Saturday, November 22, 2008

Dead-Simple Candied Sweet Potatoes

Cut sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. You can cook as many as can fit cut side down in your pan. Try to match thickness.

Heat two cups good maple syrup and four tablespoons of butter in your pan. Bring together, then add salt and pepper before putting the potatoes in, cut side down.

Cook on medium heat until the mixture reduces down. Flip the potatoes onto their peel-side, add enough whiskey to cover the potatoes halfway, swirl to combine, and cook down.

Then add enough Senorial bottled sangria to cover the potatoes. Switch to high, flip the spuds one last time, and cook down until you've got a savory syrup with a fruity aftertaste. Potatoes are done when a fork penetrates them more easily than a squirming virgin on prom night.

Alternate version. Same thing, but baking pans. Preheat your oven to 350. Rub the sweet potatoes lightly with evoo and add to the oven, cut-side down. A glass pan won't get yummy browning, but will otherwise work fine.

Bring enough maple syrup to come 1/3rd of the way up the potatoes and butter to heat in a pan, stirring frequently. (Half a stick of butter was enough for 13 halved large sweet potatoes)

Open the oven, avoid the initial whoosh of steam, and add the syrup to the pan. Do not lift the potatoes - the syrup will bubble under on its own.

Set the oven timer for 20 minutes and reduce whiskey in the same pan on the stove. The goal is to cook out enough alcohol that your oven doesn't explode. I used half a bottle of Crown Royal (yeah, yeah, I know) for this one.

Pull the potatoes and put them on your stovetop. Flip them peel-side down (if you peeled them, die in a fire, the peels are the best part) with a fork and add the whiskey. You should have enough to go halfway up the potatoes.

20 minutes later, open the oven door, avoid blinding yourself with steam, and remove the pan. Add enough apple juice (cider would probably be great) to almost cover the potatoes. Return to the oven.

You may need to crack the oven, turn on the hood fan, or open a window. Ridiculous amounts of steam will result after this step. It looked like I'd hotboxed the entire apartment.

The potatoes are done when they're done. Probably another 20 minutes.

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