October 18, 2011

Loaded Baked Potato with a Twist.

This recipe is a fun twist on the classic comfort food -- a loaded baked potato. It is brought to you via one of my favorite cooking blogs, Sprouted Kitchen, a blog I find myself following more for its mouth watering photography than recipes, but sometimes the two combine into a force to contend with.

Meet baked sweet potatoes with chili beans.


Medium sweet potato
Medium sweet white onion
1 tsp olive oil
One large beefsteak tomato (or canned whole tomatoes in juices, if no longer in season)
Two cloves garlic
Pinch of salt
Duck bacon (optional)
1 whole chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (from can)
One 20 oz can pinto beans
1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp honey or nectar agave
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp paprika
Twist fresh ground black pepper

Chopped fresh cilantro
Chopped green onions
Sour cream or greek style plain yogurt (whole or 2%)

1. Preheat the oven to 400. Pierce holes in the sweet potatoes/yams with a fork, lightly wrap them in foil, and bake on the middle rack for about 45-55 minutes until soft.

2. Cut onion in half and thinly slice into half moon shapes. Pour olive oil into skillet on medium heat, heat gently, add onions and saute until slightly wilted. Cut tomato into thin wedges and add to pan. Add chopped garlic cloves and a pinch of salt.

3. I happened to have some duck bacon on hand (highly recommended!) so I decided to add 3 pre-cooked slices (cut into smaller than bite size pieces) to add depth and robustness to the flavor of the dish. Regular bacon could do the trick, but be careful with respect to adding any additional salt as most store bought bacon tends to be very high in salt content.

4. Dice the chipotle pepper into smaller than bite size pieces and add additional liquids from the can into the onion/tomato mixture as desired according to ability to tolerate heat. I spooned the pinto beans into the pan with a slotted spoon reserving the extra liquid in the can for adding into the pan one spoonful at a time, depending on taste, desired texture, and need to dilute some of the heat from the chipotle pepper.

5. Add the cumin, honey/nectar agave, cinnamon, paprika, and black pepper to taste.

6. Bring mixture to a simmer and reduce heat for an additional 20 minutes cooking time while the flavors combine. Continue to add liquid from the pinto beans to taste and desired level of spiciness.

7. As the sweet potatoes finish, remove from oven and let cool for ~10 minutes. Slice in 1/2 and create a little cavern down the middle. Fill the potato with the pinto bean mixture and add desired toppings. The sour cream/yogurt is a refreshing and cooling contrast to the spice of the pinto bean mixture, while the fresh cilantro and the diced green onions provide a nice, crisp contrast to the sweet potatoes. 


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