Spatchcocked Roasted Chicken (Whole30 Compliant)

Spatchcocked Roasted Chicken

Isn’t this the most modest-looking chicken you’ve ever seen?  I sent this picture (or versions of it) to a handful of people and at least three of them commented on her modesty (it’s obviously a female…one, based on sheer odds, and two…she’s just so classy).  But seriously, she’s all modest looking because after I spatchcocked her, the only pan I had clean was pretty much the exact same size as the chicken…so the chicken kind of pulled in from the sides of the pan.  Oh well, it tasted DELICIOUS.

Anyway, this is the first time I’ve had pastured chicken.  We got it from the new farm we’re working with, the amazing HANSON FAMILY FARM.  Um…so it tastes only vaguely like the chicken from the grocery store.  It’s awesome.  I decided with this chicken, I was going to learn to spatchcock.  That is a funny word for “make the chicken lay flat.”  If you don’t know how to do that, there are something like a gabillion videos on YouTube that will teach you how.  After a quick search, this one looks pretty good:

I would take pictures of the whole process, but we have a tiny kitchen that doesn’t have any good surfaces for even remotely decent quality pictures…so I decided against posting those.

Spatchcocked Roasted Chicken (Whole30 Compliant)

Serves 2-4

3 pound chicken

1 1/2 Tbsp melted Kerrygold (or whatever oil you’d like to use)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp Archer Farms House Blend (this is a spice blend that is marjoram, fennel, thyme, cilantro, ginger, anise seed, sea salt, garlic, onion, and ground mustard–if you don’t want this, just throw some spices together that you enjoy)

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

 

1.- Preheat oven to 425.  Spatchcock the chicken and place skin-side down in a baking or roasting pan.

2.- In a small bowl, mix melted Kerrygold (or oil), garlic, and spices into a paste.  Rub some of this into the cavity side of the chicken.  Flip chicken and rub the rest into the skin (and underneath the skin if you want to).

3.- Put pan in oven and roast for 30-45 minutes (until the internal temperature reaches 165).  I used a 3-pound chicken and it took barely over 30 minutes to fully cook.

4.- Remove from oven and let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving (I let mine rest for 20 minutes or so while I was taking pictures).

5.- Devour the chicken like a caveman who hasn’t seen meat in six months.  Bonus points for grunting while you gnaw it off the bone.

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Chai-Spiced Pumpkin Custard (Paleo and Primal)

Pumpkin Chai Custard

Our favorite farmer is moving soon and we won’t be able to get meat from their farm anymore.  Sad time.  But…we have found A NEW FARM to work with!  And seriously…how excited am I that they have duck eggs?!  I’ve eaten them before, but never cooked with them, so I was really excited to get started (aside: I currently have a chicken from them thawing in the refrigerator and one of my next posts will be a spatchcocked chicken).  Anyway, although I love scrambled eggs, that sounded boring.  I decided to try out the duck eggs with a custard–something where you really get to give the eggs a workout.  My observation of the duck eggs (the yolks in particular): they are a lot more sturdy than a chicken egg.  I had to work slightly harder to whip the duck eggs than chicken eggs.  But trust me…the taste is worth it.

I’ve been doing a challenge this month with my BEACH BODY TRAINER and last week she posted a recipe for some sort of pumpkin coconut custard.  When I first looked at it, I thought it sounded delicious and I wanted to make it immediately.  It sounds good right?  Pumpkin Coconut Custard.  Well…then I saw that the recipe called not only for coconut milk (I figured that was the coconut part), but also coconut extract.  Um…pumpkin and super coconut don’t actually sound good to me.  But what does?  Pumpkin chai.  I used the base of the original recipe (which was already written as a paleo recipe…so fortunately, I didn’t have to substitute a bunch of items and match consistencies), switched the extract, added some key spices for the chai component, and voila!  This ramekin of tastiness was born.

Normally I try to refrain from making pumpkin stuff during the fall.  I know it sounds weird because pumpkin is very much a fall harvest; however, it seems as though my Facebook feed is inundated with yoga-mom-housewife-porn…AKA…PUMPKIN.  I start to wonder if a bunch of people start worshiping at The Holy Church of the Spice-est Pumpkin during this season…but maybe that’s just me.  This sounded so good that I decided to make it anyway.  Viva la pumpkin!

 

Chai-Spiced Pumpkin Custard

Serves 6

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1/2 tsp ground allspice

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp sea salt

4 large eggs, beaten

1/2 C pure maple syrup (I pretty much exclusively use grade B)

1/2 tsp vanilla

15-oz can pumpkin

3/4 C canned full-fat coconut milk (or heavy whipping cream)

3/4 C unsweetened almond milk

 

1.- Preheat oven to 300.  Get out a 9×13 pan and six 6-8 oz ramekins.

2.- In a small bowl, combine cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and sea salt.  Mix well and set aside.

3.- In a large bowl, whip eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla.  Whisk well until it starts to get a bit frothy.  Add pumpkin and spices–mix well.

4.- While whisking, add coconut milk and almond milk.  The batter will get pretty creamy.

5.- Pour evenly into ramekins.  I had enough to fill six ramekins with about 3/4 C of batter each, give or take.  Place ramekins in the 9×13 baking pan and pour an inch of hot water into the baking pan around the ramekin containers.  Bake 40 minutes, turn off oven, and leave in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.

6.- Cool completely and chill until ready to serve.

 

Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Butternut Squash, Apple, and Cranberry Saute (Whole30–sort of–Compliant)

Pork Tenderloin

I can’t, for the life of me, remember where I found this recipe originally.  It wasn’t paleo, so I had to do a bunch of substitutions to make it that way…but the picture in whatever magazine I found this in just looked too good not to try.  I say this is “sort of” Whole30 compliant for one reason: there is 2 tsp of coconut sugar in the butternut squash saute.  I can’t remember where the line is drawn on a small amount of sugar in a recipe.  I mean, this obviously isn’t SWYPO or anything…but I’ll leave it up to you. If you feel like you are still compliant with this amount of coconut sugar, then go for it.  If you feel like it’s a deal breaker, leave it out.  It will still be good without it–but it does add a certain something to the saute that otherwise wouldn’t be there.

The blob on the side that looks like dirty mashed potatoes is roasted cauliflower mash.  So…it looks and somewhat tastes like dirty mashed potatoes.  Try them–they’re delicious!

Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Butternut Squash, Apple, and Cranberry Saute

Serves 4

3 C peeled, seeded butternut squash (about a 2 pound squash)

1 C dried (unsweetened) cranberries

1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into thin medallions

3/4 tsp salt, divided

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

2 Tbsp tapioca starch or almond flour

1 Tbsp olive oil, divided

1 C chicken stock

1 Tbsp Kerrygold

1 C chopped onion

1 C peeled, chopped Granny Smith apple

2 tsp coconut sugar

1/4 tsp paprika

 

1.- Place squash and cranberries in a microwave-safe dish.  Add water to a depth of 1/4″ and cover the dish with plastic wrap.  Microwave for 7-10 minutes (until squash is tender).  Drain.

2.- Heat nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle pork medallions with 1/2 tsp salt (fr all of them collectively) and ground black pepper.  Place tapioca or almond flour in a small bowl.  Dredge medallions through the flour.

3.- Add 1 1/2 tsp of oil to pan and swirl to coat.  Add half of pork–cook 2-3 minutes per side.  Transfer to plate and repeat with remaining pork.

4.- Add stock to the pan that the pork was cooked in.  Scrape up any brown bits and cook until reduced by half.

5.- Melt Kerrygold in another skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion, apple, coconut sugar, and paprika.  Toss to coat.  Saute for 4-5 minutes.  Add squash, cranberries, and remaining 1/4 tsp of salt.  Toss and remove from heat.  Pour pan sauce over pork and serve with squash mixture.

Latke Stackers (Primal with Slaw/Whole 30 Compliant Without)

Latke Stacker

This is not my best picture I’ve ever taken.  We ate really late this night and there was no ambient light from the window next to my seat at the table…so just overlook that part!  These things were YUMMY.  Like…for realsies.  Of course I have to offer this confession, and you can decide whether my “literally” is actually literal or if it’s figurative (hint: it’s literal):

I could literally eat latkes until I really for real in real life puke all over the table.  And then I could eat some more.

Paleo-friendly pastrami is relatively hard to find around here, but I really wanted some for these stackers.  I forget what brand I found at Central Market…it was organic, nitrate/nitrite/blah blah blah-free, and organic cane sugar was the last ingredient on the list.  There was one gram of sugar in a 4 oz serving, so I wasn’t incredibly worried about it.  Feel free to pick whatever meat you want for these though!

REMEMBER: If you eat these with the slaw as is, they are NOT Whole30 compliant.  You could pretty much just make a salad with the solids and spices, or replace the sour cream with a mixture of mayo and a little almond milk.

Latke Stackers with Apple Sour Cream Slaw

Serves 4-6 + leftover latkes

Apple Sour Cream Slaw:

4 Granny Smith apples, coarsely grated

1/2 C jicama, coarsely grated

1/4 C sour cream

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp honey

2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

1/8 tsp cinnamon

salt and pepper

2 Tbsp lemon juice

2 scallions, coarsely chopped (green and white parts)

1.- In large bowl, whisk sour cream, apple cider vinegar, Dijon, honey, EVOO, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.  Mix in lemon juice, apples, jicama, and green onions.  Toss until coated and let set for at least 30 minutes.

 

Latkes:

2 pounds potatoes, peeled and shredded (I used a bag of the frozen hash browns…this eliminates some tedious work)

2 1/2 C diced onions

1 large egg

2-3 Tbsp tapioca starch

1 heaping tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1.- Line colander with kitchen with soft kitchen towel.  In large bowl, combine 1 1/4 C diced onions, egg, tapioca, salt, and baking powder.  Whisk to combine.

2.- Mix shredded potatoes and remaining onions.  Put in towel-lined colander and squeeze to drain.  Discard liquid (but reserve starch that sticks to towel or settles in draining bowl).

3.- Add dry potato mixture to the egg mixture.  Scrape in any remaining potato starch.  Mix well.  Preheat oven to 425 and set a wire rack on top of a rimmed, foil-lined baking sheet.

4.- Heat 1/2 C of oil (I used extra light olive oil) in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat.  Make sure the oil is hot before moving on to the next step.

5.- Using about 1/4 C of batter at a time, flatten into a slightly thicker version of a pancake.  Squeeze out the remaining liquid and slide the batter into the oil.  Cook 3-4 minutes, flip, and cook another 3-4 minutes.  If needed, add more oil between batches, but make sure the oil gets hot before adding another cake.  Set on wire rack and bake 7-10 minutes until they begin to get crispy.

 

When I assembled these, I used one latke, 2-3 ounces of pastrami, and a couple Tbsp of apple slaw on top.

 

Coconut Shrimp Cakes (Whole 30 Compliant)

Coconut Shrimp Cakes

So, this is weird…the recipe that this originally came from calls for everything like I made it this time.  I made these a little differently than I’ve made them in the past (I changed the recipe the first time I made them), but I’m going to give you the recipe for the way I normally make them instead of how I made them this time.  They were good, but not as good as they normally are.  The difference is that this time, I didn’t put some of the salsa in with the shrimp mixture.  You don’t have to include the salsa in the cakes if you don’t want to; however, without it, they’re a little dry and it tastes like something is missing.

That being said, these are delicious!  They pair well with just about any side dish, but this time I just set them on some greens with a little extra shredded coconut.  They could go with cauliflower “rice,” squash, vegetable saute…they are especially tasty alongside roasted sweet potatoes.   I mean, “any side dish” pretty much covers it.

Coconut Shrimp Cakes (Whole 30 Compliant)

Serves 4

1 C shredded, unsweetened coconut

1 egg

1 pound cod fillets

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

salt

coconut oil

1/2 pineapple, cut in chunks

2 green onions, sliced thin

2 Tbsp cilantro

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Juice of 1 lime

salt

1.- In food processor, pulse pineapple, cilantro, apple cider vinegar, and lime juice until a salsa consistency.  Stir in green onions and add salt to taste.  Put in small bowl and set aside.

2.- In food processor, pulse cod, shrimp, egg, salt, and 1/2 C pineapple salsa until they are a thick paste and relatively smooth.

3.- Put coconut in small bowl.

4.- Form mixture into golf ball-sized balls.  Roll in coconut and flatten to make discs.

5.- In large skillet, melt coconut oil over medium heat.  Fry cakes 3-4 minutes per side or until cooked through.  Serve with pineapple salsa.

 

Italian Sweet Potatoes (Whole 30 Compliant)

Italian Sweet Potato

I’ve really been on an Italian sausage kick recently.  Maybe because it’s the perfect blend of salty, sweet, spicy, and delicious Italian goodness.  Something about the mixture of Italian sausage and anything sweet, be it fruit or vegetable, that is pretty irresistible to me.  On this particular night, I had a couple sweet potatoes left with no plan for them.  I had Italian sausage, a couple yellow squash left over from the farmer’s market, an onion, and a red pepper.  SCORE!  Stir-fry on top of a baked sweet potato.

Italian Sweet Potatoes (Whole 30 Compliant)

Serves 2-4

1 pound Italian sausage, sliced

1/2 onion, cut in small wedges and separated

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-2″ squares

1 yellow squash, cut into half-moon chunks

2-4 small sweet potatoes, cleaned and pierced

1.- Pierce sweet potatoes in a few places with a fork.  Place potatoes directly on cold oven rack (you can put a piece of aluminum foil on the rack below the rack your potatoes are on).  Turn oven on 425 and bake for 1 hour.  After one hour, turn oven heat off and leave the potatoes in the oven for 30-60 minutes.

2.- Heat large skillet over medium-high heat.  Once hot, add Italian sausage.  Fry until cooked through.  Remove from pan, draining all but 1 Tbsp of fat.

3.- Turn heat down to medium and add onions and yellow squash.  Cook until onions are beginning to turn translucent.  Add red pepper to the pan and cook until just starting to soften.

3.- Add sausage back in and toss to combine.  Spoon sausage mixture into each sweet potato and serve immediately.

Twice-Baked Breakfast (Primal)

Twice-Baked Breakfast

I don’t make white potatoes very often, but I was really in the mood for a baked potato when I went grocery shopping this week.  When I started washing the potato yesterday, I decided that what I really wanted was a twice-baked potato…and an egg…and bacon.  Okay, I was pretty hungry.  Not surprisingly, this was the only meal I had yesterday LOL!  You know how many paleo and primal experts talk about how the more fat you eat, the longer you stay satisfied?  Yeah, I’ve reached that point.  Can’t say it sucks–I have a lot more free time when I’m not chained to the kitchen.

And I mean that in an “I normally cook all freaking day” way, not in an “I’m a woman, therefor I stay in the kitchen where the menfolk have chained me” kind of way.

Just wanted to clear that up.

Twice-Baked Breakfast

Serves 4

2 baking potatoes

3 slices of bacon, cooked to crispy and reserve drippings

2 Tbsp Kerrygold butter

1/2 C shredded cheese

1 Tbsp heavy cream

1 scallion, sliced thin

1/2 tsp parsley

salt and pepper

2 eggs

 

1.- Preheat oven to 375.  Line baking sheet.  Use fork to pierce potatoes in 6-7 spots and put on microwave-safe plate.  Cook potatoes in microwave (about 8-10 minutes, depending on potato size).

2.- Cut one slice of bacon in half.  Roughly chop the other two slices of bacon and set aside.

3.- Cut about 1/4″ off the top of each potato.  Scoop the flesh into a bowl, leaving about a 1/4″ shell (give or take).  Add Kerrygold and 1 Tbsp of reserved bacon drippings to the bowl and mash the potato flesh.  Stir in cheese, scallions, chopped bacon, parsley, salt, and pepper.

4.- Using a little more salt and pepper, season the inside of the potato shells.  Lightly brush the outside of the potato skins with remaining reserved bacon drippings.  Divide the mashed potato filling between the two shells, being careful not to overfill.  Press a spoon down the length of the potato, creating as large of a well as possible.  Put potatoes on lined baking sheet.

5.- Inside each well, crack and egg.  It’s okay if the egg overflows a little.  Bake 20-25 minutes (until egg whites set and desired doneness is reached).  Season with salt and pepper, and serve topped with scallions and half of a bacon slice.

Fried Chicken (Whole 30 Compliant)

Fried Chicken

Whenever I tell people about Whole30, paleo, and primal guidelines (and their differences), the conversation always rolls around to, “so if you get rid of all the good stuff, what is left?”  Of course I cringe when people say “good stuff” when referring to Cheetos, Ding Dongs, and ice cream (though I DO love a good cup of gelato), but that is beside the point.  What they are trying to ask is, “what do your meals look like?”  I go on to describe some of my food: CLAM CHOWDERBURGERS & GUACBRAZILIAN PORK RIBS, and BUFFALO RANCH STUFFED PEPPERS, just to name a few.  At this point, most of the people are drooling because their SAD food consists of boiled chicken, steamed broccoli, and Lean Cuisines.  I don’t know about you, but to me, that sounds gross.

And then…I bring out the big guns: I love to make fried chicken.  The conversation usually takes a turn like this:

“You mean you can eat fried chicken?!”  (at this point many of them sound like they’re wheezing through their drool)

Of course I can eat fried chicken.  If I’m cooking with good ingredients, there’s no reason not to have fried chicken.  Do I bread it in 20 pounds of flour?  No.  If I bread it at all (I often don’t), it’s usually with almond meal or cashew meal.  But honestly, the skin gets crispy enough by itself if you’re cooking it correctly.  So yes, you’ve heard it directly from me: I LOVE FRIED CHICKEN.  I don’t make it all the time or anything…I mean, I have to be in the mood for it.  But a couple times a month?  Sure!

Fried Chicken (Whole 30 Compliant)

Serves 2-4

4 chicken thighs (adjust accordingly for however many pieces you want to make)

salt and pepper to taste

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp mustard (as always, I use Dijon)

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp thyme

4 Tbsp Kerrygold (or 2 Tbsp Kerrygold and 2-3 Tbsp lard)

 

1.- In a small bowl, whisk garlic, olive oil, mustard, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, paprika, and thyme until creamy.

2.- Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels.  Put chicken into a resealable plastic bag and cover with mustard mixture.  Turn bag to coat chicken.  Put in the refrigerator for at least four hours (up to 24 hours) to marinate.

3.- In a large skillet (this time I used a Dutch oven, it worked just as well), heat the fat over medium-high heat.  Pull chicken out of bag, shake off excess marinade, and set on plate.  Liberally season each piece with salt and pepper.  When the fat is very hot (as in, around 350-360 degrees), add the chicken, skin-side down.  Cook 10-15 minutes on each side (the skin will get crispy–try to move them around a little because they may start to stick), until the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees.  If you get to the desired crispyness of the skin before the meat is fully cooked, place the chicken in a baking pan and put in a 350 degree oven until the meat is fully cooked.

 

 

Coney Chili Soup (Whole 30 Compliant, Depending on Toppings)

Coney Chili Soup

Have you ever found a recipe that you’re super excited to try, you pick up the few things you don’t you don’t have at home, and you pull everything out to start making it, only to find that all the things you thought you had at home–because let’s face it, you ALWAYS have them in the pantry–are actually gone because you ran out of them?  That’s what happened to me today.  I was so excited to make this chili dog chili recipe from the cookbook Primal Cravings…and then it was a total let down because I only had the two things that I picked up today (ground beef and hot dogs).  What did I do?  Well, I looked at how they had their recipe set up…and then I decided to just make chili the way I would normally make it for a coney (doesn’t that sound delicious right now?  Like…with a warm, steamed bun?), and add the chopped up hot dogs to it.  I normally add cocoa to my chili; however, I’m also out of cocoa at the moment (do you sense a pattern here?  I need to go through the pantry, CLEARLY).  Instead of cocoa I used about 1/4 C of Good Life mini chocolate chips.  Oh well, you find the best substitution possible, right?

Isak ate two huge (for a toddler) bowls of this tonight.  He called it “really really messy hot dog soup.”  It’s actually not messy.  Unless you’re 2 1/2.  And learning to use a spoon.  And it’s soup.

Coney Chili Soup (Whole 30 Compliant)

Serves 4-6

1 pound ground beef

1 pound hot dogs, chopped (I just used a 12 oz package…so, not quite a pound)

26.5 oz container rustic cut tomatoes (or equivalent amount in crushed tomatoes)

1 small can of tomato sauce

2 chipotles in sauce, roughly chopped

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1 Tbsp cocoa (or 1/4 C Good Life chocolate chips)

 

1.- In large soup pot, brown ground beef and hot dogs.  When mostly browned, add in tomatoes, tomato sauce, chipotles, coriander, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and cocoa.  If you are using chocolate chips, don’t add them yet.  Stir to mix well.

2.- Cover pot and bring to boil.  When the soup is almost at a boil, stir in the chips.  They’ll start melting immediately.  Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium low and let simmer for 20-25 minutes.

3.- Serve immediately with or without toppings.

 

Suggested Toppings

obviously the dairy toppings are NOT Whole 30 compliant*

Avocado

Shredded Cheese

Relish

Diced Onion

Yellow Mustard

Sauerkraut

Pickled Jalapenos

Sour Cream (or Plain Yogurt)

Sliced Green Onions

Chopped Celery

Guacamole

Pineapple (don’t knock it until you try it!)

Clam Chowder (Whole 30 Compliant)

Clam Chowder

I’ve been looking for a satisfactory clam chowder replacement since we started paleo about a year ago.  I’m not going to say this is a dead ringer, but it’s close.  It’s just as creamy, just a little sweeter, and doesn’t leave you with that icky bloated feeling.  It’s not quite as rich as regular clam chowder, but in this case, that’s a good thing.  I found a recipe for the few base ingredients for this and just started dumping stuff in after that.  All things considered, it turned out fantastic.  Even Isak ate all of his (he’s going through this typical toddler phase where he only wants to eat macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, cookies, and popsicles, so him eating this makes me ecstatic!).

This takes a little longer than some of my other soups, but it’s definitely worth it.  From start to finish it took me about an hour, so we’re not talking a full-day commitment or anything…but it is longer than heating up a can of Campbell’s.  Then again, most things worth eating take longer than a two-minute nuke in the microwave.

Clam Chowder (Whole 30 Compliant)

Serves 4-6

2 sweet potatoes, cut in large chunks

1 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped into small florets

8 oz mushrooms, sliced thick

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 stalks celery, cleaned and chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (13.5 oz) full-fat coconut milk

3 C chicken broth

1 Tbsp Kerrygold

3 bay leaves

3 tsp dried thyme

1 scant tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

3 cans (6.5 oz) clams, undrained

1/2 pound bacon, cooked to crispy and roughly chopped (reserve 2 Tbsp of drippings)

4 green onions, sliced

 

1.- In a large pot, cover sweet potatoes and cauliflower with water.  Bring to boil and cook 20-25 minutes, or until tender but not mushy.  Drain and set sweet potatoes aside in a separate bowl.

2.- Put cauliflower back in pot and add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, coconut milk, chicken broth, Kerrygold, bay leaves, thyme, sea salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and let simmer for 20 minutes.

3.- In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook mushrooms (in a dry pan) until browned and softening.  Set aside.

4.- Cut sweet potatoes into small chunks.  Transfer half of the sweet potatoes into the soup pot.  Using immersion blender (or a regular blender), blend the soup until smooth.  Return to cooking over medium heat.  Stir in 3 cans of clams, remaining sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and reserved bacon drippings.  Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

5.- Serve immediately, garnished with chopped bacon and sliced green onions.