Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Plenty: Sweet Potato Cakes

I absolutely love potato cakes. Maybe it's my German background. Maybe it's my deep passion for potatoes in all of their forms. Whatever the reason, I can't think of much I like more than a crispy exterior, soft interior, and some sour cream on top. I was just wishing for a reason to make these, so I guess my request was granted when I got three sweet potatoes in my CSA box.

Nothing fancy here. Sweet potatoes, green onions, chile. Oh, yes. The chile. The recipe calls for 1 red chile. No specifics. Just a chile. I would advise a Thai chile if you want some spice, because the Fresno I used added nothing. I may have to make these again with a spicier chile just to see how much more I like them.

The cakes were admittedly a little difficult to turn. I added the flour that was indicated in the recipe, but I think my sweet potatoes were still a little too watery. I even patted them with paper towels, but I think next time they need to be made a while ahead of time so they can drain forever. Once I finally got the hang of it, they crisped up nicely in the pan. And that yogurt sauce smeared over the top? Delicious.

Sweet Potato Cakes
From Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi

2 large sweet potatoes, cut in to large chunks
2 teaspoons soy sauce
¾ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoon chopped green onion
½ teaspoon finely chopped red chile
Butter for frying

3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
salt and black pepper to taste

Steam the sweet potato until soft, then drain in a colander for an hour. Meanwhile, whisk the sauce ingredients until smooth and set aside. In a mixing bowl, work all the fritter ingredients by hand - it should be sticky, so if it's a little runny, add some flour. Do not overmix.

Dip your hands in water and shape walnut-sized balls with the fritter mix, then flatten so you have round cakes around 2 inches in diameter and less than 1/2-inch thick. Place on an oily surface.

Melt some butter in a nonstick pan. Using a spatula, lift the cakes into the pan and fry on moderate heat until you get a nice, brown crust, turning as necessary - about six minutes. Place between two sheets of kitchen towel, to soak up the excess butter. Serve hot or warm, with the sauce on the side and a crisp green salad.

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