Sweet Potato Remix

In Eat, November 2020 by Lauren KruchtenLeave a Comment

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No North Carolina Thanksgiving dinner is complete without sweet potatoes. As the No. 1 sweet potato producer in the country, North Carolinians make sure these spuds are featured on the table in some form or another, whether glazed with brown sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon or baked and covered with mini marshmallows. But after years of serving the same old sweet potato dish, you and your guests might be in the mood for something new and exciting. This year, jazz up sweet potatoes with these innovative recipes from local chefs, bakers and the North Carolina SweetPotato Commission, a nonprofit corporation comprised of more than 400 sweet potato growers.

Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup

Chef Sean Fowler of Mandolin

3 large sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp. soybean oil
1 medium Spanish onion, medium dice
3 stalks of celery, medium dice
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 oz. ginger, peeled and minced
¼ cup brown sugar
1 ½ quarts vegetable stock
5 oz. whole fat butter
1 cup heavy cream
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp. salt
½ Tbsp. white pepper
1 ¼ oz. toasted pecans
1 container sour cream or crème fraiche
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 50 minutes or until they’re soft throughout.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large sauce pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sweat until they are translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the celery and sweat for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the leeks, garlic and ginger to the pot. Sweat for a minute or two. Add sugar, vegetable stock, butter, cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Cook everything until the butter is melted.
Once your potatoes are done, cut them in half lengthwise. Scoop the potato flesh out of the skins with a spoon. Add the flesh to the pot; discard the skins.

Bring the pot to a simmer, cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes.

Remove the pot from the stove. Allow it to cool uncovered for a few minutes. You can purée the soup with a stick blender until smooth and skip to step 8, or you can proceed to step 7 to purée the soup with a Vitamix or a conventional blender.

Ladle the soup into a blender pitcher, only filling the pitcher about halfway. Blend the soup in batches. Make sure you start on the lowest speed and gradually increase. Make sure that the top of the blender pitcher is vented and cover the vent loosely with a heavy towel. All of these precautions are essential so your soup does not erupt from the blender and burn you.

Pass the blended batches of soup through a strainer.
Divide the soup into quarts and refrigerate until ready to use, or enjoy immediately.

When ready to serve, garnish with toasted pecans and sour cream or crème fraiche.

Sweet Potato Molasses

Chef Sean Fowler of Mandolin

60 grams ginger, minced
1 liter sweet potato juice
70 grams brown sugar
20 grams fish sauce

Sauté the minced ginger for 2 minutes over medium heat. Add the sweet potato juice and reduce by half.

Stir in the brown sugar and fish sauce and cook for 5 minutes over medium-high heat.

Use as a glaze for pork chops, hams, salmon, bok choy or any other vegetable of your choice.

Sweet Potato Hash

Chef David Mitchell of Plates Neighborhood Kitchen

3 cups sweet potato, diced
1 cup fennel, thinly sliced
½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup roasted red peppers, diced
3 Tbsp. butter

Blanch sweet potatoes in boiling water until fork tender.
In a large sauté pan lightly brown butter, then add sweet potatoes. Cook for about 30 to 45 seconds.
Add fennel, red onion and peppers. Toss or stir until thoroughly heated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sweet Potato Gratin

NC SweetPotato Commission

1 large sweetpotato, thinly sliced
1 cup thinly sliced gala apples
5 strips of cooked bacon, chopped
1 pkg. cream cheese
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. hot sauce
3 Tbsp. heavy cream
1 large onion
4 oz. (or about 6 slices) smoked Gouda
1 Tbsp. melted butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Layer seasoned sweet potatoes in a 9.5″ by 13.5″ inch baking dish.

Combine cream cheese, Worcestershire, heavy cream and hot sauce in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds.

Pour half of the mixture over the potatoes.

Layer onions, bacon, apples and slices of Gouda.

Repeat and finish with a top layer of seasoned sweetpotatoes.

Bake ,covered, at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.

Brush the top layer of seasoned sweetpotatoes with melted butter and broil until browned.

Sweet Potato Cheesecake Cupcakes

Chef Kenneth and Baker Tamara Williams of Royal Cheesecake & Varieties


2-8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 Tbsp. of Splenda
1 tsp. of vanilla

Sweet Potatoes
½ cup cooked sweet potatoes, cooled
to room temperature
½ tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. brown sugar
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. maple syrup

1 cup of chopped pecans
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 Tbsp. coconut oil
½ tsp. nutmeg
3 Tbsp. brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

Sweet Potatoes: Mash the sweet potatoes and mix with cinnamon, brown sugar, maple syrup and nutmeg. Set aside.

Crust: Mix all ingredients. Scoop two tablespoons into each cupcake liner. Bake at 300 degrees for 7-8 minutes. Once the crust has finished baking, let it rest on the counter for 10 minutes, then refrigerate for 10 minutes to cool.

Cheesecake: Beat cream cheese until smooth in a stand mixer. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides as you go. Add the Splenda and vanilla, then add the sweet potato mixture. Mix until smooth.

Assemble: Scoop the cream cheese mixture into each crust cupcake liner, filling it up to the top. Bake the cheesecake for 15 to 18 minutes at 300 degrees. The cheesecake will be done once it’s slightly brown around the edges and has a little jiggle.

Let rest for 30 to 45 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Grilled Sweet Potato Salad

NC SweetPotato Commission

Hot Bacon Dressing

6 slices center-cut bacon
2 Tbsp. raspberry vinegar
1 Tbsp. Country Dijon mustard
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. warm bacon grease
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Sweet Potato Salad
2 ½ pounds sweetpotatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch rounds
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup sliced scallions (about 10-12 scallions)
½ cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil and cut into strips
1/3 cup toasted pecans
1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. In a skillet, cook bacon until crispy; drain and reserve grease. Crumble bacon and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and mustard; slowly whisk in olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the reserved bacon grease until dressing is emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm in the oven.

Put the sweetpotatoes in a resealable plastic bag, add the oil and massage to coat all surfaces.

Just before putting on the grill, season sweetpotatoes liberally with salt. Place rounds directly on the cooking grate over direct heat; grill until well-marked, about 3 minutes on each side. Move to indirect heat. Finish cooking, turning halfway through, until soft and tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the grill and immediately cut into quarters then place them in a large bowl.

Grilling alternative: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a rack fitted into a baking sheet, place sweet potato rounds and season well with salt. Bake until tender and browned around the edges, about 30 minutes. Immediately cut into quarters and place in a large bowl.

To make the salad: To the sweetpotatoes, add 2 tablespoons of the dressing; toss until just coated. Add reserved bacon, scallions, sun dried tomatoes, pecans and blue cheese. Drizzle on a little more dressing and toss to coat. Season to taste. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

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