This recipe came together during our last snow storm here in Brooklyn. I was in need of a warm, hearty breakfast, and my most recent CSA delivery left me with pounds of sweet potatoes.

It's a flavor bomb of a recipe, with sweet, spicy, warm, acidic, and rich qualities, all in one delicious skillet. It's impressive but doesn't take a whole lot of time to prepare or to cook and is versatile enough to be enjoyed as breakfast, lunch, or dinner any day of the week.

What to do with sweet potatoes?

At least once a month I find myself asking this question. One way I will not eat a sweet potato is in its truest form– baked with butter and salt, NOPE. Can't do it. They're just so sweet and smooth. Monogustic* on their own.

Despite my strong distate for plain sweet potatoes, I truly love them when paired with warm spices like cumin and coriander, acidic foods like tomatoes or yogurt, crunchy starches like toasted bread or fried lentils, umami-bursting flavors like chorizo or mushrooms, and fresh herbs such as parsley or cilantro. You can consider these elements next time you're in need of sweet ptoato ideas.

Pairing a baked sweet potato with even one of the elements I just listed can increase the sweet potato eating experience. For example, lightly breaded sweet potato fries (crunchy startch) are a small step above a regular baked sweet potato. Dust your fries with chilli powder, and you have an acceptable sandiwch side dish. Serve your chilli dusted fries with cilantro lime yogurt, and you have yourself a restaurant quality sandwich side dish.

This recipe isn't for sweet potato fries, but now you know my thought process.

Shakshuka

This recipe is for Bacon and Sweet Potato Shakshuka. I've learned through some research that Shakshuka*, a dish in which eggs simmer in a spiced tomato sauce, likely originiated somewhere in North Africa, though there are varying theories as to where specifically. It eventually became very popular in nearby countries in the Middle East and Mediterranean, where there are countless takes on this traditional dish.  

Many versions are entirely vegetarian, but mine has bacon. Its use of meat in addition to the smokey spicy flavors of nutmeg, corriander, cumin, chili powder, and jalapeño, make my recipe similar in taste to a chili.

I choose to serve it with crusty bread because it also boasts runny eggs, and in my humble opinion, both runny eggs and tomato-based sauces are scooping foods. I'm also an advocate for always keeping at least one type of herb in my kitchen, so for brightness in both flavor and color, parsley finishes the dish.

Ingredients

4 slices of thick cut bacon, cut into large chunks
1 sweet potato, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
1/3 cup of red onion, diced
14oz can of crushed tomatoes
4 eggs
Nutmeg, corriander, cumin, chili powder, about 1/2tsp each
2 Tb fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 slices of your favorite bread, cut diagonally and toasted
1/4c shredded or grated cheese. Use any kind that suits your mood; gouda, cheddar, and parm have all proven to work well in this dish.
Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper

Steps

  1. Mise en place: Slice and dice all of your ingredients first and set them aside so they're readily available as you need them throughout the recipe. You can also toast your bread during the prep phase.
  2. Heat a medium sized cast iron skillet or saucepan over medium heat and add the bacon. Try to keep bacon in 1 evel layer so each piece browns. Cook bacon for about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crispy all over. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon from skillet and place it on a paper towel set to the aside. Discard the bacon fat.
  1. Increase flame to medium-high and add 1Tb of olive oil to the same skillet you used to cook the bacon. Add the sweet potatoes, onions, and jalapenos, again in an even layer so they can brown evenly, and season with salt and pepper. Let them brown for 2 mintues without touchng them. Seriously, don't move them around at all for the first 2 minutes. Color is caramelizaation is flavor. Once the sweet potato mixture has browned slightly, add the spices and saute for 1 minute more, this time tossing iccasionally.
  1. Add the bacon back to the pan along with the canned tomatoes. Reduce heat to low and bring mixture to a simmer. Let it simmer for 3 minutes then add salt to taste. Top with an even layer of cheese then make 4 divets in the sauce and drop 1 egg directly into each divet.
  1. Cover and cook until the egg whites are set but yolks are still runny, about 5 minutes. Top with fresh parsley. Place the whole skillet on a hot plate on your table and serve yourselves.

Definitions

*Shakshuka: An Arabic word meaning "mixture"

*Monogustic: Technically a neologism rather than a word, as it is not lisited in the dictionary...yet. It means "consisting of one flavor or texture", or "without complexity or variation in flavor or texture." I found this neologism via an online serach forum while trying to find a word that matched this idea I had about sweet potatoes.

Monogustic is to taste as monotonous is to pitch.

Bacon and Sweet Potato Shakshuka

Bacon and Sweet Potato Shakshuka

Author: Gianna Nebbia

Ingredients

  • 4 slices of thick cut bacon, cut into large chunks
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
  •  1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  •  1/3 cup of red onion, diced
  •  14oz can of crushed tomatoes
  •  4 eggs
  •  Nutmeg, corriander, cumin, chili powder, about 1/2tsp each
  •  2 Tb fresh parsley, finely chopped
  •  2 slices of your favorite bread, cut diagonally and toasted
  •  1/4c shredded or grated cheese. Use any kind that suits your mood; gouda, cheddar, and parm have all proven to work well in this dish.
  •  Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper

Instructions

  1. Mise en place: Slice and dice all of your ingredients first and set them aside so they're readily available as you need them throughout the recipe. You can also toast your bread during the prep phase.
  2. Heat a medium sized cast iron skillet or saucepan over medium heat and add the bacon. Try to keep bacon in 1 evel layer so each piece browns. Cook bacon for about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crispy all over. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon from skillet and place it on a paper towel set to the aside. Discard the bacon fat.
  3. Increase flame to medium-high and add 1Tb of olive oil to the same skillet you used to cook the bacon. Add the sweet potatoes, onions, and jalapenos, again in an even layer so they can brown evenly, and season with salt and pepper. Let them brown for 2 mintues without touchng them. Seriously, don't move them around at all for the first 2 minutes. Color is caramelizaation is flavor. Once the sweet potato mixture has browned slightly, add the spices and saute for 1 minute more, this time tossing iccasionally.
  4. Add the bacon back to the pan along with the canned tomatoes. Reduce heat to low and bring mixture to a simmer. Let it simmer for 3 minutes then add salt to taste. Top with an even layer of cheese then make 4 divets in the sauce and drop 1 egg directly into each divet.
  5. Cover and cook until the egg whites are set but yolks are still runny, about 5 minutes. Top with fresh parsley. Place the whole skillet on a hot plate on your table and serve yourselves.
https://onthebias.nyc/bacon-sweetpotato-shakshuka/
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