Utterly Badass Cajun Salad Topping


Come on guys.  Group hug.  Let's do this.  Let's make it weird.

Such a great response on the last post, that I can't quite even believe it.  I'm so thankful for all the positive, upbeat replies on it, and for all the beautifully written, heartfelt stories you all shared.  You guys are pretty awesome.  I feel so privileged that people who visit this little blog are so lovely.

Now that's been taken care of, let's get down to business.  The story of how this recipe I'm about to share came to be.

To top off a mental few days of email replying, this week has been manic.  I'm not one to sit here and list it all for my bragging pleasure, (READ IT.  READ MY THINGS) but it's been a strange one.  Between the bipolar weather here in the UK (One day I was in my summer clothes, basking in the sunshine, two days later I was in 4 layers and a heavy duty raincoat) and the distinctly "meh" feeling that's been circulating through my friends, family and work colleagues, it's been a bit pants.  You heard me!  It's been a bit pants!

Which is UK slang for 'a bit of a crap week really.'

It's all well and good feeling the get up and go, but what about when you plan to do a hike with a buddy and then the torrential rain puts paid to those plans?

What about when the dull, dark days IN MAY make you think that summer is never going to come?

What about the days where you are bored, tired and restless?

When everyone around you feels the same, and you all just sit together, slowly melting into one giant gelatinous moany ball of mopiness.

Nearly everyone I've spoken to this week has felt this way, or worse.

And I'm about to share my secret weapon in defeating what I like to call the "Where the hell is our summer?" blues.

You've probably already guessed it.

Yeah.  It's food.


To be more precise though, on a day like today, I'm talking about this: my utterly badass cajun salad topping.

What is that?!  Why is it badass?!  Why is it orange?!  What's going on?!  Did you take pictures of it on a fence panel!?

All those questions are valid.  To answer them, let me set a scene for you.

In front of you, lies a salad.  It looks pretty nice, there's some leaves, some nice shavings of carrot, maybe some seeds.  It's nothing special but you like the look of it.  You take a bite but it's tastes monochrome.  It's kinda dull.  Just like the view outside your window.


You know what makes a person feel invincible?  You know what renews that vigour, that drive, that get up and go?

Feeling a little bit badass.  That's what.

To some, feeling badass might mean jumping out of a plane, scaling a mountain, wrestling a goat or even just eating an ice cream if you're lactose intolerant.

To me, feeling badass means cooking in extreme ways, with extreme flavours.

They are spicy.
They are flavourful.
They are crunchy.
THEY ARE DEEP FRIED.

Oh that's right.  You're probably thinking that I'm nuts.  I mean, yes, I took pictures of this on a fallen fence panel, but I'm not nuts guys.

This is chopped up little bits of sweet potato, covered in spelt flour and spice, thrown into a vat of boiling, bubbly oil, and then coated in cajun flavouring.  In only a few minutes, you too can be badass.

With all that in mind.  I GIVE YOU....


Okay, so health and safety.  We may be badasses but we aren't stupid.  When dealing with hot oil, you are dealing with something that can seriously maim you.  So be careful!  If you have a deep fat fryer this obviously can be made with that.  If, like me, you only have a large saucepan, a sugar thermometer and a set of wits - you can use this method.

YOU WILL NEED:
2 sweet potatoes (medium sized)
125ml buttermilk or 1 egg whisked.
200g spelt flour
Cajun seasoning
1 tablespoon ground chilli
about 500ml of oil, I used coconut oil, it's gets them nice and crispy and is a bit healthier but you can use vegetable oil, You don't need much as there isn't much to deep fry.

FIRST OF ALL
Set up your frying station.  Fill your saucepan with the oil (I used a thin tall one, instead of a large shallow one).  Place to one side, ready for after your prep.

SWEET VEG OF MINE
Peel your sweet potatoes (skin is nice an all, but not in this case), and slice them up into real small pieces.  I used a spiralizer on the smallest setting, so the pieces came out at less than 1/2 inch thick.  To replicate this without a spiralizer can be quite hard, but I promise, the smaller, the better!

DON'T GIVE A TOSS
Mix the spelt flour with the ground chilli.  Next, toss your sweet potato in the buttermilk until it is covered.  Then drain off the buttermilk and place into a bowl.  Pour over the spelt flour/chili mix and and continue to cover it until the sweet potato is evenly covered and dry.  (dry is good!  We don't want explosive oil!).  Tap off any excess flour and place on a plate.

FEEL THE HEAT
Now it's time to fry.  Heat your oil to about 160°c using your sugar thermometer. Once it reaches this temperature, lower the heat to a simmer and put in about half of your sliced sweet potato.  Leave to simmer for roughly 2 minutes (until it starts to go a darker orange and the spelt flour starts to turn golden brown.  Once the first batch is done, transfer to a cooling wrack covered in baking parchment and kitchen towel.  Wait until cool and pat dry if needed.  Increase the heat of the oil again until it reaches 160°c again.  Add the second batch of sweet potato and repeat the process.  When they are done they should be crunchy, but have a little give to them.  They shouldn't be burnt, though it's hard to get this right the first couple of times.

FLAVOUR.
Finally, sprinkle your cajun mix over your finished potato.  Make sure it's evenly covered yet again.  It can be used straight away or stored.  If you plan on storing, wait until the topping is thoroughly cooled and then place in an airtight jar lined with baking parchment to keep it from going gross.  It should last a few days this way.  Should.

Throw them over salads, and feel a little bit badass.  Or eat straight out of the jar.  I won't judge.


So that's that.  In other news, I created this pinterest board, full of pretty quotes, funny pictures, tasty food and positive body images to support my earlier post.  Give it a look over if you have five minutes :)  Click the image below to have a gander!

 Food is not the Enemy pinterest board.

Speak soon,


xx

12 comments:

  1. LOL...I first thought they were fried fish or something...mmm...sweet potatoes..that's even better. I would probably finish the whole topping before they make their way to the salad :-))

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    1. I won't lie... not a lot of it was stored (none of it was stored. We ate it all.

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  2. Sounds fantastic. I'm all about the toppings - especially when it comes to my salad. Ha! I'm a big kid when it comes to my leafy greens.

    I just read your last post and I've got to say first off, thank you. I love the honesty. It gave me a lot of encouragement. It's so easy to slip into that black hole of self-hate, but when you hear from others, it gives you a little bit more strength and more courage to stop fretting about what's on the other end of the fork. There is so much more to life. Like looking beyond the fork and realizing how blessed you are to be sharing that meal with loved ones. It isn't always easy. It's definitely a 'silent' battle for me, but your post was encouraging and eye-opening. It's crazy the measures people will take to make themselves what they are pressured to believe is 'perfect'. Well, needless to say it was refreshing - especially coming from a food blogger!

    Have a wonderful day :)

    Toodles,
    Tammy<3

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    1. Thank you so much Tammy, I appreciate that! I agree with you completely, thank you for reading the previous post, that's exactly what I was hoping would come across.

      Hope you have a great day too!

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  3. Oh my goodness, these look totally BADASS!! Haha!! Also they look a bit like I might set myself/my kitchen on fire! Either way I'll let you know how I get on!! xx

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  4. These sweet potatoes sound wonderful. Who needs a salad with this, I would eat the sweet potatoes without the salad.

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  5. HA! Love that you utilised a fence panel. I got home and beg my stepdad to hammer wood together for me to photograph on. Then I left it at home. Fail. This looks super. Definitely bad ass!

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    1. haha that's brilliant! I have 12 more panels of rotting dirty fence if you want? ;) The things we do for our blogs! Do you spend inordinate amounts of time in charity shops too?!

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  6. First off I love the "pants" slang! haha, can I steal it even if I'm not from the UK? Okay now to the actual fried goodness that you made, sweet potatoes have never looked better! yum!

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    1. You have honorary uk use of the pants slang ;) Cheers Abby!!

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