Atlanta Food Blog Forum rocked! Until this last week our only experiences w/ Atlanta have entailed epic misguided treks within the Atlanta International Airport courtesy of Delta and delayed red-eye flights. Not pleasant.
However, we’re not ones to judge an area by its airports (or freeways for that matter), so we were excited to experience a true tidbit of Atlanta. With the excuse of FBF’s Atlanta Seminar propelling us back to the east coast, we barefooted our way past TSA, watched a movie and a half, ate a few pretzels, then gathered our bags and settled into the warm, sweet air of Atlanta.
After getting outside the mini-city of Hartsfield-Jackson, the people became as sweet as their tea. On Sunday, the day after the seminar, we had arranged a later flight back home so we’d have a bit of time to go exploring.
We bypassed the freeways and drove the lush tree lined streets, hunting down local banh mi, pho, fried chicken, and finally landing at their culinary market mecca of Dekalb Farmer’s Market. The banh mi was excellent, the pho not-too-shabby, and the fried chicken was a deliciously fascinating discovery of a local style in battering and frying the bird.
But the wow-factor light up after entering into the air-conditioned building housing the Dekalb Farmer’s Market. Produce, spices, and other culinary foodstuffs from around the world filled their shelves and bins. It is a place where expat Jamaicans hunt down their prized habaneros (“I can’t live wit-out me spice!” was rhythmically share with us), nearly every type of spice, flour, and grain is awaiting its ethnic home, and the produce, meats, and cheeses of nearly every desire is available for discovery.
Amongst all the overflowing bins of fruits and veggies, it was of course the Southern classics which excelled in the quality. Collared greens raised lush and hearty in the southern air. And the sweet potatoes! Loved beyond the holidays down here, the sweet potatoes were gorgeous copper prizes begging to be cooked. We spotted them from a body & cart packed aisle away and were immediately inspired.
As soon as got back home, the craving for sweet potato still filled our lungs and led to the inspiration for this recipe. Starting with one of my favorite bar crusts (a graham cracker crust with fresh ginger), they were next layered with a dark chocolate softened with bit of milk, then finished off with beautiful, sweet potato pie filling. Top ‘em with a dollop or two of whipped cream if you really want to go crazy!
Yield: 12 bars
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
To make sweet potato puree, you can either bake skin on sweet potatoes for about 1.5 hrs(until soft) @ 375 °F, then peel & press through fine mesh sieve, or you can peel, boil for @ 20-30 min or until soft then press through fine mesh sieve. Baking is slightly more flavorful, boiling is much quicker.
Preheat oven to 350°F