Sunday, December 2, 2007

Yummy Sweet Potato Cakes

Yesterday was supposed to be the last day of my clean-out-the-freezer challenge, but I had to work and we had a Christmas party to attend so today is the finale. Hooray!

Today’s freezer item was the black bean soup I made back in September. Before adding the chorizo, I took a portion to freeze. This time we had it just as it was, without chorizo, and it was still a hearty and delicious lunch.

Black bean soup with cumin

I’m supposed to start the pantry challenge today, but I’ve been thinking that it might be more relevant to do some posts about foods to bring to holiday potlucks. Besides, I don’t think I could handle it if I had to post something for another 7 days in a row. I give props to ya’ll that did it for the entire month of November.

Back to potluck foods…I was flipping through the latest issue of Saveur and was inspired by a recipe for latkes. Instead of using regular potatoes and chives, I thought it would be interesting to use sweet potatoes and cilantro. I was surprised at how delicious they were. I'm not a big potato eater, but I will definitely be making these again soon. When you bite into the cakes, the outsides are crispy and the insides are soft, like a good hash brown. The cilantro gives them a fresh taste. And they are a very good potluck food: very transportable and can be served at room temp.

Sweet potato cakes with cilantro and chili-sour cream sauce

Sweet potato pancakes
makes about 25 appetizer-sized cakes
  • 2 ½ pounds sweet potatoes, grated
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 3 tbs fine plain bread crumbs or finely ground plain cracker crumbs
  • ½ to 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • oil for frying
Combine the grated sweet potatoes and onion in a large bowl. Using a cheese cloth or very clean kitchen towel, squeeze as much of the liquid out as humanly possible (it’s more effective if you work in small batches). Reserve the liquid in a medium-sized bowl.

When you have squeezed out all the liquid from the sweet potatoes, set them aside until needed. Let the liquid sit for about 10 minutes to allow the starch to settle then carefully pour off the liquid.

To the bowl with the sweet potatoes and onion, add the bread crumbs, cilantro, eggs, salt, pepper and reserved starch. Mix well.

The mixture will appear dry, but don't worry, the cakes won't fall apart when you cook them.

When forming the cakes, don’t make them too thick, maybe about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Fry the cakes in a skillet in about ¼ inch of oil over medium heat. You may have to play with the heat to keep the cakes from browning too quickly, otherwise the inside will be raw (if you find the cakes aren’t cooked through, throw them into a 350ยบ oven for about 10 minutes or until they’re done). Drain on paper towels or on a rack placed above a cookie sheet.

Unless you've got all day, you may want to bust out more than one frying pan.

These sweet potato cakes are good on their own or with a dollop of sour cream. If you want a little more spice, trying combining 2 tbs sour cream with 1 tbs mayo, a tsp chili-garlic sauce, a squeeze of lime and a little salt to taste.


Manggy said...

Nice looking "sweet roesti," dp :) Although I'm not a fan of sweet potatoes-- prefer the totally unrelated "plain" potatoes.

dp said...

Thanks Manngy!

Potatoes (sweet or otherwise)aren't usually my starch of choice, but since I had them leftover from Thanksgiving I thought I'd put them to good use. And I was pleasantly surprised.