Two things I love above many other things – cooking and the outdoors. Throw in a bit of history and culture and you get an opportunity for a great experience!
Ready to cook! Sweet potatoes are one of those wonder foods that pack a big nutritional punch. They are high in fiber and vitamins A, C and B6 and even contain some decent protein.
This recipe was inspired by some of the ingredients in my Farm Table box of goodies – clean, local sweet potatoes, chives and spring onions. I was in the mood for something a bit spicy as well as sweet so a trip through my spice cabinet brought up organic agave nectar and some smoky chipotle chili pepper.
A word about cast iron Dutch Ovens
I like to think of them as the tool that fed the American Expansion west. It calls to mind Conestoga wagons, cowboys and campfires. or women in linen and wool with a wooden spoon and brick hearth. I also think of family, friends, fun and some really good food at the end of a long day of exploration and adventure.
More about these fabulous staples of the campfire kitchen later! For now, I’m hungry and ready to put this recipe together. I don’t usually measure, so for those of you who do I’ll do the best I can. Adjust seasoning to your taste.
Spicy Smoky Dutch Oven Sweet Potatoes
- 4 medium sweet potatoes well scrubbed and cut into 1.5 inch pieces (Note: I do not peel the taters. The skins are healthy and delicious.)
- 3 to 4 spring onions, thinly sliced using both white and green parts
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp chipotle chili pepper (more or less depending on the level of heat you desire)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup finely chopped chives
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tsp agave nectar (or honey or maple syrup)
- ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley for garnish
Preheat your Dutch Oven according to size. I used a 12 inch oven, so I put 10 coals on the bottom and 14 on the lid. While it’s heating, toss together the first 6 ingredients, making sure the potatoes and onions are well coated in seasoning and oil. You can oil your oven as well, or line with parchment paper. Once the oven is hot add the potato mixture, put the lid on and cook for about 20 minutes or until they are just fork tender, stirring once or twice. Replace coals as needed.
Coals are hot and food is cooking.
Once your potatoes are fork tender, mix together the remaining ingredients and add to the potatoes, stirring carefully to coat. Cook for another 15 minutes or until sugars in the ingredients start to caramelize.
Parsley chopped, diced and measured – more color and more flavor!
The sweet potatoes are all done and sprinkled with parsley. I wish you could smell this too!
This makes an excellent side dish for grilled Portobello’s or chicken along with some sautéed greens like mustard or kale.
Visit Old Dominion Iron Chefs for more information about recipes, history, cooking demonstrations and events.
We hope your family will try this savory recipe on your next camping trip to a Virginia State Park! You have 1700 campsites to choose from, ranging from primitive to developed sites with electric and water.