You have probably seen recipes for Crash Hot Potatoes, using regular red or white potatoes [I have a version of my own I will be sharing at some point], but these are a little different. I had a couple sweet potatoes I needed to use up and they were getting a little on the aged side. So I thought of cooking them like this, since as they age, sweet potatoes tend to get a little drier inside and that is a good thing when you are trying to get a little crunchiness on the outside of something. I’ll give you some tips for using fresher ones in a minute.
Peel two medium sweet potatoes and slice – these are about an inch and a half thick.Put 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and set the timer for 10 minutes – time from when you put the potatoes in, not from when the water starts to boil.These ended up taking about 12 minutes, though I pulled out a couple that were just a touch thinner a couple minutes sooner than that. You want them to be somewhat soft but not cooked through. Let them cool off for 10 or 15 minutes – they will hold together a little better for the next step.I wanted these to be hot in more than just the temperature – to my way of thinking, these were crying out for some nice spicy flavors to complement the sweet flavor of the potatoes. So I mixed up a little heat.
1 & 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon New Mexico chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/8 teaspoon granulated garlic
Blend that together really well with a fork, making to sure to get the sugar completely incorporated. Then I added about ten coarse grinds of black pepper and mixed that in too.Being careful not to squash them too much, flatten each sweet potato disk slightly. I did this right on the parchment paper on my baking sheet, and used a small bowl with a clear bottom, so I could see what I was doing. The potato stuck to the bowl each time, but I just carefully slip a spatula in there and they came right off and stayed together nicely. If they had come apart on me at all, I’d have just pressed them back into a circle on the pan. I drizzled each of them with a mixture of two tablespoon melted butted and two tablespoons olive oil and then sprinkled each one with the spice mixture, pressing it lightly on the surface. I carefully turned them over and coated the other side with the butter/oil and the spices. I roasted them in the oven, set at 375º for about 15 minutes, turned them over and roasted them another 10 minutes, till they had a nice crust on both sides from the caramelization of the sugar and spices.These were so good that we nearly died right there at the dinner table.Spicy-sweet and crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside – just amazing.
If I were using fresher potatoes – and normally I would be, since it is unusual for them to sit around very long here – I would skip the parboil and begin roasting them right on the baking sheet from the start, and then when they got soft enough to flatten I would proceed with the rest of the steps. You actually don’t have to flatten them at all of course, but it does provide more surface area and some ruffly sort of edges for getting more crunch on them – worth the bother in my opinion.
Now – go make some!