Thursday, March 1, 2012

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Lime Syrup and Chives

These might look like sweet potatoes, but they're actually a symbol of my personal triumph over extreme procrastination. I bought them a month ago. Week one came and went, no pressure, still fresh. Every morning of week two I passed by them, gave them a quick inspection to make sure they were still edible and kept walking, confident that they would be cooked by the end of the day.

That spilled over into week three (by then, my confidence was long gone and I swore I would make them just to prove I could follow through). I also found myself hoping they were too gross to eat so I could justify throwing them out (I know, it's wasteful - get off my back, I have a problem). And by week four the ritual remained the same, except I added a step where I questioned what the hell is wrong with me for not making these damn sweet potatoes!? Other things were getting bought and cooked left and right, but still these sweet potatoes just sat there. And I wanted to make them, except I just didn't. I felt kind of shitty about myself too...because of SWEET POTATOES. If I was more insightful, I might be able to figure out what the hell these sweet potatoes represented to me, but I'm not. They really just looked like sweet potatoes.

month old sweet potatoes
See how they mock you?
Then one day, I finally made them. And I can't explain why that day was different from all the rest. Nothing else made it special. But I definitely felt triumphant. And these sweet potatoes with the sweet-tart lime syrup and the oniony chives...they were sooo good. Maybe it was the taste of victory, and not the sugar, that made them so sweet. I guess you'll have to test that theory out for yourself. But whatever you do, don't let the sweet potatoes win. I'm pretty sure you're bigger and smarter than they are.

Makes 4-6 servings

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh lime zest
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

1.      Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 450° F.
2.      Toss potatoes with butter, salt, and pepper in a bowl until coated well, then spread in a single layer in a large (15- x 10- x 1-inch) baking pan and roast, uncovered, until potatoes are tender and undersides are browned, 20 to 25 minutes total.
3.      While potatoes roast, bring water, sugar, and lime juice to a boil in a very small saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then simmer until reduced to about 3 tablespoons, 3 to 4 minutes.
4.      Pour the syrup and lime zest over the potatoes; toss. Sprinkle with chives.
Cooks' note: Potatoes can be roasted and syrup made 1 day ahead (without tossing together). Chill separately in airtight containers. Reheat potatoes in a single roasting pan in oven, and heat syrup in a small saucepan until hot. Toss together, then toss with zest and sprinkle with chives.

barely adapted from Gourmet, November 2005
chopped sweet potatoes mixed with butter, salt and pepper
ready to roast

Ideally, they would be spread in only one layer,
but I didn't feel like washing another dish.
lime zest
lime syrup

I accidentally added the lime zest to the syrup (you're supposed
to sprinkle it over the sweet potatoes once they're roasted).
Oh well. At this point I was just giddy that the sweet potatoes had
actually been peeled and cut. Everything else was gravy. Or syrup.
lime syrup, reduced
chopping the chives
pouring the lime syrup over the roasted sweet potatoes
sprinkling on the chives
ready (and delicious, I might add)

It took me all of 20 minutes to peel/cut/chop/zest stuff to make
this recipe. I'd like to say I've learned something from this,
but clearly my college psych classes have yet to pay off.

No comments:

Post a Comment