Hey fellows, did you dodge the bullet? C’mon, you know what I’m talking about. Valentine’s Day. Yesterday. I saw you at the gas station buying a slightly — scratch that, very — suspect bunch of carnations that looked like they’d seen better days. It was the panicked look in your face that said it all: ‘Yep, I totally forgot it was Valentine’s Day.’
Or you, the fellow standing in the frozen food section, wondering to yourself if a pepperoni pizza says ‘I love you’. In case you’re still wondering, it doesn’t.
But let’s face it, Valentine’s Day is a ruse, a ploy to strike fear in your heart and empty your wallet. Love — or even mild affection — doesn’t need a day. It doesn’t need a smaltzy card or roses and baby’s breath. You don’t need February 15th to say I-think-I-sort-of-perhaps-might-somewhat-like-you-only-not-during-a-major-league-baseball-game.
If you really want to win someone’s heart, then cook for them. Make them a plate of food and you’ve got them wrapped around your little finger. This isn’t Valentine’s Day, it’s every day. It doesn’t have to be complicated or cost a lot — it just has to taste good.
And our baked stuffed sweet potatoes tick all the boxes. They’re quick, easy and taste delicious. You can’t ask for more than that.
4 small sweet potatoes, about 5-7 ounces each
1 stick, 4oz butter (softened)
1/2 Tbsp New Mexico Red Chile (mild or hot)
2 Tbsp chopped pecans
Zest of 1 lime
Crumbled goat’s cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Wash the sweet potatoes, dry them and give them a light rub of olive oil. Sprinkle them with sea salt and place them in a casserole dish. Bake them for 45 minutes to an hour, until you can easily insert a knife or skewer into them.
While the sweet potatoes are doing their thing, make the chile, lime, pecan butter. Place the softened butter in a small bowl, add the pecans, chile, lime zest and about 1/2 tsp of salt. Mash it around like you’re a toddler playing with your food. Taste and add more chile or salt.
Slice the baked sweet potatoes down the middle and add a generous dollop of the butter mixture. Top with goat’s cheese and cilantro, if using and get eating. No one’s extending any invitations around here.