Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sweet Potato Blintzes with Farmer's Cheese

My son is officially in toddlerdom, especially when it comes to meal time. Things that were once beloved now are given to the dog or belong to the floor (which then goes to the dog). Sometimes within one meal a food goes from being bad to good to bad again (mac and cheese is not a floor food!). It’s hard, especially when you worked hard on something, but it’s all worth the effort in turning my child into a foodie.

These were a hit on dinner 1 and breakfast 1 and less so for dinner 2. The sauce, which is I changed to blueberry because it is a food he still very much enjoys, was always popular. So despite the potential of the dog getting a fabulous meal, I’d say these are worth the time and, as a bonus, freeze really nicely. Adults can have some too and they taste extra great when you save them from the floor.

I’m including the original cranberry syrup recipe as I made it for the first set and it really is quite good. If you decide to go the blueberry route, cut the sugar in half.

Sweet Potato Blintzes with Farmer’s Cheese via The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook:

Yield 16 blintzes

1½ c. milk (whole is great, other fat levels are also fine)
6 large eggs
1½ c. all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. table salt
1 Tb. melted butter or neutral oil, for brushing the pan, plus additional for cooking blintzes  

About 4 medium sweet potatoes
2 c. farmer’s cheese
2 large egg yolks
¼ c. sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
Few fresh gratings of nutmeg
Pinch of salt

Cranberry syrup-
2 c. fresh or frozen cranberries
¼ c. orange juice
½ c. sugar

Make the wrapper batter by combining all wrapper ingredients except for butter or oil in a blender. Pour the batter into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour or up to 2 days.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Bake the sweet potatoes on a tray for about 40 minutes, until soft. Let them cool in their skins. Once they’re cool, peel the sweet potatoes and mash them or run them through a potato ricer.
Preheat a medium skillet or crepe pan over medium-high heat. I don’t have a crepe pan. You probably don’t either. Don’t sweat it, your skillet is fine. Once it’s heated, brush the pan lightly with melted butter or oil. Pour ¼ cup batter into the skillet, swirling it until it evenly coats the bottom, and cook, undisturbed, until the bottom is golden and the top is set, about 2 minutes. No need to flip them. The key here is even heat and just a little bit of grease in your pan. Sounds complicated and come out perfect. Transfer the wrapper to a paper-towel-covered plate, cooked side down. Continue with the remaining batter.

Once the sweet potato puree is cool, stir in the farmer’s cheese, egg yolks, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

If you plan to freeze these, do so before the browning step. They’ll taste great if you wait.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Put an ever-so-slightly heaped ¼ cup of filling in the center of each wrapper, and fold the opposite sides of wrapper over filling until they barely touch. If you had to read that 14 times like I did, it means take the two vertical sides of the wrapper. It’ll make sense in a second. Pull the end of the crepe nearest to you over the filling (away from you), and roll the rest of the way, to completely enclose filling, forming elongated, egg-roll-shaped packets. Reheat with the remaining blintzes and filling. Reheat your crepe skillet - or a larger one, if you want to cook more blintzes are a time - over medium heat and add more butter or oil to coat the pan. Place a few blintzes, seam side down, in a skillet, and cook them until they are golden brown and crisp, for about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer them to a baking sheet, and keep them warm in the over until they are ready to serve.
Now make the syrup. In a saucepan, over medium heat, simmer the cranberries, orange juice, and sugar together until the berries burst, about 7 to 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 5 minutes more. Strain the syrup into a bowl.
Serve the blintzes warm with a drizzle of cranberry syrup and/or a dollop of sour cream.

If you’re lucky, your toddler will eat them and make you feel so proud. If not, they are also great in your own mouth.   

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