Sweet Potato Salad with Broken Glass

August 5, 2015

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The correct name for this recipe is: “Sweet Potato Salad with Carmelized Onions, Watercress, and Guajillo Chile Dressing”. This dish had more oil-everywhere problems than BP. (Too soon?) Ultimately we LOVE this recipe and we’ve already repeated it for friends, since making it the first time. The second time I didn’t even break anything.

Please do not laugh at my lack of knowledge of thermodynamics, or whatever tells you that heat and cold break glass. Who knew?!

I can’t find my pic of the ingredients. The list appeared pretty long for someone who grew up thinking Hamburger Helper was complicated. (Oil, guajillo chiles, garlic, vinegar, red onion, sweet potato, watercress.)

You can buy guajillos at an upscale food market for about $50 per pound. I wish I were kidding. They come in hermetically sealed packages of 6. OR you can buy a big handful of them from the various dried pepper bins at your local tienda (Mexican grocer) for a total of 48 cents. I gave the clerk more than that, because that was ridiculous. Additionally, despite the fact that neither of us spoke each other’s language well, she helpfully explained the heat levels of each pepper to me.

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These.

You put them in heated oil with garlic, and they smell like freakin’ Heaven.

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Caution: The oil is burny and the pepper is burny so either way, you’re gonna get burned.

Tips about oil:

  1. Don’t accidentally use too much oil, like I did.
  2. Don’t get confused about the cookbook wanting the oil to cool.  They mean for you to let it cool in the pan, on the stove top. You are using it for the dressing in a second.
  3. Do not, under any circumstances, decide to speed things up by pouring the  hot oil into a glass and putting that glass in the fridge to cool. (You idiot.)

This will end badly for your pretty glass. Who knew?!

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Clean break, though.

Then you cook a chopped red onion. After that, you discover how a potato peeler works and cube up a million (or 4) sweet potatoes. This will make more than will fit in your largest pan, so you will have to cook them in two separate pans. They will not be uniformly cooked through, but whatever.

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The dressing is made from the sauteed garlic and peppers, blended smoothly with a vinegar – either sherry, balsamic, or, as I used, champagne. #fancy

The recipe called for the cooked, dressing-covered potatoes and onions to be served over a “bed of watercress”. I discovered that this is actually a kind of lettuce! Who knew?!  The recipe said to remove the stems from the watercress. I see from the picture below that I missed one. I thought this combination of foods sounded rather odd, but it was, upon tasting, kind of amazing.

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Otherwise? I would eat this weekly. The dressing would probably make it ok to eat salad for a year.

However, R. I. P. to my blue, coincidentally Mexican margarita glass. You were shattered before your time.

What We Have Learned:

  • Glass breaks when you change its temperature quickly.
  • Entire sections of common sense-type knowledge were taught when I was apparently absent.
  • Learning to “adult” is satisfying and good. And so is this potato salad.
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