Monday, August 7, 2017

Sweet Potato Noodle Buns

Sweet Potato Noodle Buns - made July 15, 2017 from Cake Spy
One of the recipes that contributed to my impulse to buy a spiralizer was this one for sweet potato noodle buns. Click on the post title to see the original blog post and see what I mean when you view the pictures. Looks good, right?
Mine didn’t turn out quite so beautifully. I tried. This time around, I used a regular orange sweet potato instead of the white ones and I spiralized regular-size noodles instead of angel hair. I thought I would have enough swoodles by only using half a sweet potato but after I had pan-fried the first half, the swoodles had cooked down and I was plagued by a bout of insecurity that there wouldn’t be enough for 2 buns. So I spiralized the other half of the sweet potato and ended up with more swoodles.
I used two shallow, round ramekins to form the “buns”. Although the original directions didn’t say to, I lined the ramekins with plastic wrap with enough overhang that when I patted the swoodles into each ramekins, I could cover with the overhanging plastic wrap and smooth the tops. Then the swoodles were protected when I further pressed them down with canned goods. Lastly, once they had been pressed down for 30 minutes, I just undid the plastic wrap and lifted out the round swoodle buns with the plastic wrap and could up-end them directly into the heated frying pan, keeping their bun shape intact.
Key learning when making swoodle buns: make sure you cook the swoodles well enough before pressing into the ramekins. The pan-frying once they’re shaped into buns should only be to cook the egg binding them together and crisp up the outside but you want the insides soft and cooked. There’s nothing I dislike more than uncooked sweet potatoes.

Second key learning: plan to flip these only once. Since they’re literally noodles of sweet potato, you don’t want to handle them a lot or they might fall apart. Mine were great at first but since I hadn’t cooked all of the swoodles well enough, I pan-fried them a little longer and also turned them over a few times. They survived the first couple of flips then started to show their displeasure at my (over)handling by loosening up a few swoodles from the pack to taunt me. Little buggers.
Third key learning: you actually don’t want to make the buns too thick or use too many swoodles. It makes for an unwieldly thick burger if you do.
Despite my amateur hour with the buns, this turned out pretty well. I liked the contrast between the savory burger and the sweetness of the swoodle buns. And, in line with my prior experience with spiralizing sweet potatoes, they’re quite filling so once again, I ended up eating less because the whole thing was too much in one sitting.
1 medium to large sweet potato, peeled and ends cut flat
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 large egg
pinch of kosher salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Two 3/4 cup ramekins, lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and/or lined with parchment paper
  1. Using a spiralizer, cut the sweet potato into thin strands.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1/2 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat. Add sweet potato and cook, stirring, for 5 to 7 minutes or until softened. Let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk egg. Stir in sweet potato, salt and pepper. Divide between prepared ramekins, filling each about halfway, and pressing the sweet potato down into the ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap and place a heavy can or jar on top of the wrap to weight down the sweet potato. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Lightly coat a skillet with the remaining oil and beat over medium high heat. Remove plastic wrap and invert ramekins to slide noodle buns onto skillet. Cook, turning once, for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown on both sides and hot in the center.
Hamburger patties
1 pound lean ground beef
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon prime rib rub
1 teaspoon tarragon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 large egg
  1. Combine ingredients together and pat into 4 round patties. Wrap individually in foil and freeze until ready to fry.
  2. If frying immediately, lightly spray a frying pan with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium high heat. Fry burgers until desired doneness.

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