Okay glorious readers, welcome back to the Pot and Pan Handler’s hedonistic blog; sweet potato edition. I don’t know whether it was because I grew up in the Midwest, or because sweet potatoes were just not in my parent’s culinary quiver, but I grew up not knowing what the hell a sweet potato was. I had no idea that they grew in the ground. Literally, I thought they came from a can, cloaked in cloyingly sweet corn syrup that we were forced to eat on Thanksgiving and Christmas. The memory of which promptly faded and we would spend the rest of the year happily pretending sweet potatoes didn’t exist.
That was my outlook on sweet potatoes until I worked in a Q restaurant that served sweet potatoes. All day long we’d bake those things off and serve them with a little giant dollop of butter and brown sugar. YUM. We immediately became fans. However, like all things the beginning is only the first step.
Then we moved south o’ the Mason Dixon Line and sweet potatoes are everywhere. Like hangers in a closet, they seem to multiply. They’re at the farmer’s market, megalomarts, grocery stores, roadside stands and served as the ubiquitous sweet potato fries in restaurants throughout the south. I dare you to try to stay away from them. I trust you’ll find it quite impossible.
With that in mind, as I left the grocery store last week with sweet potatoes in tow, I wanted to do something more sophisticated with the humble sweet potato than dollops of butter and sugar. So we made maple citrus and pork sausage sweet potatoes. Sweet, savory, & porky, an easy hand’s off, but tasty side dish. Sure to be liked whether you’re a man, woman, gay, straight, black, white, republican or democrat. That’s sweet potato why.
Maple citrus & pork sausage sweet potatoes
Here’s how we made it so you can make ‘em too.
You will need:
2 small sweet potatoes, feel free to double, triple or half this recipe, one potato per diner.
3 Tblspns cooked, ground pork sausage (if you want to omit, feel free, it’s none of our business how much sausage you take, that’s a conversation for your cardiologist, or pimp, we’re not that close.)
1 Tblspn Maple syrup (like it sweeter, add more or less sweet, add less.)
Juice from ½ orange
1/8 tspn fresh ground nutmeg
1/8 tspn ground cinnamon
Salt & Pepper to taste
Garnish with green chiles
You will do:
Wash & dry sweet potatoes, pierce with a fork several times and bake in a vessel, in a pre-heated 350-375 degree oven until soft.
Remove sweet potato innards & combine with butter, pork, maple syrup, orange juice, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt & pepper. Taste, does it need anything else, is it sweet enough, enough pork, need more OJ? If so add more if not continue. Place combined mixture back into empty potato skins, place back in oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove, garnish with desired amount of green chilies, eat & repeat. You’ll definitely want to have this again sometime before next year.
Coming soon: Comida Conchinga @ Arizona’s Barrio Café, same bat time, same bat channel, we’ll see ya there. Until then may the odds be ever in your flavor.