Thursday, March 7, 2013

Picadillo and Sweet Potato Fries

I have been craving the unique flavors that make up picadillo, so I made it last night. Tonight, with the leftovers, I added spicy baked sweet potato fries. It proved to be an excellent combination.

Picadillo is a Cuban dish. There are various versions. Here's an easy one, taken from a fun cookbook called "A Man & His Pan," by Memphis native John Boswell. All the recipes are designed to be prepared in a 9 inch non-stick skillet, but, trust me, you can use the skillet of your choice.

Saute onions.

Add chopped green peppers and garlic and saute a bit more.

Add cumin, oregano, and red pepper flakes.

Add crumbled ground beef and cook until meat loses pink color. Vegetarians: You can use soy crumbles. I use those about half the time.

Add a can of diced tomatoes (with juices), a splash of balsamic vinegar, a bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste.

After simmering 15-20 minutes, stir in raisins, slivered almonds, and sliced pimento-stuffed olives. After simmering about 10 minutes, add 1/4 cup sherry and simmer a few minutes more. Remove the bay leaf.

Serve in a small bowl or over rice. I love the combination of flavors and textures.

The sweet potato fries are a great companion. Peel the potatoes and create flat slicing surfaces as soon as possible. The easiest way is to cut in half and then cut the halves in half.

Then slice the pieces into fries.

Toss with oil, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt and spread on baking sheet. Tip: Use silpat or parchment paper to keep fries from sticking.

Bake at 425 for about 30 minutes, tossing periodically. I like to let them get a little brown & crispy.

Picadillo and sweet potato fries. That's what we're having.


  1. Damn, Gay! Both this dishes look fabulous! I'm reading this at 7 in the morning and I swear my mouth is watering. I'd eat them for breakfast if I had the leftovers sitting in my fridge!

  2. The sweet potato fries are all gone, but we've got plenty of picadillo left. I'm thinking it'd be an interesting burrito or quesadilla filling.