Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sweet Potato Crostini with Fresh Cheese & Tapioca Caviar

My absolute favorite things to watch on television are sci-fi shows. I've placed shows like Babylon 5 and Star Trek on the highest altars I can conceive of. Give me a guy in weird make-up and I'll listen to anything he says. For years, I was enamored with Klingons and I even perfected a weird howl that I pretended was part of their language. Yup, I went around howling like a sick wolf. And I only have to hear the words 'warp speed' to get this rapturous look in my eyes and fall off my chair.

Comedies too. For me, 'Friends' is a real benchmark. I remember meeting someone who said he didn't like the show. I looked at him like he was a particularly offensive slug. For some reason, we never really got close.

But Reality TV is really not my thing....except for a dance show and one other show- Top Chef. I guess its because of all the food; always on the lookout for interesting food. One thing that caught my fancy was in the fourth season when Andrew constantly made his 'Tapioca Caviar'. It sounded fun, but this is the first time I got around to trying it.

It's been a while since I bit into something and went "Mmmmm..." This was it. The combination of flavors is really yummy with the sweet potato mash and cheese and subtle mint. The caviar is sorta lost and I guess its mostly decoration anyway. Looks real pretty though :)

Sweet Potato Crostini with Fresh Herbed Cheese and Tapioca Caviar

Fresh Herbed Cheese

1/2 liter milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice/1/2 tsp citric acid crystals dissolved in warm water
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp chopped fresh herbs- mint/ coriander/ parsley.

Boil the milk and remove from the stove. Pour in the lemon juice and wait for it to curdle. Pour into a white cloth to separate the milk solids from the whey. Squeeze out most of the water. To make the cheese creamy, you could put it in a blender. Either way, add the salt and the chopped herbs and mix well.

Tapioca Caviar

1 tbsp tapioca pearls
3 cups water
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp white vinegar
1 pinch salt
2 pinch sugar

Combine the last 4 ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Cook the tapioca pearls in water for 15 to 20 mins. Drain partially and fish out the pearls. Add it to the sauce immediately. Allow it to rest for at least an hour as the pearls soak up the sauce. Refrigerate till further use.

Sweet Potato Mash

1 medium sized sweet potato
1 or 2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp yogurt
1 tbsp buttermilk
2 tsp chilli flakes
salt and pepper, to taste

Pressure cook the sweet potato till is soft. Chop up the garlic clove and add it to the mash along with the rest of the ingredients.

Toast the bread and spread the sweet potato mash on it. Top with a spoonful of cheese and decorate with tapioca caviar.


  1. Oh! It's savory-- I've never seen tapioca pearls used that way. Very unique and creative! :) I love that you totally wrote off a person based on his dislike for Friends, hahaha! :)

  2. Yes, a little googling will throw up the fact that 'tapioca caviar' was created by a Chef Bobby Varua of 701 Restaurant, Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC....I found it creative and entertaining as well :)

    As to the FRIENDS thingy, yeah, well...I'm guilty of that! But come on, in all fairness, can someone like that be sane?! :P

  3. Delicious crostini Mia!!!
    I also dislike reality tv. I'm more than ready for scripted tv to come back! But, like you, I enjoy Top Chef and So You Think You Can Dance. That's it!
    I adore sweet potatoes!

  4. Tapioca pearls sound a la exotic to me. WOW. I wish I had time to watch chef shows, but I'm glad you do & I can get inspired though you. Those crostini are YUM!!

  5. Thanks Deeba! Top Chef Masters is running now and I'm watching it. Let's see what comes out of that! :)

  6. sounds like an interesting lovely combination