Friday, December 26, 2008


I love sweet potatoes. Don't give me sugar, don't give me cinnamon, and for heaven's sake KEEP the MARSHMALLOWS on a STICK, not on the vegetables. But a plain sweet potato, made into fries or mashed or pretty much any ol' way, is heaven to me. Pretty easy to please, aren't I?

You'd think.

Unfortunately, it turns out a sweet potato isn't just a sweet potato. What Americans call sweet potatoes or yams (which are really quite different things) are brown-skinned, orange-fleshed, and very high in water. They're really good for pan-frying and roasting. In Japan, sweet potatoes have a purple skin and entirely white flesh, and contain very little water. They are incredibly delicious; sweet and velvety and great in soup or mashed.

But they WON'T FRY. You see, Josh and I have a go-to dinner, that thing you make when you're tired and hungry and want some comfort food: veggie burgers and sweet potato chips. These things are heaven, but they only work with "wet" sweet potatoes, which aren't available here.

UNTIL NOW! The commissary got a shipment of light-orange sweet potatoes from a particular region of Japan, the only place that grows them here. Here are the five I bought:
Oh my goodness.
The white sap is normal!

So I went to town on our favorite recipe: We slice clean sweet potatoes, with skin, into 1/4" rounds (even easier in Bertha) and toss them with olive oil and chili powder.
Spread on a cookie sheet,
bake for 40 minutes at 400F, and serve with a little mayo for dipping. We actually had garlic aioli leftover from an emulsion test case a couple days before, and I whipped up steamed green beans with a walnut-miso sauce that was, sorry to say, disgusting. But the sweet potatoes were incredible, and I'm going to go buy a bunch more today. SWEET.


Em's Wedding Extravaganza said...

Hi Em,

Forget the miso. My fav way of making green beans is by saute-ing (sp?) them in olive oil, honey and red pepper flakes. In the middle of cooking, add the honey and red pepper flakes. It is so good and easy. Definitely taste test with the red pepper flakes- I almost died of spiciness at Christmas.

Em's Wedding Extravaganza said...

Blah, I have to figure out why it is identifies me as "Em's Wedding Extravaganza" and not "Kendall".

EmilySullins said...

Kendall, from now on you will be known as Em's Wedding Extravaganza. I don't know why we haven't done this before.

In a skillet with oil and heat is my usual green bean recipe too! I don't add honey, which I may try for a treat - and have you ever done the same recipe in the oven? Roasting sweetens up the beans, and you can toss the red pepper and oil with the beans at the beginning.

And you're right - the miso is OUT.