Embered Sweet Potatoes

By: Hannah Lee Leidy
Embered Sweet Potato Recipe
Courtesy Image

Asheville Proper chef Owen McGlynn offers a new take on the traditional sweet potato casserole with embered sweet potatoes. Caramelized in rendered bacon fat and maple syrup, these potatoes get enhanced with rich flavor and finished on the grill. They are delicious warm or served at room temperature.

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1 quart

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces bacon, diced
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted

In a large pot of salted water, boil the potatoes until just cooked but not completely soft, 25 to 30 minutes, depending on size. Test by piercing a potato with a paring knife. When the knife meets some resistance but can slide all the way through, the potatoes are ready. Drain them immediately; set aside and let cool.

2. Heat grill to medium. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sauté pan over high heat. Add the bacon; cook until golden brown and crispy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.

3. Return the pan to the heat, adding the shallots and garlic to the rendered fat; cook until golden brown and slightly caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in ¼ cup olive oil, maple syrup, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Cut the potatoes into ¼-inch-thick slices; brush both sides of the potato slices with canola oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill until slightly charred on both sides and just cooked through, about 5 minutes total.

5. Place the potatoes in a bowl while they’re still warm and gently toss with the dressing. Sprinkle with the crispy bacon and toasted pecans. Serve warm or at room temperature.

  • Created by chef Owen McGlynn of Asheville Proper, Asheville

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