I googled “boatload of sweet potatoes”. Surprisingly, several food writers own that very phrase. Happy that others had encountered this excess before, I settled on the writings of a Seuss Chef (sorry!) for a dish of Green Eggs and Yam.
The colors looked lovely and while the dish wouldn’t make a dent in my sweet potato stash, it was worth a try. Plus, I had let everyone fend for themselves yesterday morning and I wanted to do something special. On this lazy Sunday, I engaged my middle son in the preparation.
It began well, shredding sweet potato and sweet onion, throwing in some flour, a beaten egg and a few spices. I laid out the griddle to warm it up and coated it with sunflower oil. Sunflower is a healthy oil that works well at high heat. The griddle got very warm very fast and these cakes stuck like snails on lettuce. Second batch, I tried cooking spray – same result. I’d made these patties too large and they were burning before cooking through. I ended up scraping it all onto a platter and flattening it out with a spatula. If I’d paid closer attention to the instruction, I might have discovered that I’d set the heat too high earlier. On to poached eggs.
I grew up using a poacher and that really is easier but instead, I boiled the water, added vinegar and swirled it with a spoon before dropping in the egg. This worked well.
Now for the assembly of the dish and the more difficult task of assembling my family around the breakfast table – done.
The sweet potato cakes, much like latkes were lovely. Despite being so difficult to lift while cooking, they reshaped nicely and the combination of sweet onion and paprika gave them a smoky distinction. I can see these on their own with a bit of sour cream or perhaps as a side dish for beef. It plated up well and was 100% local.
Perhaps, it was the combination of egg with sweet potato and pesto that caused the issue. “Oh,” my middle son exclaimed trying to remain polite while looking for his exit. My oldest wasn’t nearly so cautious. To be fair the recipe creator did indicate that perhaps this would be better suited with creamed spinach than pesto and I have to agree. What irks me is that if I’d have really thought about it, I’d have known this before I made such a mess of the kitchen.
Any place else in your life that you need to heed the lesson at hand?
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and shredded (about 4 cups)
- ½ cup grated sweet onion
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Vegetable oil for frying
Stir together all of the ingredients (except the vegetable oil) until well-blended.
Heat oil (about ½ cup, or enough to cover the bottom of the pan) in a large skillet on high until hot, but not smoking. Reduce the heat to medium/high and drop sweet potato mixture into the pan by ¼ cups (about 3 pancakes per pan; don’t overcrowd). Flatten each pancake slightly with a spatula and fry until browned and crisp on the bottom, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn pancakes and repeat. If the pancakes start to brown too quickly, turn down the heat to medium. Remove from pan to a paper towel lined plate. Keep warm in warming drawer or oven at 200 degrees.