My Beloved Osito,
It’s the third week of the season and by far one of the oddest game weeks I’ve seen. Regarding the game, we played the Appalachian State Mountaineers at their stadium in “BOONE North Carolina” (every commentator, radio and TV personalities seemed to yell when they said the city). It was odd because this school, two years ago in 2014, was a part of the FCS division which would make them a “cupcake”
However, a majority of the fan base was concerned about this game and many of the “experts” either picked us to lose or put us on “upset alert”. It seemed, because “this team”, in 2007, beat the #5 team in the nation, and in the first game of this year (2016), they took the #9 team to overtime, they would give The U trouble. Even Vegas only had us picked to win by 3 points. The hype was compounded because this was the first time App St. had a home game against a Power 5 (SEC, ACC, Pac-12, Big Ten [B1G] or Big 12) school and this was held as one of biggest events in Boone history. For me, it was odd because the school gave me absolutely nothing to work with to create a game day meal. I couldn’t use Mountaineers for obvious reasons and their mascot is a guy named “Yoself”, which according to Wikipedia is “mountain talk” for yourself. Side-note, never use Wikipedia as a credible source in school.
But I digress….To lock down a meal idea; I had to do a ‘statewide search. During this search I found out that sweet potatoes are a pretty big deal in NC. NC produces over 50% of the sweet potatoes grown in the U.S. and it became the state vegetable in 1995 (http://www.ncfieldfamily.org/farm/super-sweet-potato-facts/). While I was trying to decide on how to grill a sweet potato, The U was running away with the game, literally. On our first offensive play the running back broke an 80-yard touchdown run and that was basically how the rest of the game played out. I decided on grilling the potatoes two ways, a whole potato wrapped in foil and grilled slices to create a grilled sweet potato chip. For the ‘dip’, I made a Crème Anglaise sauce. The whole potato came out as smooth as our first play, but there were lessons learned from the chips. The dip was perfect on both version of the sweet potato and gave me a warm holiday feeling inside. The final score of the game was 45 – 10 and I give the food a 7 out of 10 with a note that says “you’ll definitely see this during thanksgiving as a side dish.” Next week The U has a bye so any and everything is fair game.
Whole Sweet Potato
- Take a whole sweet potato and rinse. Poke holes in it with a knife or fork
- Place the potato on a piece of foil big enough to wrap the entire potato in. Add a little olive oil and a piece of butter
- Wrap fully and place on the grill for ~30-35 minutes or until soft to the touch
- Top with a little brown sugar and crème anglaise
Sweet Potato Chips
- Take a whole sweet potato and rinse. Cut into .5 – 1 inch slices
- Coat in olive oil and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon
- Grill until desired tenderness, reference lessons learned below
- Serve with crème anglaise
- Ensure slices are a consistent thickness so they will cook evenly throughout
- Place on direct heat to get beautiful grill lines, but move them to higher rack to cook until desired tenderness
- In a small saucepan, take 1 cup of heavy cream and 2 teaspoons of vanilla and heat until it starts to bubble around the edges
- While cream and vanilla heat, mix 1/3 cup of sugar and 4 egg yolks until smooth.
- There are a lot of “hacks” out there to separate a yolk like using a water bottle, but I just use the shell like Moms taught me.
- After sugar and eggs are mixed and the cream is bubbling, pour half of the cream into egg mixture while whisking constantly.
- Finally, pour the egg, sugar and half of cream back into the saucepan with the remaining cream and whisk. It is done when it sticks on the back of a wooden spoon.
Love you to “Infinity…and Beyond”