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Channeling Shakespeare Through Sweet Potatoes 41

Every day on Art&Seek, we’re talking to people who have tips for staying creative and calm. Share yours with us on Facebook, Instagram or @artandseek on Twitter. Click above to listen to actor/director/playwright and educator Akin Babatunde share his tip with KERA’s Nilufer Arsala.

Photo: Akin Babatunde

Even during this downtime, Akin Babatunde has found his work doesn’t stop.

“I’m directing a show next year at Stage West in collaboration with Dallas Theater Center and we’ve been enjoying Zoom pre-planning production meetings with a host of prospective designers,” he says.

Akin is also busy preparing for “Fences” at Circle Theatre and “Lonesome Blues” at Undermain Theatre.

And, like most performing artists, Akin appreciates his alone time, too. “I love writing early in the morning– like 4 a.m.–that is when my muse is alive. Writing is a great tool for catharsis and transformation.”

Besides staying busy with work and writing, Akin also enjoys cooking. So much so, that during his sheltering in place time he’s been busy discovering and putting together unique and interesting recipes. As an extra creative touch, he names his culinary creations after theater characters.

One such dish Akin made last week was a nod to a famous firey Shakespearean character. Ingredients like red chili pepper, garlic, cumin, and creole seasoning are added to sweet potatoes to create a recipe with the same personality as its namesake.  Akin says ” I call it ‘Kate, from Taming of the Shrew’ because it’s spicy!”

Akin Babatunde’s ‘Kate-Style’ Sweet Potatoes

“Kate-Style” Sweet Potatoes

  • 5 sweet potatoes
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • dash of dry tarragon
  • dash of cumin
  • dash of Tony Chachere’s Original Creole seasoning
  • dash of red chili pepper
  • ½ cup pasta sauce
  • square of dark chocolate
  • sprinkle of sharp cheddar cheese and green onions

Bake five sweet potatoes until firmly done but not soft at 350 degrees.

In a saucepan, sauté red onions, a bulb of garlic (I like a lot of garlic), fresh cilantro, dry tarragon and a dash of red chili peppers to taste.

Add cumin and ground turkey

Sauté it all together add about half a cup of pasta sauce and mix it until it’s a thick consistency like chili.

Add a small piece of dark chocolate to the ground turkey mixture.

Split the sweet potato in half and stuff it with the ground turkey sprinkle a little sharp cheddar cheese and green onions on top

Bake for five minutes at 350 until cheese is melted.


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