Monday, September 19, 2011

Sunday on a Stick

As I was searching for new and exciting recipes last week, I came across these potato pinchos from the food network. While they look delicious (and I may eventually try them out) what I really liked about them was the fact that they were on toothpicks. Nothing says classy like being served on a stick.

Eventually I decided to stick (get it) with two different recipes. The first choice was due mostly to the fact that I bought a couple of sweet potatoes earlier in the week and needed to use them.

Behold sweet potato sausage bites!

I had a really hard time getting my camera to focus on them...
 These were awesomely easy, and I also made them healthier!
1 sweet potato washed
half a package smoked sausage.. about 7 oz (I used Hillshire Smoked Turkey Sausage... see? healthy.)
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

for sauce
1/2 cup mayo (I used reduced fat)
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp garlic (I used the pre-minced kind you get in a jar 'cause I was too lazy to chop)
1 T minced parsley

Preheat your oven to 450F
Cut your sweet potato into half inch "cubes". You'll notice that since the potato itself is round you don't get 100% as squares or rectangles. This is ok, they will taste delicious.

Put your cubes in a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread across a greased baking sheet.
Bake for about 15-20mins, turning two or three times. They will get sorta carmelized and extra delicious

While your sweet potato is baking slice up your sausage. I did about half inch slices and then halved them so they are half circles. Place your sausage in a hot pan and sprinkle with the cayenne pepper. Alternately you could have bought spicy sausage and just left out the cayenne...

Let the sausage brown on both sides, it will only a minute or two per side.

Make your dipping sauce! These are totally delicious with no sauce at all, so if you're looking to cut your calories even further you can just not make it. Mix all ingredients. Store in fridge. This is actually best if it can sit a little bit to let the flavors meld, so feel free to make it the night before you want your snack.

Skewer your potato and sausage. I did it potato on the bottom, but you could put the sausage on the bottom.

These are good hot, and also good at room temperature so they're awesome for those of us who like to make things a little in advance and eat them throughout an extended period. I would make these exactly the same again and again because they were a great blend of sweet and salty with a bit of spice.

I also made Tortellini Salad Skewers

1 package frozen toretllini (cheese or meat your choice!)
1 package grape or cherry tomatoes
Olives--I used blue cheese stuffed olives from the fancy olive bar at my grocery store about 1/2 lb
1/2 cup vinagrette style dressing--I used Zesty Italian

Cook about 40 tortellini according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Halve 20 tomatoes and all of your olives.

Skewer half a tomato, a tortellini, and an olive half on each skewer.

Place skewers in a 9x13 dish. Pour dressing over top. Let sit in fridge for a few hours (I left mine overnight). Remove skewers from dish to a separate serving tray. Discard excess dressing.


Here was my issue with this recipe... the olive was super over powering. I ended up eating the olives in one bite (because blue cheese stuffed olives are AMAZING. go eat one right now) and then the tomato and tortellini together in another. This was partially my bad because if you look at my reference recipes below you'll see that it in fact called for snow peas instead of olives but I was thinking a mediterranean flair would be tasty...I think if it were to make this into an actual salad vs a skewered salad I would still include the olives but have significantly higher proportion of tortellini and tomato.

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