Baked Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with a chile, lime, pecan butter

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.

Jazz up your sweet potato with an easy chile, lime, pecan butter

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.

A quick rub of olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt adds extra flavor

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


Olive oil

Optional extras:

Crumbled goat’s cheese

Chopped cilantro

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.

Dinner, my friends, is served!

Hot Love

It’s official. What’s the first food in Cosmo magazine’s food aphrodisiac list? Yep, you got it – chile. Honest. It trumped chocolate and bananas (no comment). Are we surprised? Not a bit. Chile is – let’s be honest – the food of love. Just think about the tingle your lips get when you eat chile. Need we say more?


And what better time to celebrate the food of love than Valentine’s week? You may love it (excuse the pun) or loathe it but there’s no getting away or around Feb 14. So why fight it? I’m not suggesting you buy a dozen roses with baby’s breath – but food, absolutely.

HOT LOVE 5So let’s scroll down the ‘ole Cosmo list. You’ve got vanilla and chocolate along with the usual suspects like oysters. So we came up with a chile-spiked chocolate cookie with a hint of vanilla for a triple-whammy of aphrodisiac loving-in-the-oven. This is a crinkle cookie, dusted in a chipotle chile sugar mixture. So the word YUM comes to mind.

We’re making no promises but be honest… a chocolate cookie with chile? Who needs a hot date when you’ve got a couple dozen cookies to keep you company?

Chipotle Chile Chocolate Cookies

These are good ‘ole fashioned crinkle cookies but with a hit of chile. What’s not to like? A note on the chile…we made these originally with only ½ tsp of chipotle chile powder but the chile was way too faint so we’ve upped it to 1 tsp but you could go higher. We suggest making the sugar dipping mixture with 1 tsp, taste it (even better test a small batch) and ramp up the chipotle if you like. Another variation would be to add a teaspoon of chipotle to the cookie mixture itself. If you give it a try, let us know what you think.

Makes 3 ½ to 4 dozen cookies

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
½ brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1-2 tsp Chipotle chile powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a mixer (or you can use a hand mixer), cream the butter with 1 cup of the granulated sugar and the brown sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl then add the vanilla and eggs and combine thoroughly. Gradually add the flour mixture on low-speed and mix only until just combined.



In a small bowl, combine the remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar, cinnamon (if using) and the chipotle chile. Use a small ice cream scoop or two tablespoons to form the dough into balls. Roll the balls in the sugar/chile mixture and place them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. The cookies will spread so place the balls a couple of inches apart.


Bake them for 8-10 minutes until they start to crack and the cookie is baked through. Remove from the oven and place the baking sheet on a wire rack. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for about 5 minutes before placing the cookies on the wire rack to finish cooling.