Thursday, May 31, 2012

Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission seeks your winning recipe

The sweet potato is not a potato at all—or even a distant relative to the potato. Potatoes are tubers and sweet potatoes are actually roots. In Louisiana, they are often referred to as yams and have found their way onto many restaurant menus in recent years, mainly as side dishes and desserts.

Deadline to submit your sweet potato recipe is June 7!
So where does the word yam come from, you may wonder? African slaves in the South called the sweet potato “nyami” because it reminded them of the starchy, edible tuber of that name that grew in their homeland. The Senegalese word “nyami” was eventually shortened to “yam.”

"I use sweet potatoes regularly on my menu and also use the white sweet potato called the Boniato from Cuba," said Dominique Macquet of Tamarind Restaurant in Lee Circle.

Those that are the brightest, prettiest orange color are the richest in beta-carotene, contain vitamin B6, iron, potassium and fiber and contain virtually no fat or sodium.  Studies have consistently shown that a high intake of beta carotene-rich foods like the sweet potato can significantly reduce the risks for certain types of cancer.

Louisiana Cookin' magazine's October
issue will feature the winning recipes
submitted in the Sweet Rewards
Recipe Contest.
"During the Louisiana ProStart competition a few months ago, sweet potatoes were used by the students to compliment the protein in their entree," said James Blanchard, ProStart Coordinator.

For the ninth year, the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission is sponsoring a recipe contest in partnership with Louisiana Cookin’ magazine. More than 1,000 recipes were submitted last year from every state in the nation and more are expected this year.

The Louisiana Restaurant Association is also a sponsor and encourages professional chefs to submit their most delicious recipe for an appetizers, side dish, entrée or desserts. An overall grand prize winner will be selected and will win $1,000! To top it off, one winner in the professional category will be awarded an additional $500 each.

This year, chefs can use fresh, frozen or canned sweet potatoes in their creations.  Deadline to submit your recipe(s) is June 7. If you enter more than one recipe, you need to complete a separate entry for each recipe.
Winner of the 2010 Appetizer
category was Louisiana
native Drue Deshotels with
the Subcontinent Sweet Potato
Soup featuring Louisiana Shrimp.

Prize winners will be determined based on overall flavor, visual appeal and creativity. Finalists’ recipes will be prepared by culinary students at Delgado Community College of New Orleans and judged by an independent panel of food industry professional whose decisions are final.

With the rich soil conditions in Louisiana, the nutritional benefits and a cash prize, that’s a winning recipe in our books! So enter today!

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