- M.F.K. Fisher born (1908)
Sweet Potatoes with Cranberries
- 4-8 Beauregard fingerling sweet potatoes
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 Teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
- 1 Cup white wine
- 1/2 Cup lemon juice
- 4 stalks salsify or burdock root
- 1 bunch Tuscan kale, stemmed
- 1/2 Cup fresh cranberries, halved
- 1/2 Cup cranberry juice
- 1 Teaspoon sugar
- 1 Tablespoon red-wine vinegar
- 2 Idaho potatoes
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 5 black peppercorns
- 5 pieces fennel seed
- 5 juniper berries
- 2 Cups milk
- 1 Pound butter
- 4 Cups canola, vegetable, or peanut oil, plus more as needed
- 2 Tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar, for garnish
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, for garnish
- 16 small mint leaves, for garnish
Here's a sweet potato dish that stands out from the crowd. Serve these as a perfect accompaniment to roast meats for those special dinner occasions.
John Fraser, executive chef of Dovetail Restaurant in New York City and creator of the dish, says, "Because the sweet potatoes have high sugar content, they will start to turn very dark around the edges. Don't be alarmed and make sure to fry them so that they're blackened around the edges."
See all cranberry recipes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Put the sweet potatoes, thyme, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a large saucepan with cold water. Simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Cool the potatoes in their poaching liquid.
In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the white wine, lemon juice, and remaining salt. Peel the salsify, cut into 2-inch pieces, and immediately simmer until tender, but not mushy, about 30 minutes. Let cool in the liquid.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and set up an ice bath. Blanch the kale for 3-5 minutes. Drain in a colander, then immediately transfer kale to the ice bath to stop the cooking. (The kale should still have a bite to it.)
Place the cranberries in a large bowl. Bring the cranberry juice, sugar, and red-wine vinegar to a boil in a small saucepot. Pour the liquid mixture over the cut cranberries and let sit at room temperature.
Pierce the potatoes with a fork and bake until completely tender. Meanwhile, toast the spices in a sauté pan over medium heat until fragrant. Then, pour the milk over and steep until needed.
When the potatoes are completely soft, put through a ricer fitted with the widest-diameter holes a few chunks at a time. (If you don’t have a ricer, you can use a hand mixer.)
Strain and reserve the milk and discard the spices. Add half of the butter. Add the milk in increments to the potatoes until it reaches a creamy consistency. Season with salt, to taste. Keep warm.
Heat the canola oil in a large saucepan to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, take out the sweet potatoes and dry off with a towel. Remove as much liquid from the surface as possible to keep the oil from popping. If you think you need more oil, use more. You will need enough make sure the sweet potatoes are covered. You can do this in batches if needed.
Crush the sweet potatoes with the palm of your hand. You want them to be about ½-inch thick. Slowly add them to the oil. Maintain a temperature around 350 degrees. When the potatoes are brown and crispy, remove from oil and season with salt, to taste.
Heat the remaining butter in a large sauté pan on medium-high heat. Once the butter begins to brown, add the salsify. Cook until the salsify is light golden brown. Add the kale and cranberries. Cook until everything is warmed through, about 1 minute. Season with salt, to taste.
Place the potato purée on the plate. If it has become too thick, add some of the spiced milk. Lay the crispy sweet potato on top of the purée. Arrange the salsify, kale, and cranberries around the sweet potatoes. Garnish with aged balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and mint.