Thanksgiving Throwdown: Chef Teddy's Red Curry Sweet Potatoes

The executive chef from Killen's STQ puts a new twist on the classic side dish

HOUSTON – Houston Life is proud to announce the first-ever Houston Life Thanksgiving Throwdown, presented by Hardie’s Fresh Foods and Craftex.

Four local chefs will battle it out this week for the title of Thanksgiving Throwdown champion and earn their charity of choice a feature on Houston Life. 

Chef Teddy Lopez from Killen's STQ is playing for Recipe for Success.

He prepared a smoked Smoked Turkey Breast with Roasted Pumpkin Seed Green Mole, Red Curry Sweet Potatoes and Pickled Cranberries.

"I've never been a fan of cranberries, but these pickled cranberries are on point," said Isaac Garcia, Hardie's Fresh Foods. 

See below for Chef Teddy's recipes. 

Roasted Pumpkin Seed Green Mole: 

2 Tbsp. pork fat

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

6 tomatillos (chopped)

3 poblano peppers (chopped and seeded)

1 cup white onion (chopped)

1 tsp. garlic (chopped)

1/2 head romaine lettuce

1/2 tsp. cumin

1 jalapeno (seeded)

2 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup cilantro (chopped)

1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup epazote (Mexican herb)


Add one tablespoon pork fat to a pot and add pumpkin seeds. Roast for 3-4 minutes. Remove seeds and set aside. Bring pot back to the heat, add remaining tablespoon pork fat, tomatillos, peppers, white onion, garlic, cilantro, epazote and cumin. Cook until all vegetables are soft. Then add 2 cups chicken broth and add roasted pumpkin seeds. Reduce for 30-40 mins. Add salt and pepper. After reducing, blend the Mole. Get boil a pot of water and blanch the romaine for 30-40 seconds. Blend romaine lettuce with little water and mix into the Mole (it's mostly for color). Season to taste. 


Thai Red Curry Sweet Potatoes:

4 large sweet potatoes

2 Tbsp. thai red curry paste

1 Tbsp. canola oil

1 can coconut milk

1/4 cup coconut flakes

1/4 lb butter

1 tsp. nutmeg

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

1/4 cup pecans (roasted)

Salt and pepper


Rub canola oil all over sweet potatoes, salt and pepper them, then wrap them in foil. Put sweet potatoes on small sheet pan bake in oven at 350 degrees until they are soft, about 30-40 mins. Unwrap sweet potatoes and remove the skin. Be careful because it they'll be hot! Put potatoes in a bowl and smash until all lumps are gone. Put coconut milk, butter and curry paste into a pot and bring to a simmer, then mix into the potatoes. Stir in coconut flakes, roasted pecans, brown sugar, nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper.


Pickled Cranberries:

1/2 bag whole cranberries

1 cinnamon stick

1 star anise

2 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. salt

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup water

1 tsp. chili flakes


Put cranberries in a container big enough for all of the pickling liquid. Put all other ingredients in a pot and simmer until salt and sugar are dissolved. Pour the pickling liquid onto the cranberries and let them steep for 1 or 2 days. 

Recipes courtesy of Chef Teddy Lopez, Killen's STQ


Sponsored by Hardie’s Fresh Foods and Craftex