The lonesome crowded dinner ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

12 April 2010

The lonesome crowded dinner

On first glance, it doesn't seem like a dinner consisting primarily of steamed sweet potato and broccoli would be particularly spicy or filling. Wrong!

It is also cheap and easy. Not particularly fast, since a sweet potato never takes less than a half hour, but still.

Steamed sweet potato? Yes. You can definitely steam sweet potato. It doesn't get that oven-roasted caramelization, but that's ok.

Get a shallow pot of water boiling while you peel a sweet potato. Cut it into relatively large chunks. I cut mine in half down its length, then cut each half into inch-thick slices. Like that.

When the water is boiling, throw the potato chunks into a steamer basket/your preferred steaming implement. Make sure you leave some space exposed so the steam can get up to your potatoes easily! As long as you don't fill the steamer within a inch of its life, things should be ok.

Put the steamer basket over the pot, slap a lid on it, and let it steam until the potatoes are cooked through. This took about half an hour or forty minutes, but it'll take longer for bigger pieces of potato. Test them with a fork. If they are mashable: success!

Mash with butter/olive oil/whatever you like. I added a splash of maple syrup (real; not Aunt Jemima! GROSS!) and a big handful of sesame seeds. The seeds would've been even better if I tossed them in a frying pan first, but I was lazy. It was still awesome. Other things to put on sweet potatoes: a spoonful of tahini, or some toasted cashews. You could also crisp up some bacon and crumble it over the top if you feel like it and eat such a thing. Maybe some bacon and a big pinch of fresh parsley. Toasty crispy crunchy salty business is always a good idea with sweet potato.

Ok. Item number two!

That's a salad plate; I didn't eat an entire head of steamed broccoli. Not this time, anyway.

Cut broccoli into smallish florets. Peel some of the stem and chop it up too, if you like that sort of thing. I clearly do. Throw it in the recently vacated steamer basket, put it over the pot of water, and steam for about five minutes, or until said broccoli is done to your preferred texture. Item: you can totally take your cooked potatoes out of the steamer basket and let them sit a minute while you whip the broccoli immediately into the steamer; that water is totally hot and ready for such a thing. Use the heat you've harnessed! Then mash the potatoes while the broccoli is cooking.

When the broccoli is done, you can either eat it plain or put something delicious on top of it. I decided the best plan was sriracha sauce. Man, broccoli and sriracha are best friends. Otherwise, you can eat it plain, butter it, toss it in a spoonful or two of good vinaigrette, slap on some peanut sauce, or add whatever else you can think of.

Eat everything! You will feel surprisingly full and satisfied. Success!

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