Good morning friends! Hope you all are as happy as a camel on hump day (Charles’ favorite commercial)! Just a friendly reminder that you still have time to enter the Save Your Bacon weekend getaway with Robb Wolf, Joel Salatin and more up in Swoope VA (value of the tickets: $450)! Click here for details (contest info is at the bottom of the post).
Now onto some recipe fun.
The other day I got to reminiscing about my many years living in Los Angeles. Most specifically, I was recounting my final months living in LaLaLand (circa 2006), a time when I rented a room in a gorgeous house just 4 blocks from Redondo Beach. The house had a rooftop patio where we would sit and watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. Bristol Farms and Trader Joe’s were seconds away. Starbucks practically within shouting distance. And I could be on the famed strand in under 5 minutes. To make matters even better, my roommates were fabulous, loads of fun, great friends, tequila connoisseurs, and big fans of Coyote Cantina in Redondo. By association, I became a big fan of Coyote too (I already had the tequila enjoyment down pretty nicely!).
It was one dish and one dish alone that I’m fairly certain I ordered every single time we dined at Coyote (to accompany my tequila, no doubt). It was the sweet corn ravioli with a guajillo cream sauce. To this day, that dish takes me back to my time in Redondo, reminding me of some very fun times and the smell of the ocean on a breezy day. While the ravioli itself was good, as you all know by now I’m a sauce kind of girl, and let me just say that their guajillo sauce is amazing.
A few months ago I got to thinking about that sauce (maybe it was because it was a dreary day here in Atlanta) and decided to try my hand at recreating. Because my former roommates were such frequent diners at this restaurant, they once asked for and heard bits and pieces about how the sauce was made. I do know that sugar and manufacturer’s cream were part of the sauce, but that’s about all I remembered. So I gave it a shot. And I tried again. I tweaked this and that, and then finally came to a point where I was quite happy with the result.
The real question (once I had the sauce down) was what would go well with this (or, as Charles said, what wouldn’t go well with this sauce). I opted to give our trusty spiral slicer a go, and created some lovely sweet potato noodles. For those of you who have been in the Paleosphere for a while, no doubt you’ve heard great things about the spiral slicer. Especially if anyone in your family is a noodle fiend but not so enthralled with spaghetti squash, this handy dandy gadget can make just about any veggie or fruit into your favorite noodles. The Paderno brand that we have is quite inexpensive (relatively speaking) and gets discounted quite a bit on Amazon, so keep your eyes peeled for that (oh, that was a really bad pun. Sorry). If you are really pinching pennies and want something a little less expensive that can still do the julienne cuts, this Zyliss slicer is pretty handy (we use it quite a bit on zucchini).
Quite a few people have asked how exactly the spiral slicer works. Thanks to the power of technology, here we demonstrate just how quickly and easily this thing works. Clean up is a breeze, and if you have youngsters in the house, I’m sure they would love nothing more than to be the official noodle maker for mealtime!
As you can see, it’s so easy that even a sleep-deprived-mom-of-a-7-month-old-with-a-head-cold can do it!
Now for the magic sauce recipe to go with these noodles:
Sweet Potato Noodles with Creamy Guajillo Sauce
Yield: approximately 4-6 servings
Time: approximately 20 minutes start to finish
4 guajillo chile peppers (guajillos are pretty mild. If you can’t find them, use New Mexico or California chills).
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon coconut oil, lard or ghee
1/2 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 cups full fat coconut milk (or heavy cream if you tolerate dairy…or a mix if you prefer)
1-2 teaspoons chipotles in adobo sauce (optional – I find it adds a nice smoky flavor to the sauce. Remember, these do pack a punch, so if you want it really fiery, go ahead and add in more)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons coconut oil, lard or ghee
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and made into noodles using a spiral slicer
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add the guajillos, toasting them until just fragrant but not burnt. Remove them from the skillet and tear into small pieces, removing the stems and seeds.
- To the skillet, add your oil, and once hot, add in the onion, sauteeing until just translucent. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes more.
- Stir in the tomato paste, coconut milk, chipotles (if using), oregano and cumin, and mix well to combine. Bring just to a boil to allow flavors to infuse into the coconut milk.
- Pour all the contents of the skillet into a blender and puree until smooth. (Always use caution blending hot ingredients in a blender as the heat can cause the liquid to try and splatter all over your kitchen. We suggest placing a kitchen towel over the top of the blender and using firm pressure to press down on the lid when you start blending). Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve, then return to the stove. Allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes.
- For the noodles
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add in your oil. Once hot, add in the sweet potato noodles, stirring to combine well. Saute until your noodles reach your desired doneness, about 5-10 minutes (I like mine a bit on the still crunchy side).
- Pour the sauce over the noodles and stir all to combine well.
I tried this recipe by steaming the noodles first, but found that the noodles seemed to lose their flavor and were kind of mushy. I suppose you could try baking them too, but in the essence of quick and easy this seemed to work well in the skillet.
Let us know if you give this sauce a try and what you decide to serve it with!