Sweet Potatoes: I'm doing it wrong.


The Captain

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I'm a good cook. I really am! And I love sweet potatoes. I really do.

But I can't for the life of me make a batch of fries or baked chips, or hash...anything that requires more than boiling or wrapping up in foil and baking, really. I'm not sure what it is about sweet potatoes, but invariably whatever I'm trying to make sticks to the pan, then burns. I end up throwing half of it away as I try to pick out the good parts. I look at delicious, crisp sweet potato fries and know that mine will come out limp, ripped apart from getting stuck to the pan, and charred in at least a few spots.

What am I doing wrong? Is there some secret and I didn't get the memo?

Usually just cut up the potatoes, toss with EVOO, throw on pan and spread out, stick in the oven.

This morning I tried to make hash, and made sure there was plenty of clarified butter in the pan before I stuck the potatoes in (med-high heat), but same old story: stuck to the pan, then burned while I tried to scrape them up. Now, my skillets are sadly in need of replacing, but I have the same problem with my non-stick cookie sheets, which are in stellar shape.

Can anyone give me tips? Would love to be able to do this successfully, especially since sweet potatoes will be on the menu a lot more often now.

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I bake my sweet potato fries on parchment paper. It's works wonders!

I heard once that to prevent potatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pan is to have the heat very high. I've tried it and it doesn't work for me but I don't have good pans. When making my hash I add some water in the pan to help them cook faster so that they don't burn as bad to the bottom of the pan. The hash isn't as crispy though.

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Thanks for the recipe, Tom! That looks pretty much like what I've been doing already though. I've tried lining my pans with foil before, and they stick to that too.

I'll try the parchment next time; thanks for the tip! Turning the pan up higher seems counter-intuitive to me, but maybe I'll try it in one of the good pans I have at work just to test it out. :P For science! I'll keep the water in mind too, although I would really like to master a crispy hash...

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Aside from chips, which I slice on a mandolin and then dip in coconut oil before spreading on a baking sheet, I have been par-baking my sweet potatoes. I give them 30 to 45 minutes in the toaster oven. If I fully bake them, I can mash or puree them later. If I give them about half of the time, they are easier to cut and they cook more quickly when I pick an application for them.

I have had a lot of luck with coconut oil. I wouldn't imagine that EVOO would work very well, but ghee might. I should break down and order some ghee.

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Oooh, this recipes sound great!

Let me throw one in that I'm a bit obsessed with... Basically just roasted sweet potatoes with baked eggs.

I dice the sweet potato and mix with coconut oil, cinnamon, and cayenne. Throw in the oven until, well, until I'm too hungry to wait any longer. Some mornings I can make it until they're beautifully roasted, sometimes I'm just happy they're soft all the way through!

When the potatoes are done/close to done I crack three(ish) whole eggs and bake until the whites are set. So delicious and super filling!

I use a small pan, I'd guess 8x8 and I line with foil to help with clean up. Sweet potatoes are a bear to clean off ramekins, skillets, etc.

Enjoy!

A.

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I can attest to KB's recipe being very awesome. I put cayenne and sea salt on half and cinnamon and sea salt on the other half. Buy organic so you don't have to peel it. The skin gets all caramelized.

Love the idea of the diced sp with the eggs.

For shameful decadance, I bake them, scoop them into a bowl and mix with ghee and coconut milk. Seriously...they must serve these in heaven.

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I peel the sweet potato, then shred it in a cheese grater. Then, I heat up coconut oil in a pan (about 3 tablespoons). Once it is hot I put in the sweet potato shreds in the oil and every minute or so turn them over. You have to keep an eye on it, but turn it over regularly so it doesn't burn. It gets crispy-crunchy and my whole family loves it!

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