I won’t keep harping on about the dinner the other night, but one of the interesting things was trying to source the ingredients that those Silver Palate chefs name. Yellow onions, I guess, are our normal onions, and heavy cream our normal cream. And who knew that watercress was so hard to find in Wellington (I ended up with a bag of mesclun mix instead), and shouldn’t raspberry vinaigrette be in the supermarkets? Ended up having to make my own with rather expensive raspberry red wine vinegar from Moore Wilson’s. Another thought was whether the North American sweet potato and our kumara are comparable. The vegetable puree was, I thought, a bit on the sweet side. Is our kumara sweeter? But it was fun to make, and who knew that kumara skins peeled away so easily when baked? That was a little revelation. Anyway, here, with my adaptations, is the recipe.
4 large kumara (about 1 kg; I think the sweetness of the puree the other night may have resulted from too much kumara)
1 pound carrots
2 ½ cups water
1 tbspn sugar
12 tbspns unsalted butter, at room temperature
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
½ cup cream
½ tspn nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut a small deep slit in top of kumara and place in centre of oven to bake till tender when pierced with a fork (about an hour). Meanwhile, peel & trim the carrots, cut into 1 inch lengths, put in saucepan with water, sugar & 2 tbspns butter, salt & pepper. Bring to boil over medium heat and cook, uncovered, until the water has evaporated and the carrots begin to sizzle in the butter (about 30 minutes). (I was pleasantly surprised that the carrots did just this). Pull skins off baked kumara, and combine with carrots in a food processor. Add the remaining butter & the cream, and process till smooth. Add nutmeg, season, process briefly.
The neat thing was that this could be made well ahead, put in an ovenproof dish, covered with foil, and reheated at 350 F for about 25 minutes. No last minute dramas.