Photo: Sara Bonisteel
Slashfood had the delicious task this Wednesday of helping judge the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission's blogger recipe contest. One of the finalists was this delectable cheesecake sweetie by East Village Kitchen.
The contest asked bloggers to come up with recipes that used sweet potatoes in new ways to encourage home cooks to get them on the table after the Thanksgiving dinner season.
Get the cheesecake recipe, see the winner and learn the difference between a sweet potato and a Southern yam after the jump.
The six finalists came up with a host of inventive ways to use the sweet potato. Mary's Laundry Blog rethought panzanella salad, using cooked sweet potato cubes in place of the tomatoes, while Ashley of Ashley's Kitchen substituted the potatoes for yams in her cottage pie, making a really family friendly dish.
The winner, Michelle Noyola of Random Thoughts on Food, took home the $1,000 prize for her redesign of a potato pizza. Here's her recipe.
Sweet Potato and Rosemary Pizza
Michelle Noyola of Random Thoughts on Food
Refrigerated or thawed frozen dough for 12-inch pizza (about 8 ounces)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces sliced provolone cheese
1 medium North Carolina sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced (about 8 ounces)
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. On oiled pizza pan, pat out dough to make a 12-inch circle; brush with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Top with provolone, sweet potatoes, parmesan, rosemary, nutmeg. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste; drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Bake until crust is browned and sweet potatoes are tender, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Yield: 6 to 8 portions.
Photo: Sara Bonisteel
And finally, the sweetie recipe:
Sweet Potato Cheesecake Sweeties
Lauren Soutiere of East Village Kitchen
1 pound North Carolina sweet potatoes
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) butter, melted
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray. Line pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, allowing it to extend above the sides of pan. Spray again. Set aside.
Pierce sweet-potato skins; microwave on high until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes; cool.
Into medium bowl, scoop sweet potato from skins. With electric beater, beat until smooth, gradually adding butter. Add flour, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, salt and baking powder. Beat until smooth.
In a small bowl, beat together until smooth cream cheese, granulated sugar and egg yolk.
Spread half the cream cheese mixture into prepared pan; top with half the cream cheese mixture in 8 mounds on top. Repeat remaining sweet potato and cream cheese mixtures. Pull knife through batters to marbelize. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Remove from pan by lifting edges of parchment or foil paper; cut into 16 squares. Serve with raspberry sauce if desired.
Yield: 16 portions.