Sweet potatoes: I’m a fan. Also: butter, and maple syrup, and orange – getting them all together on one plate makes me happy. The warm orange-infused maple butter, which takes all of two minutes to get going in a small saucepan, could be drizzled over split roasted sweet potatoes, but grilling them adds a slightly charred, smoky flavour that seems well suited to fall and winter, even though grills tend to be summer appliances.
Whether they’re labeled yams or sweet potatoes, go for the smaller, longer ones, so that they don’t take forever to cook through to the middle. All you need to do is toss them in a pot whole and cover them with water – you bring the lot to a boil and let it go for about half an hour, until the potatoes are tender. This part can be done ahead of time, if you want to get a head start on dinner, or have minimal prep work once the roast or turkey is out of the oven.
So the tender sweet potatoes are sliced into thick slabs, then grilled – I brushed these with a little oil first – send your husband outside (he may need a jacket) if you don’t have a super sleek indoor grill (I don’t) – and if you do happen to have one, they’ll grill on both sides, and you won’t even need to hover with tongs. They’re already cooked, so you just need some nice char marks. Four minutes.
At some point, lob a chunk of butter and a few glugs of maple syrup into a small saucepan and grate some orange zest in as it comes to a simmer; don’t add juice, or it will wind up too runny, and you want the maple butter to stay on your potatoes. Trust me.
London Drugs asked me to help get the word out about their selection of kitchen appliances for the holidays, and I’m happy to, having stopped in on many occasions for an emergency hot plate/deep fryer/coffee grinder. I love that you can do all your Christmas shopping at the drugstore, and pick up things like a KitchenAid Stand Mixer and Rose’s Lime Cordial (they have an awesome selection of British imports) along with your toothpaste and toilet paper.
This recipe is well suited to the Tfal Optigrill – a gadget I don’t have, but will be cooking with at an event next week – it’s like a panini press extreme, able to do things like burgers and chicken and even steaks – with a cooking sensor that gauges the thickness of whatever it is you’re cooking. Which isn’t quite as important when you’re doing slabs of sweet potato.
And London Drugs has offered up a $100 gift card so that one of you can go shopping – for yourself or someone you love a lot – and pick up a fun new kitchen toy. Something fun and gadgety, like an Actifry, or classic, like the aforementioned stand mixer, or festive, like a Breville Waffle Maker (want!), or fancy, like the brushed stainless steel Cuisinart Countertop Steam Oven, or newfangled, like a Breville Fast Slow Cooker (electric pressure cooker). So many fun kitchen toys, so little time.
To enter to win the $100 LD gift card, leave a comment here. I want to know what you’re making for the holidays!
Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Orange Maple Butter
Sweet potatoes can be boiled in advance and then kept in the fridge in their skins until you’re ready for them – a quick turn on the grill and they’re ready in under 5 minutes.
3-4 small-medium dark fleshed sweet potatoes
olive or canola oil, for brushing
¼ cup butter
¼ cup pure maple syrup
finely grated zest of half an orange (a teaspoon or so)
Put the potatoes whole into a large saucepan or small pot, cover with water and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes, until just tender when poked with a knife. Pull them out of the water and set aside until they’re not steaming hot. Meanwhile, heat the butter, maple syrup and orange zest in a small saucepan until melted and smooth.
Cut them, with their skins on, into thick slices or lengthwise into quarters. Brush with oil and cook on a preheated grill, turning with tongs, for a few minutes, or until char-marked (and heated through if you cooked them ahead). Serve the grilled potatoes warm, drizzled with maple butter.