill completely stirring often
  • Freeze in an ice cream maker. This can take a long time in a home-style ice cream maker. Pack into a plastic container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.

 

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Kale Chips

Kale Chips

Because the human brain is a hungry beast!

Crispy Kale Chips

Serves 4 people

 

1 bunch curly Kale (about 1 ½ pounds), well washed and well dried

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F.
  • Remove the stems from the kale and cut the leaves into large chunks. Place them in a bowl, drizzle olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss well.
  • Spread the kale on a baking sheet (or more than one baking sheet; if you put too much kale, it will steam rather than crisp, so it’s very important to spread the leaves well on the baking sheet) and bake in the oven until crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool at room temperature and serve.

 

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French Cheese Puffs

French Cheese Puffs

I’ve been making French Cheese Puffs, aka GOUGERES for years, and there is always a conflict in me because this is a delicious French version of cheese bread. As a Brazilian, how can I possibly opt for the French Cheese Puffs when my country is the king of cheese bread? So I went to therapy, debated my food conflicts, and decided that I love both, and will bake both. Just not at the same time. There is time for Brazilian cheese bread, and there is time for French Cheese Bread! Viva!

In honor of Bastille day, shall we bake some Gougeres? Feel free to bake these wonders any other time of the year—they are evergreen.

Most recipes for cheese puffs call for milk instead of water. Some call for a mixture of milk and water. Over the years, I realized that milk actually makes the cheese puffs less crunchy on the outside; so I’m leaving milk out of the recipe, and the recipe is still so moist inside. Take a bite of this open cheese puff through the screen! Hope you’ll bring it to life in your own kitchen!

French Cheese Puffs

 

French Cheese Puffs (Gougeres)

Makes 40 Gougeres

 

1 cup (235ml) water

1 stick + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (125g)

1 teaspoon (5g) Kosher salt

1 teaspoon (5g) sugar

Freshly ground pepper

Freshly ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon paprika

1 cup + 1 tablespoon (175g) all-purpose flour

3 to 4 eggs

2 cups (250g) finely grated Gruyere cheese

  • Center a rack in the middle of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 375˚F.
  • In a medium saucepan, pour the water, butter, salt and sugar and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Add the flour in one stroke, and cook with a wooden spoon, now over low heat, until it all comes together as a ball.
  • Add the fresh pepper, nutmeg and paprika and continue mixing, until the dough leaves a light crust on the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes. You are looking for a smooth dough, nice and tender.
  • Transfer the dough to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and turn the mixer on low speed. Beat slowly for a minute to let the steam out. By the way, you CAN do this part manually, using a bowl and a wooden spoon, but the machine makes it easier and faster.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time. Now, here is the tricky part: depending on the humidity and temperature, you might need only 3 ½ eggs, or 4, or 4 ½ eggs. Be sure to add one egg at a time and beat well after each egg. How do you know if the dough needs another egg? You need at least 3 eggs (still adding one at a time). If you run your finger through the center of the dough, the dough should close slowly.If it doesn’t, then add another ½ egg (beat an egg with a fork in a small bowl), beat the dough, and check with your finger again.
  • Add the grated cheese and continue to beat slowly until it’s well mixed.
  • Prepare a sheet pan lined with silpat.
  • Using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, form little balls of the dough, spacing them about an inch apart.
  • Bake in the oven until it’s firm, puffed and gorgeously golden, about 18 minutes, rotating once between baking time.
  • Serve warm or transfer the pan to cool. If you want to prepare them ahead of time, they re-heat very well; let them cool completely, place them in a zip lock bag and keep them in the fridge. Reheat in the oven for 5 minute, and serve.

 

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Squid Ink Pasta with Shrimp

Squid Ink Pasta with Shrimp

The Taste of Darkness

Why can’t we resist black colored food?  Squid Ink Pasta with Shrimp is such a case. Tinted with the ink of cuttlefish, this dark food became a favorite of my family. it goes really well with shrimp and tomato sauce. You can find the ink available in some Italian, Spanish and Japanese stores. Some fish mongers will also sell it. Or you can buy black pasta just like I did. I found it at Arthur’s Ave in New York, one of my favorite places to shop. There is absolutely nothing different than cooking this pasta from the other regular pasta that you already know.

Squid Ink Pasta

The Shrimp Stock:

In my opinion, it’s easy to discount’s the shrimp stock’s importance in this dish, especially when you have pasta water. But it’s an essential element, and it affects the flavor and texture of this Squid Ink Pasta with Shrimp. Simply cook the shrimp shells in a hot pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil, add cold water and bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 20 minutes.

Shrimp Stock

My kids stay with me over the range, half cooking, half talking every time we make this dish. Then we sit and enjoy a delicious dinner. The result is incredible as anything a restaurant can provide. There is that moment of silence when we close our eyes and take the first bite, before the familiar laughter, which is the best part of dinner.

Squid Ink Pasta with Shrimp

Squid Ink Pasta with Shrimp

Serves 4

1 lb black squid ink pasta (spaguitti is my preference but other shape will work)

Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 lb (454g) raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 garlic clove, finely minced

1 large shallot, finely minced (about 4 tablespoons)

¼ cup white wine

1 cup shrimp stock from the shells, or chicken stock, plus more for tossing pasta (optional)

2 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

 

  • Fill a pot with 4 quarts of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add a large pinch of salt. Add the pasta and stir. Cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is 2 minutes away from being al dente according to package instructions. Drain the pasta while saving some of the pasta water, just in case.
  • In a 12-inch skillet warm the olive oil. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and sauté over medium heat until they just start to turn orange, about 1 minute per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a bowl and cover with foil. Using the oil that is left in the pan, add the garlic and cook it just starts to turn golden, about 1 minute. Add the shallots and cook over low heat, scraping the juices from the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the white wine and continue to scrape the pan until every precious bit is released from the pan and flavoring the shallots and garlic. Add the shrimp stock and bring to full boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low, add the pasta and shrimp, tossing vigorously to distribute the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper and finish with tomatoes and parsley. Transfer to warm bowls and serve hot.

 

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Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

It’s snowing outside. You’re wearing flannel shirts and velvet blankets. You are cozy in a soft couch and craving for the memories of your childhood hot chocolate. I got you! This Hot Chocolate with Cinnamon and Cocoa Nibs will satisfy your cravings and make you want to stay under the covers! Enjoy!

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate with Cocoa Nibs

Makes 4 small hot chocolates

Ingredients:

2 cups whole milk

2 tablespoons organic cane sugar

1 cinnamon stick, more sticks to serve as garnish

4 ounces (115g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped

4 teaspoons cocoa nibs for serving

 

1- Bring the milk, sugar, and cinnamon to a boil over medium heat.

2- Add the chocolate, reduce the heat to low, and whisk constantly until it becomes thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Yes, this is the secret to a good hot chocolate, you have to whisk non-stop until all of the water in the milk has evaporated and it becomes creamy.

3- Let it cool for 5 minutes.

4- Strain through a fine sieve and serve in small cups.

5- Garnish with cocoa nibs and a cinnamon stick.

 

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Veal Scaloppine

Veal Scaloppine for Dinner

So, you need to feed a family of 4? I got you! The moment I started preparing for this delicious Veal Scaloppine, I knew it was a keeper. I usually buy the veal already cut into thin slices, but you can easily do it yourself but cutting a thin piece from the eye round and then pounding between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Beef or chicken are just as good. Have fun!

Veal Scaloppine

Serves 4

1 ½ lbs veal cutlets

½ cup all-purpose flour

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

3 tablespoons olive oil, more as needed

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 ½ cups chicken stock

1 stick butter

1 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley

 

  • Prepare the Veal Scaloppine: Season the veal on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a small bowl, and season with salt, pepper, paprika and nutmeg and mix well. Spread the flour on a sheet pan. Dredge each piece of veal in flour on both sides, shaking off the excess.

  • Pour 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on a large skillet over medium heat, and swirl the oil to cover the pan. Working in batches (very important! You only want to add one layer of veal at a time. It takes me 3 batches to cook the veal), add 3-4 pieces of veal to the pan and cook until it just starts to turn very lightly golden on each side, about 2 minutes per side. Repeat the procedure with all of the veal, and as they get cooked, place them on a shallow dish covered with aluminum foil to keep moist. Add more olive oil to each batch as you cook the veal.
  • Prepare the Sauce: Add shallots to the pan (if your pan is dry, add another tablespoon or so of olive oil to the pan) and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon until it just cooked through, about 2 minutes.

  • Add the chicken stock and let it come to a full boil, then reduce the heat and let the stock concentrate and reduce by half, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the butter in pieces (make sure heat is at a bare minimum, as the heat can break the butter. If you don’t feel sure, turn the heat completely off— the butter will still melt, but keep whisking). When the butter is completely melted, the sauce should have some consistency to it, and remember, do not boil a butter sauce, so maintain heat at minimum. Add the lemon juice, and the veal pieces to the sauce. Cover the pan and warm everything together for 5 minutes, allowing the veal to braise gently in the sauce and become nice and tender. Distribute veal scaloppine onto 4 warm plates and spoon warm sauce on top. Garnish with parsley.

 

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

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Leticia

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