You would think that after moving overseas I would be more excited about the 17th century church down the road rather than grocery shopping. But, then again, for those that know me and my obsession with markets and local produce this may not come as such a surprise.
While some of my cooking (mainly baking) can be pretty shocking, I am becoming more and more aware of how my style of cooking and use of ingredients is changing – and improving! Sweet potato and cranberries are not foods I would put together in Australia, but when it came out of the oven tasting amazing here in Manchester I did a little research and found it is a popular combination! Maybe I had been walking around and subconsciously saw a dish where they were combined?
Sweet potato and cranberry bake is the most common recipe found online with different complementing ingredients, such as maple, apple, walnut, cinnamon, and raisons. You can also find it as a stuffing recipe or salad with spinach, quinoa, and pine nuts.
I kept mine simple and savoury as a bake adding a few herbs and extra virgin olive oil to the dish and roasting it for an hour. I served the potatoes with a marinated Spatchcock (poultry or game bird that has been split open and prepared for cooking) that I roasted for the same time and temperature with the potatoes as a source of protein. It also saves power using just the oven for one meal. It was delicious, so I’ve put the ingredients below to share with you!
- Coriander seeds
- Chilli powder
- Salt and pepper
I used about half a teaspoon of each spice for one big sweet potato cut into chunks. Place into a baking tray and add 4 whole cloves of garlic (peeled), and a handful of cranberries. Drizzle the lot with extra virgin olive oil and use your fingers to make sure the sweet potato and cranberries are coated with herbs and yummy goodness.
Bake in the oven at 180°C for 60 minutes. If you’re cooking with meat don’t forget to let the meat rest for 10 minutes so the juices are retained when you cut into it. With a whole chicken I found an hour was a good time and didn’t try out the meat.
Food plays such a huge part in our daily lives – in a lifetime the average person will spend just over 6 years cooking and eating food!
Travelling overseas you get a snippet of the culture, but living somewhere else you are completely immersed, and while sweet potato and cranberries does not come close to a revelation I cannot deny the exposure of so many new cultures and cuisines is influencing my cooking – and I like it.