Still enjoying the memories from this year’s Halloween—themed in honor of the late Gene Wilder, it was a Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory party! KP was Willy Wonka himself, and I chose to costume as Violet, better known as The Blueberry.
We turned each of our rooms into a scene from the original movie, the Invention Room, the Chocolate Fountain (river) Room, the Fizzy Lifting Drink Room, etc. I made Wonka Bars with real golden tickets inside, there was lickable wall paper, ever-lasting Gobstoppers, inspirational Wonka quotes—it was a major affair. The 3 month old is Veruca Saltz (Golden Goose is Mom, ha!)
In honor of the party, I was sent a gift from Katje’s Magic Candy Factory which boasts the world’s first 3D Candy printer-made vegan gummy candy! The company is based in Berlin, but now distributes worldwide and there are some sites in Chicago, NY, Miami and LA you can visit to watch the magic. I thought this artisanal squid was gorgeous, with sugar/salt glitter and displayed attractively in a heart-shaped window box. Great gifts, methinks. Thanks Katje’s! One day, perhaps, you can just 3D print the dinners I feature on this blog 😉
I had all these ingredients on the grocery conveyor belt and the woman behind me in the checkout line asked me what in the world I planned to make for dinner. “I’m stuffing a sweet potato with chorizo and pomegranate,” is for sure the most chichipoopoo utterance that has ever issued from my mouth. I wanted to apologize for being douchey, but she said something complimentary like, “Ooh, that sounds yummy,” so I just let it be. And then I made this and did not feel douchey at all—I felt overfull with half the potato still to go. I felt like I was Polynesian and filling up my thighs for that intimidating warrior slap dance. Or filling myself up to fill a full sumo suit.
Loaded Sweet Potato with Pomegranate and Chorizo at the Candy Factory
Adapted from Food and Wine
Four 12-ounce sweet potatoes, scrubbed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 pound fresh chorizo, casings removed
3 cipollini onions, thinly sliced (I used one white onion b/c I couldn’t find those fancy little flat alien spaceship looking onions)
1 Fresno chile, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup pure pomegranate juice (THIS IS KEY—I first scoffed at the whole pomegranate thing, thinking, how overpriced and ridiculous, but what it does is provide about a TB of brown sugar flavor with a dark wine-y sort of smoke flavor. Worth getting some, and with the rest of the $7 bottle of juice, you can mix some with sparkling lemon water and ice for a refresher while at the stove)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus leaves for garnish
Crème fraîche (meh, I never do, but be my guest)
Finely grated lime zest
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Set each sweet potato on a sheet of foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with Maldon salt. Wrap the potatoes in the foil and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the chorizo and cook over moderately high heat, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until nearly cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the onions, chile and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chorizo is cooked through and the onions are softened, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Add the pomegranate juice and cook until nearly absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the chopped cilantro and season with kosher salt and pepper.
- Unwrap the sweet potatoes and arrange on a platter. Cut a lengthwise slit in the top of each one and fluff the insides with a fork. Season with kosher salt and pepper and fill with the chorizo mixture. Top each sweet potato with crème fraîche, sliced avocado, pomegranate seeds, grated lime zest and cilantro leaves. Serve right away with lime wedges.