'Sweet potatoes are a commonly used soul food ingredient in the South,' writes Lance Rosen in the introduction to his recipe for a luscious-looking sweet potato pudding in his book, Temples of BBQ.
'They are often referred to as yams, but research tells me that yams and sweet potatoes are actually different vegetables. The yams served in America are sometimes sweet potatoes. This recipe makes a very moreish sweet and savoury side dish. For a twist, bake it as a pie in a pastry tart and serve it as dessert, but drop the salt to 1/4 teaspoon,' he adds.
The recipe for sweet potato pudding with pecans was just one of several that caught my eye, as I was flipped through the pages of this big, delicious book compiled and written by 'a big man... with a big personality... and big heart'.
Rosen is a South African Australian who is, according to his friend and colleague, chef Gary Mehigan, 'unstoppably enthusiastic and generous, and obsessed by food.' According to Mehigan in the Foreword to the book, the author has been on 'a number of fact finding missions to the US, investigating BBQ competitions and countless roadhouses and restaurants in search of the perfect fried chicken or smoke ring on a brisket.'
Indeed, Rosen himself calls his book the Big Boy's guide to the Temples of BBQ across the USA.
'Our family drove over 6126.7 kilometres in search of BBQ Temples. We were converted to post oak, apple and hickory wood,' he says.
'We were initiated into whole hog cooking in the Carolinas and baptised by brisket in Texas. We sang the praises of wet and dry ribs in Memphis and were annointed by burnt ends and BBQ sauce in Kansas City. We were welcomed by the Temple congregations and we revelled in their hospitality.'
'Temples of BBQ brings your the BBQ road trip of a lifetime. We show you where to go, what to eat and then give you the recipes to create your perfect BBQ and soul food at home... wherever that might be,' he concludes.
His lip-smacking prose presents the perfect introduction to this 334 page hard cover book, which is broken into chapters that include BBQ essential and sauces; along with as stories and recipes from road trips to Texas, Memphis, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina, North Carolina, New York and Kansas.
The recipes include Alabama chicken, Southern Fried chicken, Lexington pulled pork, Texas brisket, Kansas City style pork ribs and plenty more. Other stand outs include sweet corn pudding with a biscuit topping; cornbread; mint julep; fried pie with two fried fruit fillings; broccoli slaw; and banana pudding. Definitely a book for the BBQ lover in your family!
SWEET POTATO PUDDING
Ingredients for the Pudding:
800 grams sweet potato
300 millilitres cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
150 grams brown sugar
50 grams maple syrup
Ingredients for the Topping:
1.5 cups pecan nuts
1/4 cup pecan nuts [extra] for garnish
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
Heat the oven to 180 degrees C. Bake the unpeeled sweet potatoes for about one hour or until soft. Peel and discard the skins. Blend the 1.5 cups of pecan nuts coarsely in the food processor. Reserve for later.
Place the sweet potatoes in a food processor with the cream, salt, cinnamon, brown sugar, 50 grams maple syrup and the eggs. Blend well.
Place the sweet potato mixture into an oven dish. Top with the coarsely chopped pecan nuts, whole nuts for garnish and brown sugar. Bake at 180 degrees C for 25 minutes.
Pour over the remaining maple syrup and bake for a further 5 minutes. Serve warm.
Recipes and images from Temples of BBQ appear with the permission of Lance Rosen and his publisher. Thank you kindly to Lance Rosen and his media team for giving me the opportunity to showcase this book. Temples of BBQ by Lance Rosen, $49.00.
Your turn now, dear readers. Do you enjoy barbecues and have you ever been on a BBQ road trip? What about sweet potatoes? Do you ever bake them into sweet dishes?
Thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment. I do so appreciate hearing from you.
Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
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- Liz Posmyk
NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.