Thursday, May 3, 2012

Twice Baked "Pizza" Sweet Potatoes (and Just 6 Months to Go!)

Before we go too far, I have to beg of you to stick with me through this post... The pictures aren't that great, but the dish itself is fantastic! So if you'll just trust me on that, I'd appreciate it. And if you do make it to the end of the post, I have some better pictures waiting for you so it'll make your journey worth it. ;)

Now are you all set? Okay, great. Here we go!

This recipe came to be as a result of one of those scenarios when you have some random ingredients to use up, so you dream up a creative dish and cross your fingers it also turns out to be delicious. Thankfully, that was the case with this one! Last Monday night, I made turkey meatball subs for Mike and me. They were super delicious (too bad I didn't take photos to blog about them), and after making them, I was left with some extra meatballs, cheese, and some tomato sauce. Additionally, I had a few mushrooms on hand, as well as half an onion that I wanted to use up. Oh, and there were two sweet potatoes sitting on my counter just waiting to be eaten. This happened to be Wednesday evening that I had all these ingredients I wanted to use, and since I was going away for the weekend, I was really making an effort to eat up what I had on hand that might not last until Sunday evening when I'd return. I've seen various recipes for twice baked potatoes (regular and sweet potatoes) around the web and thought to myself, hey, I could totally do something similar with these random, leftover ingredients! And so, the twice baked "pizza" sweet potatoes were born.

The recipe below is a Barbershop original, and it serves two people.


-2 medium to large sweet potatoes
-6 turkey meatballs (cooked)
-1/2 medium to large white or yellow onion, diced
-6 white button mushrooms, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
-1 garlic clove, minced
-1/2 to 2/3 cup of your favorite pasta or tomato sauce
-2 to 4 Tbsp. shredded mozzarella cheese
-grated parmesan cheese


Roast the whole sweet potatoes in a 400 degree oven for about an hour. Be sure to poke a few holes or cut a few slits in them before doing so though. Then go do something else productive for an hour. :)

Once the sweet potatoes are done, let them cool while you prepare the "stuffing." Over medium heat, in a drizzle of olive oil, cook the diced onion, about 6 to 8 minutes. For the last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking the onion, add in the minced garlic and chopped mushrooms, until the mushrooms cook down a bit and are slightly browned. When the potatoes are cool enough to work with, carefully scoop out the insides of the potato, while doing your best to leave the potato skins intact (you'll need them again in a minute!). In a large bowl, mash the sweet potato filling with a fork. Add in the onion and mushroom mixture. Slice the cooked meatballs into smaller, bite-sized pieces, and add them to the sweet potato mixture too. Stir until well combined.

Place the two potato skins on a cookie sheet or in a casserole dish (it doesn't really matter what you use!), and carefully fill each skin with a generous amount of the sweet potato filling (you will likely have some filling leftover - not to worry, it works well as a leftover meal - serve it in a tortilla wrap and you've got a quesadilla ;)). On top of each potato, spoon some pasta/tomato sauce (I'd estimate about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of sauce on each). Sprinkle with desired amount of mozzarella cheese (and parm cheese too, if you'd like!). Place under the broiler for 5 to 7 minutes or until the cheese becomes melted and lightly browned.

Serve hot and enjoy!

Remember, these photos are not particularly good. I just didn't put much effort into pictures that evening... But this recipe ended up being too good not to share with you!

This is the sweet potato, onion and mushroom mixture, and meatballs, just about to be mixed together for the filling.

Now, I will admit that I roasted the sweet potatoes a bit too long in the oven, so the skins were very flimsy and didn't really hold up well to the stuffing. So, I just did the best I could to fill the skins with the stuffing. It worked well enough for us. The main thing was that it was delicious...we didn't really care if its structure was all that sound or not. :)

All set for the broiler!

Mmmmm, melty cheese...

Soooo yummy!

I just realized that I completely forgot another point to the story of how this recipe came about. I had originally intended to make pizza with the leftovers (meatballs, sauce, cheese, veggies - hello pizza!), but on Tuesday night Mike had gone out with his frisbee team after practice for pizza.... So since it would be less than ideal for him to eat pizza two nights in a row, I thought I should come up with something else. However, I did still have pizza dough I had bought! So I used the dough to make rolls that we enjoyed along side our twice baked potatoes. Simple! I divided the pizza dough into 8 equal portions, formed each into a roll, and placed the rolls in a casserole dish. I brushed them with olive oil and sprinkled some dried herbs de provence on top and then baked them for 12 to 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Such a great, alternative use of pizza dough!

Now, onto those better pictures I promised! Today, May 3rd, marks six months until our wedding day!! Wow, time sure is flying (in a good way!). So for fun I thought I'd share with you some of our engagement photos! A few weeks ago we met with our wedding photographers in Saratoga Springs for the engagement session; we had such a fun day and are very pleased with how the photos came out! Below is a sneak peak of one pic...and you can click on this link to see some more!

(photo credit: Upstate Photographers)


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