Caramelized Sweet Potato Foccacia

I get on these kicks where I’ll just eat the same thing every day for weeks on end.

And it doesn’t bother me one bit.  I like routine.  I like knowing what to expect.  I like finding something and sticking to it.

I’ve been eating a lot of popcorn lately.  Like a lot.  Every single night, before I go to bed I eat popcorn.  I can’t stop!  I love it.  It’s all crunchy and salty, and virtually no calories.

Who thought of this?  Genius!

Before popcorn it was black beans, salsa, and avocado.  Yum.

I ate oatmeal with peanut butter and honey for like a year straight.  I’m not even joking.  I was obsessed.

In high school I got into cottage cheese with wheat thins.  Then, my freshman year of college I ate Seeduction Bread from Whole Foods practically every night.  (Disclaimer: that is the best bread ever. Ever.)

When I moved to Portland I lived downtown and across from my apartment building was a little coffee shop.  I went there to get a coffee every afternoon and munched on a Kashi bar while I sipped my drink.

There have been Fiber One, diet coke, and hot tea kicks too.  Another recent one is scrambles or frittatas for breakfast.  The list goes on and on.

But I wonder, what does this say about me?

Possibly that I’m loyal?  At least to the food I eat.

How about that I enjoy structure.  Or control.  Hmm, both.

Maybe just that I’m weird.  Thats probably it.  But, I enjoy it all the same.  I’ll get on my kicks and I’ll stay on them as long as I want.

What food kicks do you get on?

I bet if you tried making this focaccia bread you wouldn’t want to stop eating it.  You know why?  Cause it is uh-ma-zing!

It takes a while to make.  Its a process, but its totally worth the time.  Even if you just stop at the caramelized sweet potatoes, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.  But I completely recommend making the whole thing.  Here’s why:

Sweet potatoes, cheese, salted pecans, and rosemary.  I don’t think I need to say more, but I will.

The flavors meld together nicely.  The sweetness of the potatoes, the tangy, salty bite of the cheese and pecans, with the aroma of pine-like rosemary lingering in each bite makes for one happy mouth.  Since I used whole wheat flour, the crust is dense and adds a nice texture to the whole dish.

For me, this is a treat.  Not a “food kick”, but a special occasion.  I’ll enjoy it, and I’ll also be looking forward to my popcorn tomorrow night.  Thats just how I am…

Caramelized Sweet Potato Focaccia

Slightly adapted from Martha Stewart.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast, from 2 envelopes
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water, about 110 degrees
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for bowl, pan, plastic wrap, and drizzling
  • 3 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (you can certainly use all purpose)
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 cups grated (about 4 ounces) Dubliner Cheese (The original recipe calls for aged Gouda)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted (mine were also salted)
  • 1/4 cup packed small fresh rosemary sprigs and leaves
  • Caramelized Sweet Potatoes (See recipe below)

Directions

  1. Stir the yeast, sugar, and water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Let stand until mixture is foamy, 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add oil, flour, and 2 teaspoons salt to yeast mixture. Mix on medium-low until dough comes together, 3 to 5 minutes. Raise speed to medium, and knead until dough is very smooth, about 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer dough to an oiled medium bowl. Loosely cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously oil a 12-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet. Spread dough into sheet. Flip dough to coat both sides with oil, and stretch dough into corners of sheet. Lightly cover with oiled plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place until dough comes to just above rim of sheet (3/4 inch) and is very billowy, about 30 minutes.
  5. Uncover dough; sprinkle lightly with salt. Sprinkle evenly with cheese, walnuts, and rosemary. Top with caramelized potatoes, overlapping and pushing them into dough in places. Bake 5 minutes. Rotate sheet; bake 15 minutes. Rotate sheet again; bake until edges of crust are golden, about 5 minutes. Drizzle with oil. Let cool slightly before serving.
Caramelized Sweet Potatoes
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sweet potatoes; cook, turning occasionally, 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add wine and stock; simmer, stirring occasionally, until almost all liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes.
  2. Add brown sugar and salt; cook, carefully turning potatoes to brown both sides, about 20 minutes.
  3. Transfer caramelized sweet potatoes to a plate. Let cool slightly.
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2 thoughts on “Caramelized Sweet Potato Foccacia

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