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Columns January 16, 2018  RSS feed

Cooking Country

Sherry Matney

Can you believe this weather?? Already had more cold days this year than we did all winter last year. But no complaints I love the excuse to hibernate. With the temperature below freezing I so want to talk about winter comfort foods like jumbo and chicken-n-dumplings and stew but last week we started our plans for the Super Bowl game. So we better continue with that. Got to say Paul and I watched the Saints and Vikings game, without any particular allegiance, but that last second pass and touchdown has got to be right up there with the most exciting in professional history. At least in my limited knowledge!

So to get ready for the big game, whether you are staying home or taking something to a friend’s house, hopefully, this will give you some ideas. Last week we took care of our meat. We have Salmon (or tuna) Party Log, Rueben Dip and Baked Buffalo Wings. This week we will get our sides ready.

Chili Sweet Potato Fries are so good and extremely easy. This recipe calls for chili powder on the sweet potatoes. I sounds different but it so enhances the taste. It also has a sour cream/cilantro dip with the fries but I have not tried that. It will probably be really good.

Chili Sweet Potato Fries

3-4 pounds of sweet potatoes, sliced into 1-inch
wedges
2 tbsp. olive oil
¾ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
½ cup orange juice
1 tbsp. honey
3 ½ tsp. chili powder,
dived
1/3 cup fresh cilantro,
chopped
8-oz. sour cream

Place potato wedges in a large plastic zipping bag; sprinkle with oil, salt and pepper. Toss to mix. Arrange potato wedges on lightly greased baking sheets. Stir together orange juice, honey and 3 tsp. chili powder; set aside. Bake uncovered at 450 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender. Shake pan and baste with orange juice mixture several times. Stir cilantro and remaining chili powder into sour cream; serve with warm fries. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Here is another side dish that will surprise everyone. This calls for instant potatoes but left over mashed potatoes works too, that is if anyone makes mashed potatoes anymore.

Cheesy Potato Puffs

4 oz. pkg. instant potato
flakes
½ cup shredded Cheddar
cheese
½ cup bacon bits
Optional: paprika, green
onions, sour cream

Prepare potato flakes according to package direction; let cool. Stir in cheese, sour cream and green onions, if using. Roll into 1-inch balls. Roll into bacon bits; arrange on an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle with paprika if desired. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes. Serves 4

And you gotta have dip for all those bags of chips someone will bring. This recipe does not call for cilantro but it just tastes better with it than without. You be the judge.

Gazpacho Dip

3 tomatoes, diced (this
time of year Roma’s work
well)
3 avocados, pitted and
diced
4 green onions, thinly
sliced
4-oz. can diced green
chiles
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 ½ tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ cup chopped cilantro if desired (be sure to
use the stems as well as
the leaves. More flavor
there.)

Combine tomatoes, avocados, onions, chiles and cilantro in a large bowl; set aside. Combine remaining ingredients and drizzle over tomato mixture. Toss, cover and chill. Serve with tortilla chips.


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