When Matt and I were in Chapel Hill last month, we ate at this great Mexican place my friend recommended to me: Carrburritos (which is in Carrboro – so clever). It was basically a Chipotle-type setup where you chose your meat/protein and they added a bunch of toppings. And I noticed that one of the options was mashed sweet potatoes.
I wasn’t brave enough to try the sweet potatoes there (plus, I was REALLY hungry, and I wasn’t about to jeopardize my meal), but I decided that I would try to recreate it when I got home.
I happened to be on the phone with my mom when I started my experiment, and she mentioned that Simply in Season (possibly my favorite cookbook) had a sweet potato quesadilla recipe. I opened that up and looked at the recipe, but I felt like it had so much more potential. So I just started doing my own thing. And by the time I was done, I realized that if I wanted to remember the substitutions I made, I’d pretty much need to write an entirely new recipe.
And that’s what I did.
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 can black beans
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
8 oz. cheddar cheese (or more, depending on how much cheese you like)
8 large tortillas
Wash and poke holes in the sweet potato. Cook in the microwave on high until done, about 7-8 minutes. Let cool
Meanwhile, drain and rinse the black beans, finely dice the jalapeno and onion, and grate the cheese. Set aside.
When the potatoes have cooled, scoop the insides into a mixing bowl. Add the milk and spices and combine into a thick paste.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Lay a tortilla flat in the pan and spread a heaping spoonful (or two) of the sweet potato mixture over half the tortilla. Sprinkle cheese over the entire tortilla, then add the black beans, jalapenos, and onions to the half with the sweet potato mixture.
Use a spatula to fold the tortilla in half. Cook, flipping once, until brown on both sides. Move to a plate. Repeat until all the filling is gone.
Makes 8 quesadillas.
According to Mom, I come from a long line of experimenters. Apparently my great-grandpa traveled a lot for work, and when he came home, he’d describe what he ate to my great-grandma, who would try to recreate the recipes. Without having eaten the original dish. That’s serious skill.
My grandma also liked to go to restaurants and try to recreate what she ate. And then we have my mom who has never met a recipe she wouldn’t try. We’re talking curried split peas, sauerbraten, eggplant almond enchiladas, and samosas in semi-regular rotation. If you’ve ever eaten at our house, you know what I’m talking about.
Thanks for reading!