Friday, October 15, 2010

thursday - sweet potato fritters, smoky pinto beans, corn and poblano soup

Hmm. Given the recent success I had with the delicious beet and carrot pancakes, I had high hopes for these sweet potato fritters from Unfortunately, they weren't bad, but they weren't great either. I used coarse cornmeal (polenta) instead of the fine cornmeal the recipe calls for, which may have contributed to their dryness, so if you make them, I recommend sticking to the recipe for hopefully better results. I also used whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose, which I don't feel affected the outcome taste-wise but did increase the fiber. Instead of the poblano peppers, I used a 4-ounce can of diced green chiles. I think by serving the fritters with a dollop of sour cream and salsa, these could have been much better. As you may have guessed, I had the leftovers for breakfast with poached eggs on top--tasty, but still very dry.

The smoky pinto beans included in the recipe were very good, definitely more successful than the fritters. I cooked dried pinto beans in my pressure cooker (in only 19 minutes with no soaking!), but canned beans would work if you're pressed for time. Other than the canned green chiles, I followed the recipe for the beans exactly, and I loved the smokiness--it's definitely worth seeking out smoked paprika if you don't already use it.

I also served a corn and poblano soup, which is the same soup I made last month--I had lots of extra and stored it in the freezer (I stirred the poblano puree into the soup prior to freezing it). The soup froze nicely and was still delicious, nice and creamy despite not having any cream.

Sweet Potato Fritters with Smoky Pinto Beans

1 large sweet potato (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 4-ounce can diced green chiles, drained
1 1/2 cups cooked or 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed 
1 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup whole wheat or all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup water
Sour cream, salsa, and lime wedges, for garnish

Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Prick sweet potato in several places with a fork. Microwave on High until just cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. (Alternatively, place in a baking dish and bake at 425ºF until tender all the way to the center, about 1 hour.) Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and green chiles and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Set aside 1/2 cup of the mixture. Add beans, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Cover and set aside.

Whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Peel the sweet potato and mash in a large bowl with a fork. Stir in the reserved onion-green chile mixture, egg, and water. Add the cornmeal mixture and stir until just combined.

Form the sweet potato mixture into eight 3-inch oval fritters, using a generous 1/4 cup for each. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook 4 fritters until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining fritters and oil.

Bake the fritters until puffed and firm to the touch, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve the fritters with the reserved bean mixture and sour cream, salsa, and lime wedges, if desired.
Makes 4 servings.


  1. I finally got around to making this meal and really enjoyed it. I thought the beans were awesome and I plan to make those a lot. Lacking pinto beans, I used great northern beans, which was just fine. I used the poblano peppers, which I love. The smoky paprika is really delicious -- a nice substitute would be ground chipotle pepper since it has the same smoky quality. My fritters weren't great either, although they were good enough. They did not puff up like the recipe said they would. I used stone ground corn meal and white flour, and I added some extra water because I'm in Colorado and everything dries out here. However, they were still a bit dry. I'll try them again some time and add more liquid. I served this meal with sauteed rainbow chard with onions and garlic, which was delicious with it.

  2. Sorry you had the same results with the fritters (although I'm glad it wasn't just me!), but thanks for letting me know how it all turned out. I'm so glad you liked the beans--I loved them also and this is a nice reminder that I need to make them again soon!


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