Nom de plume Francine Wolfe Schwartz
I’m always stumped what “little something” to bring to a holiday party. The real problem is bringing “something” different not the same ho hum dips and chips.
Last week as I was choosing my farm share I saw a strange looking tuber with patchy purplish colored skin called boniato but passed it up for a cucumber. So boniato will be this week’s newbie pick. I’ve researched it and come to find out it’s sort of like a sweet potato only less sweet with the flavor of roasted chestnuts. Popular in Hispanic and Caribbean cuisine boniatos can be cooked any way you would cook a potato or yam-baked, boiled, steamed, mashed or fried. I hear the best part of the boniato is the delicious crusty skin when baked. Must be similar to a great baked potato.
Boniato chips with Avocado Relish and Caramelized Onions is anything but ho hum chips and dip.
3 to 4 cups canola or peanut oil, for frying
1 large or 2 medium boniatos
1. Pour oil to a depth of 2 to 3 inches in a deep-fat fryer, Dutch oven or deep heavy skillet. Heat oil to 350 degrees.
2. Peel boniatos using a paring knife. Slice as thinly as possible across the grain on a mandoline or using the fine slicing blade of a food processor.
3. Immediately fry boniato slices, until golden brown, 1-2 minutes turning with a wire or slotted spatula.
Drain chips on paper towels, sprinkle with sea salt and serve.
Notes: The easiest way to peel a boniato is using a paring knife rather than a vegetable peeler. Inexpensive lightweight mandolines are available at most Hispanic or Oriental markets.
Source: The New Florida Cuisine Miami Spice by Steven Raichlen
Avocado Relish with Caramelized Onions
1 tablespoon oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
juice of 2 limes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell peeper, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
1 Florida avocado, cut into 3/4-inch dice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- In a medium skillet, heat oil. Add diced onion season with salt and cook over moderate heat stirring occasionally, until richly browned, about 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine caramelized onion with fresh lime juice, garlic, red bell pepper and jalapeño. Gently fold in the avocado and cilantro.
- Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
- Serve with boniato chips or corn chips
Source: adapted from Food & Wine Annual Cookbook an entire year of recipes 2008