Conundrum Solved

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.

Boniato Chips

3 to 4 cups canola or peanut oil, for frying

1 large or 2 medium boniatos

sea salt

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

  1. 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.
  1. In a large bowl, combine caramelized onion with fresh lime juice, garlic, red bell pepper and jalapeño.  Gently fold in the avocado and cilantro.
  1. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  1. Serve with boniato chips or corn chips

Source: adapted from Food & Wine Annual Cookbook an entire year of recipes 2008

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About farmfodder

Farm Fodder is the Nom de plume of Francine Wolfe Schwartz, creatively promoting The Farm to People Connection
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