Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Grilled Sweet Potatoes - twice

So this is kind of a random component to star in two fab side dishes, but my surprisingly elevated excitement for both plates requires me to share.  I happen to adore sweet potatoes prepared in any fashion.  It's only been in the last year or so that we've been employing the grilling technique to these little jewels.  It adds an awesome smoky accent while allowing the fresh sweet potato flavor to shine.

Aside: if grilling is not ideal for you, a grill pan or simple saute pan is great.  If using the latter, I would suggest cutting them down to cubes first - instead of slicing them into more-grill-friendly discs and cutting them after the fact - to minimize cooking time.

Grilled Sweet Potato and Green Onion Salad

I was first attracted to this recipe because of the TWO vinegar varieties in the dressing, which, by the way, is tangy and darn delicious.  The salad ended up being exciting in other ways too....the combination of the tender and charred sweet potatoes, wilted and subtly spicy scallions, and fresh parsley is awesomely tasty.  This side is also fabulous because it's served at room temperature.  So it'll hang out happily - and productively as the flavors marry - until you're ready to serve it.

Before moving onto the second sweet potato recipe, I'll pay brief tribute to the salad's accompaniment, which was actually the main course. 

This gorgeous chicken was basted on the grill with a sauce made from these gorgeous tomatoes.

I won't sugar coat the fact that this sauce, though scrumptious, was laborious and messied a lot of kitchen equipment.  Would I do it again?  Undecided. The recipe - butterflied chicken with sherry vinegar brown sugar barbecue baste - isn't available online for some reason.  I'm guessing my messy/laborious comments aren't a very convincing sell anyway?!

Back to the potatoes.

Grilled Sweet Potato Hash

I took a nod from a sauteed sweet potato hash recipe I've used in the past (thanks Christy!) and composed a grilled version using the following:

  • Sweet potatoes - Slice into 1/2 inch wide discs, brush with vegetable oil, and dust with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and garlic powder.  Grill on each side until charred and cooked through.  Cut into cubes.;
  • Granny Smith apples - With the apple on its side, slice into 1/2 inch wide discs and brush with vegetable oil.  Grill on each side until tender.  Cut into cubes - toss the seed part!;
  • Big, fat Vidalia onion - Slice into 1/2 inch wide discs, brush with vegetable oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Grill on each side until charred and cooked through. Chop.;
  • Thick-cut Black Forest bacon - Cook however you'd like (I had three strips left over from the loaded baked potatoes; I simply will not waste bacon.), and chop.
  • Italian parsley - Chop.

Toss all of the ingredients together, add salt/pepper to taste, and serve!  We loved this dish and how each element stamped an integral but unique layer of flavor on the overall experience.   I didn't know what to expect throwing apples on the grill, but how would I know unless I tried? Fortunately, they were lovely, and their sweetness was the perfect offset to the smoky/salty (heavenly/I love you) bacon.

The main course of this plate, grilled flank steak, is worthy of mentioning as well, thanks to the succulent Balsamic-Shallot Sauce spooned over the top.  I cut out this recipe ages ago and am kicking myself for not trying it sooner!  I'm sure it would be incredible with chicken, pork (and maybe even fish?) as well.


Post a Comment