What I has for dinner:

Mashed Quince and Sweet Potato

[ Previous ] 9 Oct 1995 22:43:04 -0400 [   Next   ]

... And capers too, but the discovery of unbelievably cheap capers was not the prime motive force: I already had both quince and sweet potato in my basket.

When I was a kid, both quince (candy) and sweet potato (preserve) were dessert-like in my Classification of the Things of the World. It was only when I started cooking for myself that I began to use them as vegetables. In this case, I wanted to play with the contrast between the fruity-sweet quince and the earthy-sweet yam, and a sour sauce.

First, the vegetables (peeled and sliced small sweet potato, peeled, carefully cored, and quartered quince) were steamed until soft.

When they were done, I cooked in a separate pan a small shallot in a dash of olive oil, added a teaspoon of tomato paste, a pinch of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp of cumin, and a pinch of saffron, cooked for a minute, then added the liquid from the vegetable steamer and boiled to reduce until about 1/4 cup was left. 3 tbsp capers, 1/3 chopped Vidalia onion, and 3 slivered Anaheim peppers were added, and heated but not cooked.

The sweet potato and quince slices were mashed separately with a fork, and the sauce poured between them. There is no need for salt unless the capers have been thoroughly desalted.

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